Some military members are fortunate enough to have two GI Bills – the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty (MGIB-AD) that they paid for, and the Post 9/11 GI Bill which is free for serving after September 10, 2001. However, when it comes to a transfer of benefits, only the later can be given to an eligible family member.
But because of this rule of transfer, a servicemember having both GI Bills must relinquish ownership of the MGIB-AD before making a Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer of benefits request. If not making a transfer, the servicemember has a choice of using all 36 months of their MGIB-AD, switching GI Bills and using an additional 12 months of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, or switching right away to the Post 9/11 GI Bill and getting only the remaining unused MGIB months of eligibility and not the additional 12 months.
The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, more commonly known as the Forever GI Bill, influences the MHA payment. Currently, the MHA in part is based on the zip code of the school, but in the case of attending a satellite school, it is based on the location of the main campus.
That amount could be higher or lower than the location of the satellite school. So, after August 1, 2018, students using transferred benefits for the first time may receive more or less than other students who are already using their transferred benefits before that implementation date.
Another MHA change for students using their transferred benefits for the first time after January 1, 2018 is their MHA payment will be based on the DoD’s reduced basic housing allowance, instead of the DoD previous BAH rate. This can result in a reduction of about $16 per month on average. Students already receiving MHA before that date will not see a change.
Another upcoming change, as far as transferring benefits, is sponsor’s ability to reallocate unused benefits if the recipient dies before using the benefit. If the sponsor dies, a dependent with unused transfer of benefits can reallocate them to another eligible family member. Both options were not possible before this update. In both cases, the date of death must be on or after August 1, 2009. In the case of a dependent transfer of benefits to another dependent, that transfer of entitlement can start being used after August 1, 2018.