Basics of Post 9/11 G.I. Bill from Hanscom Ed Center

  • Published
  • By Brandi A. Ruiz
  • Education Services Officer
The Education and Training Center hosted a briefing last week at the Hanscom Conference Center to discuss some of the details of the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 with the Hanscom military community. For anyone who missed the briefing, here are a few highlights. 

Commonly called the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, it was signed into law on June 30, 2008, and came into effect on Aug. 1. This new educational benefit is generating significant interest since it not only makes more people eligible for benefits, but allows those eligible to transfer their benefits to children and spouses. The implementation of this program is new to everyone, including the Department of Veterans Affairs - the ones administering the program - and the education offices, who are fielding many questions from potentially eligible members. 

The Hanscom education center has been working closely with the Air Force Personnel Center and the VA and is fully prepared to provide general guidance about the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits. However, it is important for individuals to understand that the educational counselors at the VA are best equipped to address individuals' specific concerns regarding program eligibility, enrollment options and payment matters that transpire among the VA, the member and the institution of higher learning. 

Although there are a plethora of intricate details contained within the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, there are a few major differences between the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and the Montgomery G.I. Bill (active duty or selected reserve) that members should be aware of. Foremost, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, which is a 36-month benefit package for education or institutional training, is available to anyone who served 90 days or more in an active-duty status (including reservists serving active-duty tours under Title 10 of the U.S. Code) on or after Sept. 11, 2001. 

The percentage of benefits available to the member depends on the amount of active-duty time served on or after Sept. 11, 2001. Those with 90 days of active-duty service receive 40 percent of benefits while those with an aggregate of 36 months of active service are eligible for 100 percent. Everything between is pro-rated based on months of active-duty service (a table is available on the VA Web site at 

The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill is available to the member for 15 years after separation, unlike the Montgomery G.I. Bill, which is available for only 10 years. Funds are paid directly from the VA to the institution, rather than the member-reimbursement system that existed under the Montgomery G.I. Bill. Commissioned officers not eligible for the Montgomery G.I. Bill because of undergraduate financial aid paid by a service academy or an ROTC scholarship may now be eligible. Additionally, enlisted members who opted not to participate in the Montgomery G.I. Bill now qualify for Post 9/11 benefits. What's more, eligible members who decide to use their benefits after they separate or retire are entitled to a basic housing allowance equivalent to that of an E-5 with dependents, and a yearly book stipend. 

Finally, one of the most notable additions of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill is the ability to transfer those benefits to a spouse, children or combination of both. When it comes to transferring those benefits, members must realize the transferability option was established as a retention tool and there is a service requirement and commitment associated with this option. Only those servicemembers with six years of active-duty service with a commitment to serve an additional four years may transfer benefits to their spouse. Those people with 10 years of service may transfer to a child. 

If a member is eligible and wants to transfer Post-9/11 benefits to qualified family members, they must work through the Transfer of Education Benefits site ( to designate a certain number of months of their 36-month benefit. In other words, an entitled member may transfer eleven months to a spouse, eight to a child, ten to another child and keep seven months of benefits (11 + 8 + 10 + 7 = 36). Qualifying family members are those that are listed as your dependent in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. 

Even military members who have exhausted their benefits under the Montgomery G.I. Bill may be eligible for an additional 12 months of Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits. Members can apply to the VA with the understanding that they cannot receive more than a total of 48 months of benefits between the two programs. 

Additional information can be found at the Department of Veterans Affairs website ( or the U.S. Department of Defense ( 

To help decipher these benefits even further, the Education and Training Center is scheduled to the next Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits briefings on Nov. 20 at 10 a.m. in the Hanscom Conference Center's Concord Auditorium. We will review eligibility, application procedures, and more detail on transferability options for family members.