By now, you’ve probably heard that on Tuesday, February 9, the House of Representatives voted to make changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The changes were an amendment to H.R. 3016. The House first considered cutting all of the housing allowance for spouses and children, but settled on reducing a child’s transfer housing allowance in half.
Because of the strong possibility of this bill being signed into law, if you’re thinking about transferring the GI Bill to your children, now is the best time to do so.
The changes revolve around the housing allowance allotted in the GI Bill. Currently, children who have the GI Bill transferred to them receive the same housing allowance that their service member parent would receive if they used the GI Bill themselves. Usually, the housing allowance rate is based is based on what active-duty service members would receive being stationed where the school is located.
However, the House of Representatives voted to chop the housing allowance for children using transferred GI Bills in half.
Who This Affects
Right now, the changes to the transfer rules would still have to be voted in by the Senate, so it’s currently not affecting anyone directly yet.
If the Senate approves the changes, housing allowance reduction would not affect any GI Bills transferred to a child before the changes or transferred up to 180 days after the law is signed. However, any GI Bills transferred on Day 181 and forward would be affected. Any child using a GI Bill transferred after Day 180 would get 50% less housing allowance. That includes children who haven’t been born or adopted to the family yet and children of parents who aren’t yet eligible to transfer their benefit.
What You Should Do
If you’re eligible to transfer your Post-9/11 GI Bill to a child (and if you’re not sure if you are, here are the specifications), you should put the paperwork in to make it happen. By transferring your GI Bill now, you’ll “lock in” the benefits that are available currently– that includes the full housing allowance. Believe it or not, you can revoke the transfer or modify the amount of the benefit.
Remember, the changes have not been signed into law and need to be voted on and passed by the Senate and signed by the President before they are. Now’s a great time to think about the future and to keep the issue on your radar moving forward. You can contact your Senator (HERE), and watch the progress on this bill (HERE).