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Education and Training

Reallocating Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits if a Family Member Dies

The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Assistance Act of 2017, allows for designation and transfer of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to eligible dependents of the Veteran/servicemember upon the death of the Veteran/servicemember or of a dependent who had unused transferred benefits.  

The law is effective August 1, 2018, and applies to a death that occurred after August 1, 2009.

Reallocation Infographic

Death of a Dependent Who Had Transferred Benefits

If you are a Veteran/servicemember and you transferred benefits to a dependent who has died, you may transfer those benefits to another eligible dependent.

If the Dependent Who Will Receive Benefits is in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)

If the dependent you wish to transfer to is already in DEERS, go to the milConnect page to transfer.
Note: Both Veterans and servicemembers transferring will use the milConnect page.

If the Dependent Who Will Receive Benefits is not in DEERS

A dependent must be enrolled in DEERS before making the transfer in milConnect (Note: transferring in this situation requires transfer in milConnect).

Establishing a dependent not currently in DEERS will require visiting a Real-Time Automated Personnel Identification System (RAPIDS) center. The dependent will need two forms of unexpired identity documents, one with photo.

Once the new dependent is established in DEERS, go to Milconnect to transfer.

Death of Servicemember/Veteran

If you are a dependent of a Veteran/servicemember who died after August 1, 2009, and have unused transferred benefits, you may be eligible to transfer them to another eligible dependent of the Veteran/servicemember.

To initiate a transfer request, contact your Regional Processing Office using the “Submit a Question” button on the GI Bill homepage. You will need to establish a user ID and login if you have not used this system before.  To request a transfer, select "Colmery Section 110" from the drop-down list and include the following:

  • Your name
  • Your SSN
  • Date of death of Veteran/servicemember
  • Name of dependent to whom you are transferring
  • Relationship of dependent to Veteran

The VA Service Representative will review your request to confirm eligibility. If the dependent you wish to transfer entitlement to is not currently in the Department of Defense’s DEERS database, the VA Service Representative will contact you and ask you to establish the dependent in DEERS.  The dependent must be in DEERS to receive transferred benefits.

Establishing a dependent not currently in DEERS will require visiting a Real-Time Automated Personnel Identification System (RAPIDS) center. The dependent will need two forms of unexpired identity documents, one with photo.

Once dependents are in DEERS, contact your Regional Processing Office, again using the “Submit a Question” button on our homepage.