10 U.S. Code § 16163a - Authority to transfer unused education benefits to family members
Authority to transfer unused education benefits to family members
Subject to the provisions of this section, the Secretary concerned may permit, at such Secretary’s sole discretion, a member described in subsection (b) who is entitled to basic educational assistance under this chapter to elect to transfer to one or more of the dependents specified in subsection (c) a portion of such member’s entitlement to such assistance, subject to the limitation under subsection (d).
(b)Eligible Members.—A member referred to in subsection (a) is a member of the armed forces who, at the time of the approval of the member’s request to transfer entitlement to basic educational assistance under this section, has completed at least—
(c)Eligible Dependents.—A member approved to transfer an entitlement to basic educational assistance under this section may transfer the member’s entitlement as follows:
To the member’s spouse.
(d)Limitation on Months of Transfer.—
The total number of months of entitlement transferred by a member under this section may not exceed 36 months. The Secretary of Defense may prescribe regulations that would limit the months of entitlement that may be transferred under this section to no less than 18 months.
(e)Designation of Transferee.—A member transferring an entitlement to basic educational assistance under this section shall—
designate the number of months of such entitlement to be transferred to each such dependent; and
(f)Time for Transfer; Revocation and Modification.—
Subject to the time limitation for use of entitlement under section 16164, a member approved to transfer entitlement to basic educational assistance under this section may transfer such entitlement only while serving as a member of the armed forces when the transfer is executed.
A member transferring entitlement under this section may modify or revoke at any time the transfer of any unused portion of the entitlement so transferred. The modification or revocation of the transfer of entitlement under this paragraph shall be made by the submittal of written notice of the action to both the Secretary concerned and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Entitlement transferred under this section may not be treated as marital property, or the asset of a marital estate, subject to division in a divorce or other civil proceeding.
(g)Commencement of Use.—A dependent to whom entitlement to basic educational assistance is transferred under this section may not commence the use of the transferred entitlement until—
(1) in the case of entitlement transferred to a spouse, the completion by the member making the transfer of at least—
six years of service in the armed forces; or
(2) in the case of entitlement transferred to a child, both—
(A) the completion by the member making the transfer of at least—
ten years of service in the armed forces; or
(h)Additional Administrative Matters.—
The use of any entitlement to basic educational assistance transferred under this section shall be charged against the entitlement of the member making the transfer at the rate of one month for each month of transferred entitlement that is used.
Except as provided under subsection (e)(2) and subject to paragraphs (5) and (6), a dependent to whom entitlement is transferred under this section is entitled to basic educational assistance under this chapter in the same manner as the member from whom the entitlement was transferred.
The monthly rate of educational assistance payable to a dependent to whom entitlement is transferred under this section shall be the monthly amount payable under sections 16162 and 16162a to the member making the transfer.
The death of a member transferring an entitlement under this section shall not affect the use of the entitlement by the dependent to whom the entitlement is transferred.
Notwithstanding section 16164(a)(2), a child to whom entitlement is transferred under this section may use the benefit without regard to the 10-year delimiting date, but may not use any entitlement so transferred after attaining the age of 26 years.
The administrative provisions of this chapter shall apply to the use of entitlement transferred under this section, except that the dependent to whom the entitlement is transferred shall be treated as the eligible member for purposes of such provisions.
(1)Joint and several liability.—
In the event of an overpayment of basic educational assistance with respect to a dependent to whom entitlement is transferred under this section, the dependent and the member making the transfer shall be jointly and severally liable to the United States for the amount of the overpayment for purposes of section 3685 of title 38.
(2)Failure to complete service agreement.—
Except as provided in paragraph (3), if an individual transferring entitlement under this section fails to complete the service agreed to by the individual under subsection (b)(1) in accordance with the terms of the agreement of the individual under that subsection, the amount of any transferred entitlement under this section that is used by a dependent of the individual as of the date of such failure shall be treated as an overpayment of educational assistance under paragraph (1).
The Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, shall prescribe regulations for purposes of this section.
(k)Secretary Concerned Defined.—
For purposes of this section, the term “Secretary concerned” has the meaning given in section 101(a)(9) in the case of a member of the armed forces.
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