Cory Booker Intros Bill to Extend Educational Benefits for Student Vets
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) on Wednesday introduced a bill that would extend educational benefits for student veterans. The Veteran Education and Transfer Extension Act would address critical gaps in current Department of Veterans Affairs education benefits by expanding coverage for remedial courses, allowing veterans to transfer benefits to future dependents and ending the restriction on education benefits transfer for longtime service members. Most student veterans receive education benefits through the post-9/11 GI Bill, which grants 36 months of educational entitlement to veterans after they separate from the military. But those 36 months do not include the time needed for servicemembers to take remedial courses, which are often required for students who are out of school for a period of time. In July of this year, the Department of Defense announced that eligibility to transfer educational benefits to a dependent will now be limited to service members with less than 16 years of total active-duty or selected reserve service, where previously there were no restrictions. Booker’s bill addresses these issues by increasing the months of assistance available to qualifying veterans by the lesser of 15 months, or in the case of an individual who has already completed remedial courses, the full-time equivalent number of months of educational assistance that they used to complete such courses. "By expanding education benefits for the men and women who served in our Armed Forces ... we are boosting both their employment rate and earning potential after graduation,” said Booker. “It’s vital that we ensure our veterans are empowered for success as civilians, and this legislation takes an important step in fulfilling that commitment.” More here.