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GI Bill changes ease ability to transfer

Lance Cpl. Glen, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing & Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - 12.1.2011 Recently, Headquarters Marine Corps changed how it would manage requests to transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits from veterans to dependents.

“It’s a much more efficient system than it was in the past,” said Ranza Thurman, the personal and professional development program manager. “The benefit will be to the service member and to the dependent because it’s much more efficient and you get a faster reply instead of waiting nine months to a year to get an answer.”

Currently, Marines have to send three parts of their request to Headquarters Marine Corps at the same time. According to Thurman, Marines first speak with their career planner to understand their service requirements. Then, they go to usa.gov to fill out the application. The career planner will then submit a reenlistment, extension and lateral move request that will guarantee four more years of active service. The Marine’s command will sign a statement of understanding confirming this.

If approved, the dependent then fills out VA Form 22-1990E. Once benefits are transferred, the veteran retains the right to modify or revoke benefits their dependents are receiving. Previously, Marines sent the first three forms separately, which took longer to approve, according to Thurman.

In order to be eligible for transferring benefits, Marines must meet certain requirements. They must have served at least six years and have another four on their contract.

Thurman stressed knowing the details before making a decision is very important. Once money from the Post 9/11 GI Bill is used, a Marine cannot switch to another GI Bill which could be better for the Marine depending on their circumstances. Also, Marines need to talk to the Veterans Affairs representative from the school they will be attending. For more information before making a decision, a Marine should talk to their career planner and visit GIbill the administrative message can also be found at usa.gov.

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