Over its final couple of weeks in session this year, the Senate has made many important decisions. The bill to improve the Post-9/11 GI Bill was believed by most to be dead in the water. The Senate however, not only revived the bill, it approved the bill. The vote resulted in the Post-9/11 GI Bill getting some very necessary upgrades. The majority of the changes the bill would accomplish would not become active until 12 months following the date the bill becomes law, however.
Unless the House picks up the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 (S 3447) it will sit where it is until next year. The changes the bill will make if it is passed through the house, are a few years in the making and benefit both veterans and their dependents. Some changes are more significant than others, but all of them are necessary.
To begin with, the list of classes the Post-9/11 GI Bill can be used to attend now includes both technical and vocational classes. Further, both active-duty soldiers and their spouses will be able to draw $1,000 every year to be used for books. Along those same lines, the bill will supply living stipends for those veteran-students attending distance learning classes. The bill also addresses an issue many veterans have complained about being a major flaw with the Post-9/11 GI Bill. If passed, the bill will enlarge the pool of Guard and Reserve soldiers eligible for educational benefits.
The greatest change written into the bill is changing the method in which the amount of tuition refunds for which veteran-students are eligible is determined. Additionally, the bill establishes a $20,000 limit for tuition across the nation and does away with the state-by-state variable rate now in use.
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.