GI Bill Fixes Might Help and Hinder

Everything in life comes with some sort of cost, and changes to the Post 9/11 GI Bill are no different.  The adjustments made to the Post 9/11 GI bill haven’t even all become effective yet, and Congress is already looking at changes to the changes.  The Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) has warned Congress that additional modifications to the already stretched system will likely result in backlogs such as the ones experienced by GI Bill recipients during the last overhaul in 2009.

The Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvement Act (GI Bill 2.0) created a nationwide maximum tuition payment of $17,500 per year and this change is set to become effective 1 August 2011.  As the result of this change, veterans, active duty members, and active duty spouses who are currently attending schools whose tuition exceeds this amount will be forced to change schools or be responsible for the cost difference.

In an after-the-fact figuring of the potential hardship, Congress has introduced two bills that will grandfather the changes for students currently using the GI bill at a more expensive university.

Keith Wilson, director of education service for the Veteran’s Benefits Administration, has spoken out against the proposed legislation on the basis that the GI Bill payout system is already stressed and that any further changes will inevitably create more delays and problems..  In a statement to Stars and Stripes, Wilson says:

“This will negatively impact our ability to deliver timely benefits during the crucial fall enrollment period.”

Wilson has presented his testimony to Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity earlier this week.  The sub-committee acknowledged the department’s concerns but was undaunted in moving the H.R. 1383 Restoring G.I. Bill Fairness Act of 2011 to the full House Veterans Affairs Committee, who is expected to take up the legislation as early as Thursday of next week.

A similar legislation has been proposed in the Senate in the form of S. 745.  It was referred to the Committee on Veteran’s Affairs on 6 April and has not yet been considered by the committee.

You can follow the progress of the legislation by clicking on the bill number in the text above, or by using these links:  S. 745 H.R. 1383

It will be interesting to see if either of these pieces of legislation are passed, and how the GI Bill payment system will keep up.  Yet another reason to get Back to Basics and create an emergency fund!

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Richard Smith 8182

    My concern with thee GI Bill, is there is only an alotted “window” of opportunity to USE, this GI Bill, as i am aware of certain applicabilities, where-as, “waiver’s”, could be implemented. My window, was from 9-’90 to 9-‘2000. During my attempt to USE, my GI Bill, i was literally declared DOA, in a head-on collision, myself on a motorcycle with no helmet, into a truck, hauling a generater. was revived to a state of comatose for a period of a week. inducing a following time-period of about 3 year’s for my cognitive-skill’s to come closer to a full-functioning status, to-wit, i cannot find any part of thee VA, who will implement due-process of re-instating at least a portion of my GI Bill to further my education. ?ARE YOU A WORTHY FACET TO MY AID ?

  • Michelle

    I have had a similar situation with regard to my MGIB use as well. FInally, yesterday, I spoke with someone who is trying to send me in a new direction. I was advised to look in the va page on the search bar for “delimiting date” and from what I understand, it is a case by case basis in which they reconsider your dates, due to such an injury/illness, and two other factors for which I can not remember.