Despite it being the most inclusive veterans’ educational benefit bill since the Montgomery GI Bill, the Post-9/11 GI Bill got off to a rocky start. The bill has undergone little to no change since then, but those times have ended. Following a late year passage through the Senate in the end of 2010, President Obama recently signed into law the Post-9/11 Veteran’s Education Assistance Improvement Act of 2010 (GI Bill 2.0).
GI Bill 2.0 will implement many necessary changes and improvements from its predecessor and will be positive for most, but they do come at a price. The passing of this act will provide benefits for approximately 400,000 veterans who did not have access under the Post-9/11 GI Bill (GI Bill 1.0). Limited budgets however, mean in order to provide educational benefits to these who did not have them before, the amount of benefits provided to some veterans currently receiving them were cut.
In contrast to GI Bill 1.0. GI Bill 2.0 allows a housing allowance for those veterans taking online courses. Under GI Bill 1.o these were not allowed and consequently, disabled veterans unable to attend classes and therefore limited to enrolling in online classes did not collect a housing allowance.
Probably the biggest amended benefit implemented under GI Bill 2.0 is providing educational benefits for National Guard veterans who performed full-time service. These previously excluded veterans alone number more than 85,000, and this number includes Guardsmen deployed to the Gulf of Mexico to help with the oil spill.
Another huge change in GI Bill 2.0, which will benefit about 6,000 veterans, is allowing educational benefits to be used for tuition at vocational schools, non-college degree programs, on-the-job training, flight and correspondence training.
With ups come downs. More veterans than ever qualify for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) educational benefits. To fund these new benefits, allotted housing allowances were cut. Housing allowances will only be paid for those days the veteran-students are actually attending school. Additionally, veterans’ housing allowances will be pro-rated by the amount of credit hours taken.
Benefits will no longer be paid during mandated school breaks and private school tuition will be capped at $17,500. With these new changes, it is imperative veterans ensure their benefits are properly allotted.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact LaVan & Neidenberg. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.