Rounds introduces bill to give survivors of service members flexibility to modify education benefits

The survivors of deceased service members would be granted greater flexibility when it comes to transferring Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits under bipartisan legislation recently introduced by U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD).

No changes to education benefit allotments can be made if a service member dies after transferring a benefit to family members under current laws. The Increasing Transferability of Entitlement to Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Act would address that by allowing survivors previously designated to receive benefits to transfer those benefits onto other designated survivors.

“The decision to serve our country in the military affects more than just the service member; their entire family makes sacrifices as well,” Rounds, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said. “Providing our military families with the flexibility to manage their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits after losing a loved one is but one small step we can take to show them our gratitude and appreciation.”

Rounds introduced the bill with U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

Under the legislation, benefits could only be transferred between survivors who had already been designated to receive benefits by a service member; no new survivors could be added.

“While our service men and women and their families can never be fully repaid for the sacrifices they make to defend our freedoms, the Increasing Transferability of Entitlement to Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Act is but one reform that can make their lives a little easier,” Rounds said.