How to Transfer GI Bill to Your Spouse

Teddy T. - Class of 2021 - Military Veteran with family

Did you know it’s possible to extend those well-deserved education benefits to those closest to you, your partner, and your children, through the Post-9/11 GI Bill® Program? Here’s how to transfer GI Bill benefits.

GI Bill transfer eligibility requirements

Your first step is to find out if you’re eligible to transfer your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. For starters, you must be on active duty or in the Reserve and be able to check off all of the following boxes:

  • You’ve completed at least six years of service on the date your request is approved.
  • You agreed to add four more years of service.
  • The person receiving benefits has enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).

To find out more, visit

Eligible transfer recipients

Eligible family members include your spouse, one or more of your children, or any combination thereof. Your dependents may still qualify even if a child marries or you and your spouse divorce. However, service members and Veterans can cancel or change a Transfer of Entitlement (TOE) at any time.

What GI Bill benefits can be transferred?

Once the Department of Defense approves your TOE, your spouse or dependent children can apply for up to 36 months of benefits, and may be eligible for funding for tuition, housing, books, and supplies.

How to request a transfer

While you’re still on active or reserve duty, you may request to transfer, change, or revoke a TOE using the milConnect website. After you leave the armed forces, you can still provide a future effective date for when the TOE can be used, change the number of months transferred, or revoke the TOE by submitting a written request to the VA through milConnect. Once submitted, the transfer will be approved (or denied) by the Department of Defense.

Using transferred benefits

Once you get the green light from the DOD, benefits are immediately available, whether you have remained in the armed forces or left active duty. If your last discharge was before January 1, 2013, the benefit may be used for up to 15 years; otherwise, there is no time limit. Note that members of your family are not eligible for the monthly housing allowance while you are on active duty. Your partner may apply to use the education benefits on the Veterans Affairs website or by completing VA Form 22-1990e and mailing it to the nearest VA regional office.

Crystal G.

GI Bill for dependents helps with education costs

Once the GI Bill education benefits are transferred and approved, your family member’s next task will be to find a degree or training program that fits his or her goals. The options are endless, ranging from business degrees to trade skills to professional certifications. When selecting an institution, applicants should investigate GI Bill-friendly colleges offering military tuition assistance, prior learning credits, and military discounts. These schools can be easily identified, many stating on their websites that they are “military-friendly colleges.” Also, look for schools like National University that participate in the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon programs.

Ready to dive into the details? To learn more about your benefits and how to transfer GI Bill benefits to your partner and/or children, visit the Veterans Affairs GI Bill website, and for more information about National University’s educational programs and services for active duty and Veteran service members, please visit our military admissions page.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You can transfer any or all remaining portion of your GI Bill entitlement.

The process is actually quite simple: Just fill out the VA 22-1990 form and then apply online. The average time it takes for the VA to process your claim is around 30 days.

Service members can transfer up to 36 months of their GI Bill benefits at any time, but only once per month.

No, transfers must be made while the service member is still serving.

The so-called 48-month rule allows Veterans to maximize the educational benefits they’ve earned. Here’s how: Veterans who use Veteran Readiness and Employment benefits prior to using any other VA education program, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, can still use up to 48 total months of the other educational assistance benefit program.