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Transferring Montgomery GI Bill Benefits to Dependents

This information is from the Veteran’s Administration website.

This information can also be found in a PDF file here.

Transfer of MGIB Benefits to Spouse

Army Pilot Program

*ELIGIBLE Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs): Soldiers must be currently serving in and reenlist in one of the MOSs identified in the current Regular Army Active Component Selective Reenlistment Bonus (SRB) Program.  ALSO NOTE “Important”section below!

The following procedures and guidance are established to facilitate implementation of the FY06 Army pilot program for the purpose of transferring MGIB benefits to spouses. The pilot program is authorized under Title 38, U.S. Code, Chapter 30 (amended by PL 107-107), the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB). The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) manages the MGIB and is responsible for all matters pertaining to payment and program specifics of individuals applying for benefits under this program.   HQDA DCS, G-1 has overall responsibility for policy, procedures and guidance matters pertaining to identifying eligible Soldiers and managing the program within the Army.

Important! All eligible Soldiers desiring to participate in the program must complete a DD Form 2366-2, Montgomery GI Bill Act of 1984 (MGIB) Transferability Program.  This applies even in cases where a spouse is not designated at the time of reenlistment to receive benefits. The form serves as an election form and proof of participation in the program.   Participants will complete a new form each time a change or addition is made in block 2 (Family Member Data) of the form.

Because this program is bound by law to retention of critical skills, Soldiers must elect to participate at the time of reenlistment, and must reenlist for a minimum of 4 years.  Soldiers who don’t select the MGIB Transferability option at the time of reenlistment will not be eligible to participate in the program until a subsequent reenlistment period.

Participant Responsibility, Eligibility, and Acceptance:

Participants must ensure they meet the following eligibility requirements and take the following actions to participate in the program:

–  MGIB-era Soldiers who are eligible for MGIB must have enrolled in the MGIB on DD Form 2366 upon initial entry to active duty.  This can be verified by viewing the Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) online at the Army Knowledge Online (AKO) website at https://www.us.army.mil.  The DD Form 2366 should be found under the category “General Administrative” or in the initial enlistment contract.    If the DD Form 2366 is not found, the current procedure is for the Soldier to visit his/her Army Education Center for assistance in determining MGIB eligibility only.  Retention Career Counselors will determine eligibility to transfer MGIB benefits to include enrollment.

–   Completed at least 6 years of service in the Armed Forces at the time of reenlistment.

–  Reenlist for a period of at least 4 years and complete DD Form 2366-2

with their servicing Army Retention Career Counselor.

–  Currently entitled to a Zone B or Zone C SRB under current messages.

Purpose of the DD Form 2366-2 (Montgomery GI Bill Act of 1984 / Transferability Program).

This document serves as proof of participation in the pilot.   Once an eligible Soldier decides to participate in the program, he/she must contact his/her Retention Career Counselor and complete a DD Form 2366-2 at the time of reenlistment.

Participant Processing.

The following procedures are designed to ensure proper counseling, enrollment, and processing of eligible Soldiers electing MGIB transferability.

DCS, G-1, Director of Military Personnel Management (DMPM).

– Provide policy guidance and oversight of program.

Army Human Resources Command (AHRC), Alexandria, Force Alignment Division

– Oversee reenlistment process, provide retention community with program information, and coordinate Soldier eligibility issues.

– Receive and track elections of eligible Soldiers through receipt of DD Form 2366-2s.  Maintain master list of participants and provide participation data to the DVA.  Maintain copies of DD Form 2366-2.

Retention Career Counselors.

– Widely publicize the pilot program through Commander’s Calls, newspapers, Daily Bulletins, etc.

– At the time of reenlistment, if the Soldier is entitled to a Zone B or Zone C SRB under current messages, the Retention Career Counselor will counsel Soldiers on their options to include transferability of MGIB entitlements to their spouse.  A key element of that counseling will include an explanation that if the Soldier elects MGIB Transferability, the Zone B or C multiplier, used in determining their bonus, will be slightly reduced in order to fund the actuary per capita cost of transferring benefits.  Ultimately, these funds will be deposited into the DoD Education Benefits Fund by DFAS.

– Confirm participant is enrolled in the MGIB and eligible for reenlistment prior to completing a DD Form 2366-2.

– Complete the reenlistment process in accordance with AR 601-280.

– If the Soldier elects to participate, but chooses not to designate a spouse at the time of reenlistment, blocks 1 and 4 are completed.  Designations can be made later by completing a new DD Form 2366-2.

– If the Soldier elects to participate and designates their spouse at the time of reenlistment, blocks 1-2 are completed.  The Career Counselor then completes blocks 3 and 4 after verifying that the Soldier’s spouse is in DEERS and that the Soldier is eligible for transferability.

– Once completed, the Career Counselor provides a copy to the Soldier, while copies are sent via USPS or facsimile to the Army Human Resources Command (AHRC), Alexandria, Force Alignment Division (FAD), the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), and a copy is forwarded with the reenlistment contract to the Enlisted Records and Evaluations Center (EREC).

–  The form will be maintained at Human Resources Command (AHRC), Alexandria, Force Alignment Division (FAD).  The participant is responsible for providing the DVA with a copy of the form when applying for education benefits.  AHRC will subsequently maintain and forward the following information to the DVA as DD Form 2366-2s are received:

– Transferor (Full Name)

– SSN

– Transferee (Full Name)

– Transferee SSN

– Transferee DOB

– Months of Entitlement Transferred (Up to 18 Months)

– Start Date

– End Date

Participant Briefing and Information

Transfer of MGIB Benefits to Spouse

Army Pilot Program

The Benefit

Transfer no more than 18 months of unused Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) benefits to a spouse.  A spouse may use the benefit upon election.  See Question and Answer #27 below for a more detailed definition and quantification of benefits.

You must satisfy the following eligibility requirements and procedures:

– Enrolled in the MGIB upon initial entry to active duty and paid the $1,200 for MGIB enrollment.   (Not eligible are Vietnam Era-Rollover, VEAP conversion, and Involuntary Separation).

–  Completed at least 6 years of service in the Armed Forces at the time of reenlistment.

–  Reenlist for a period of at least 4 years and complete items 1 and 2 of DD Form 2366-2 with the servicing Army Retention Career Counselor.

–  Currently entitled to a Zone B or Zone C SRB under current messages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1.  How do I verify my enrollment in MGIB?

A1.  Your enrollment in MGIB can be verified by viewing your Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) online at the Army Knowledge Online (AKO) website at https://www.us.army.mil.  The DD Form 2366 should be found under the category “General Administrative” or in the initial enlistment contract.  If the DD Form 2366 is not found, Soldiers can visit their Army Education Center for assistance in determining MGIB eligibility only.  Retention Career Counselors will determine eligibility to transfer MGIB benefits to include enrollment.

Q2.  When must I decide to participate in the program?

A2.  A decision must be made at the time of reenlistment for those eligible to participate.   However, you don’t have to designate in writing at this time to whom or for how long you want to transfer benefits.

Q3.  Can I participate even though I’m not married?

A3.  Yes, once enrolled and you later marry, benefits can be given to your spouse.  You must enroll, however, at the time of reenlistment.  Soldiers should consider this option carefully.  If the soldier enrolls at the time of reenlistment and does not later marry, the reduction in their SRB, at the time of reenlistment, will not be refunded.

Q4.  Do I have to make a designation now?

A4.  A designation can be made at anytime by completing a new DD Form 2366-2

Q5.  What happens if I don’t complete the 4-year commitment?

A5.  In most cases the transferred benefit is lost.  You and your spouse will be liable to repay the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) all amounts received in benefit payments.  The benefit is not lost and no repayment is required if you die on active duty, or are separated for one of the following conditions:  a service-connected disability, condition that preexisted active duty, hardship, or, a physical or mental condition not characterized as a disability which interfered with the performance of duty and was not the result of the individual’s misconduct.

Q6.  What kinds of education benefits are available under this program?

A6.  Spouses with transferred benefits can receive the same kinds of benefits as you.  See https://www.gibill.va.gov for a list of the types of available benefits.

Q7.  Do I have to pay to transfer funds?

A7. No, you have the option to receive the full SRB or a slightly reduced SRB plus the ability to transfer over $18K in MGIB benefits.  Currently, for FY06, the multiplier will be reduced by a .5 multiplier.

Q8.  When does my spouse become eligible for benefits?

A8.  Eligibility is established when you have completed at least 6 years of service  and reenlist for at least 4 more years, and have completed the DD Form 2366-2 at the time of reenlistment.  Once these actions have been completed, your spouse can start using their transferred benefits.

Q9.  Can I change the amount of the benefit?

A9.  Yes.  You may make such changes by completing a new DD Form 2366-2 with your Retention Career Counselor.  Submitting a new DD Form 2366-2 will serve as notice to both the DVA and the service department that changes are being made.  Changes must be made in writing.  You can transfer up to a maximum of 18 months worth of benefits.

Q10.  How does my spouse claim the entitlements?

A10.  The spouse files a VA Form 22-1990, Application for VA Education Benefits.

Q11.  How long does my spouse have to use the benefit?

A11.  Generally, the transferred benefit can be used until 10 years after you receive an honorable discharge.

Q12.  What if I die while on active duty?

A12.  Any transferred benefit would end 10 years after your death.

Q13.  What happens to the benefit if my spouse and I divorce?

A13.  Your former spouse’s eligibility would terminate on the effective date of the divorce.  The Soldier “must” then submit another DD Form 2366-2 to terminate spouse’s eligibility and reclaim the benefit.

Q14.  Can Reserve or Guard Soldiers participate in the program?

A14. No.  The Law currently allows transferability, under certain criteria, to any Soldier eligible for MGIB-Active Duty (MGIB-AD) under Title 38, U.S. Code, Chapter 30, Section 3020.  The intent of the pilot program is to offer to AC enlisted Soldiers only while pursuing legislative changes to allow all Soldiers the ability to transfer benefits.

Q15.  Should potential participants contact HQDA, DVA or Army Education Center for information on the test program?

A15.  No.  Potential participants should direct questions regarding the program to their servicing Retention Career Counselors.

Q16.  Under purpose of the DD Form 2366-2, “the participant is responsible for providing the DVA with a copy of the form when applying for education benefits.”  Does this mean the spouse is required to send a copy of the DD Form 2366-2 when they send in the VA Form 22-1990 to apply for benefits?

A16.  Sending a copy of the DD Form 2366-2 along with the application tells the DVA that an individual transferred benefits and to whom they were transferred.  This helps the DVA expedite a claim.

Q17.  Won’t some participants have to make a couple of trips to the Retention Career Counselor after having, for example, verified spouse enrollment in DEERS?

A17.  Only those participants designating dependents at the time of reenlistment may need to make a second visit to the Career Counselor.  In most cases, however, the Career Counselor will be able to assist without additional visits.

Q18. What date will be used for the “Transfer Eligibility Start Date” and “Transfer Eligibility End Date,” blocks (4.f. and 4.g.) of the DD Form 2366-2?

A18.  DoD advises us the blocks do not need to be used as they are redundant to the information provided in Blocks 2.f. and 2.g.

Q19.  Who is doing the notification?  Are there individual notifications going out or will the Retention Career Counselors just generally publicize the test program?

A19.  There is no requirement for the Retention Career Counselors to personally contact each potential participant.  They are asked to publicize the program through base newspapers, daily bulletins, commander’s calls, flyers, and other general methods.

Q20.  How does a Soldier, who elected the program, make or change a designation, for example, two or three years from now?  Does the participant add to the election form?

A20.  The participant will complete a new form each time he or she adds or changes anything in Block 2 of the DD Form 2366-2.  The participant would not add to the original election form.  New forms will be completed and submitted to the servicing Retention Career Counselor.

Q21.  Can a designation be cancelled?  What happens to the designated benefit time?

A21.  The participant can add, reduce, or cancel all or part of the benefit he or she gives to a spouse.  All unused benefits revert to the participant.  For example, SSG Jones transfers 12 months to his spouse but she later receives a full scholarship.  SSG Jones completes a new DD Form 2366-2 deleting the designation and reclaims his benefit.

Q22.  If a designation is cancelled, can I renegotiate my reenlistment contract and receive the full SRB?

A22.  No.  The Reenlistment contract will not be renegotiated since you can change your designation for up to 10 years after you leave the service.

Q23.  How does the participant determine the dates to put in Blocks 2.f. and 2.g. of the DD Form 2366-2?

A23. The form gives instructions in a note just below the family member data blocks.  The start and end dates are set by the participant as long as they are within the program rules, e.g. a spouse’s benefit can’t begin before the participant serves six years of active service.

Q24.  The “*NOTE” includes a comment “By Law.”  What is its significance?

A24.  By writing “By Law” in either or both Blocks 2.f. and 2.g. the participant transfers the benefit for use anytime allowed by law

Q25. Please clarify the law as to when spouses can use the benefit?

A25. The law allows an eligible spouse to begin using the benefit anytime after the participant completes six years of service.  The benefit expires 10 years from the participants last day of active duty.  The ten year date will be adjusted if a participant dies on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability (other DVA rules apply).

Q26. Do designees receive the active duty or veterans benefit amount if benefits are claimed while the participant is on active duty?

A26. The DVA will pay the veterans benefit rate regardless of the participant’s active duty status.

Q27.  What is the value of the benefit?

A27.  The FY06 basic monthly MGIB benefit for full-time training for veterans is $1,034 (indexed annually). Soldiers can transfer up to 18 of 36 months of entitlement equaling $18,612.  This benefit is prorated for part-time enrollment.  For Soldiers who elected the Army College Fund as an enlistment option and/or who have enrolled in/paid   toward the $600 MGIB Additional Opportunity, their expanded benefit (MGIB, ACF, MGIB Additional Opportunity) is transferred.  Soldier must ensure they provide the DVA with a copy of their proof of ACF and of the buy up.

About the author: Stacey is an Army wife of a soldier who joined in 2003. He has since been medically retired but she continues to provide information to Army wives and families to make their adjustment to the Army lifestyle easier. Connect with Stacey: Facebook Twitter Pinterest

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Tony Winn October 5, 2012, 3:34 pm

    I joined the Army on 16 October 1990 and I am still on active duty. I signed up for the Montgomery GI Bill when I enlisted and paid the $1200. I want to transfer the benefits to my spouse and child. Can this be done, and if so, what do I need to do in order to make this happen. Does the GI amount remain the same as it was when I joined or do I get whatever the current rate is now? Any assistance will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  • jess casey September 8, 2014, 1:12 pm

    Where can we find the DD form 2366-2 ? We are on AKO looking for it.

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