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Connolly sponsors bill expanding eligibility for servicemembers to transfer education benefits

Today, Dec. 15, US Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and John Katko (R-NY) introduced the Education Assistance to Realign New Eligibilities for Dependents (EARNED) Act. This bipartisan legislation will give 20-year servicemembers eligibility to transfer entitlement to post-9/11 educational assistance.

Congressman Connolly was quoted in a news release as saying, “The EARNED Act builds on the successful 9/11 GI bill, by ensuring these brave servicemembers have the option to pass along their education benefits to their loved ones. It is a clear win-win. We have another tool for retaining talent and ensuring a strong military, and it allows us to uphold our promise to veterans who have served so honorably.”

Currently, the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 allows certain servicemembers to transfer all or some of their unused education benefits to their spouse or dependent children. The EARNED Act would expand that eligibility to any active duty or retired member of the Armed Forces who has at least 20 years of active-duty service, including at least 90 days of such service after September 10, 2001.

According to the news release from Connolly’s office, the ability to transfer education benefits has traditionally been used as a retention tool.

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