I have always said that the New Post 9/11 GI Bill is too generous and that our country just doesn’t have the money to pay for what has been promised. In my opinion, it is just a matter of time before Congress begins changing the terms of the current deal.
It seems that the idea of altering the GI bill has come to some other people, including at least one Senator. Senator Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, has proposed legislation that, if passed, will begin the changes that I think are inevitable. Senator Akaka’s proposal would require the Department of Defense (DOD) to reimburse the Department of Veteran’s Affairs for any payments that are made on behalf of family members (via transferred benefits.) As it currently stands, the DOD has the ability to make the rules but the Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for paying for the program. If the DOD becomes responsible for the costs of transferred benefits, it will have little choice but to change the transfer eligibility rules.
According to remarks made by Akaka on June 21, Congress never expected the DOD to make such generous transfer rules. Akaka’s proposal is contained in Senate Bill 3447, The Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvement of 2010. The bill also contains improvements of the GI bill that will help veterans use the benefits they have earned.
Many people believe that this part of the bill will be removed before the bill comes to a vote, but I believe that it is a sign of the future of the GI Bill that Senator Akaka even proposed such a change. I feel so frustrated for people who are making plans based upon the promises of the New Post 9/11 GI Bill and I promise that I will keep you up to date as things develop.