Courtesy of Congressman Jimmy Panetta’s Office:
Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) introduced bipartisan legislation to restore eligibility to servicemembers seeking to transfer their educational benefits to dependents.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill Transferability Entitlement Act ensures that all servicemembers who have completed 10 years of service in the Armed Forces are eligible to transfer their benefits to dependents at any time – both while serving on active duty and as a veteran.
A recent Department of Defense policy change requires servicemembers to commit an additional four years of military service at the time of their application to transfer benefits. The policy change also prevents servicemembers with more than 16 years of military service from transferring education benefits to their eligible dependents.
“By requiring additional years of military service to transfer educational benefits to dependents, the administration is breaking our commitment to military families and creating confusion among servicemembers. My bill will ensure that those who served in the Armed Forces and their families can receive the education and training they have earned and were promised,” said Congressman Panetta.
Congressman Michael Waltz (FL-06), Congressman Gil Cisneros (CA-39), Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), and Congressman Jason Crow (CO-06) are original cosponsors of the measure.
“It is only fair for all of our servicemembers to have the option to transfer the unused education benefits which they have earned to their loved ones who have sacrificed so much.” Congressman Waltz said. “This is not just a family-financial issue but a strategic issue for our volunteer military which affects recruitment and retention – and this legislation assures we’ll continue to have the finest fighting force in the world.”
“Congress has a responsibility to fulfill the promises it has made to our men and women in uniform. As a Navy Veteran, I’m disappointed that the Department of Defense’s policy makes it harder for our servicemembers – who have sacrificed so much for our country – to transfer their education benefits to their family. Today, I’m joining my colleagues in correcting this injustice and ensuring every veteran and servicemember and their family get the benefits they’ve earned,” said Congressman Cisneros.
“We have a responsibility to the brave men and women who answer the call of duty and put their own lives at risk. We must keep these promises and alleviate any barriers to Veterans from receiving the benefits they deserve and earned from their selfless service,” said Congressman Kinzinger.
The legislation endorsed by the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS).
Daniel Elkins, Legislative Director with EANGUS, said. “Every servicemember who has earned the Post-9/11 GI Bill, regardless of duty status, earned it at a great cost to themselves and their families. We need to honor this sacrifice and ensure that our Veterans can use the benefits they earned in the way that is best for them and their family.”
“The Post-9/11 GI Bill Transferability Entitlement Act will make it easier for veterans and their families to use their well-earned educational benefits. Our active duty service members, veterans, and their families have made tremendous sacrifices for our country, and this bill is one impactful way to honor their service and dedication,” said University of California President Janet Napolitano. “More than 2,000 veterans and students with military affiliation are enrolled in education programs at UC. We proudly provide on-campus support services across the system to ensure a seamless transition into student life. And we applaud Congressman Jimmy Panetta for introducing this important bill that will further support our veterans.”