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What Did the New Post 9/11 GI Bill Legislation Change?


Q: What did the new Post 9/11 GI Bill legislation change?

A: It’s official – President Obama signed GI Bill 2.0 (also known as the Post 9/11 GI Bill Fix) into law. As with all legislation it has some good and bad points. Below is a brief synopsis of the highlights (and lowlights) from this latest legislation –

Highlights:

  • Both AGR and Title 32 time to count toward Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility, where before National Guard members didn’t qualify unless they went on a Title 10 active duty order.
  • Active duty servicemembers and their eligible spouses will be able to draw up to $1,000 annually in the book stipend.
  • Online-only students now qualify for a housing allowance of up to $673.50 a month for full-time enrollment.
  • Veterans seeking attending public schools at all degree levels – undergraduate through doctorate – will have 100 percent of the tuition and fees paid by VA. The in-state limits were eliminated.
  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill will be able to be used by veterans for vocational, technical, certificate, on-the-job-training, and apprenticeship programs.
  • Placement exams to apply for school, such as LSAT, GRE, GMAT, SAT and ACT, will be covered under the Post 9/11 GI Bill for veterans who need to take them to get into college.
  • Eligible NOAA and USPHS personnel will now be able to use the Post-9/11 GI Bill transfer option to transfer benefits to dependents.
  • Voc-Rehab participants will be able to use their New GI Bill housing stipend instead of the VR&E subsistence rate.

Lowlights:

  • Break pay (or interval pay) will end. Veterans will have to find other means of financial support during these non-school periods to pay their living expenses. The good thing is entitlement will not be charged for the non-school periods.
  • Veterans enrolled at less than full-time will see their Post 9/11 GI Bill housing stipend prorated to match the number of credit hours taken each term. No longer will the 51% rate of pursuit get the same as 100% rate of pursuit.
  • Private school tuition will be capped at $17,500 a year, so veterans having tuition exceeding that amount will have to find alternative means to pay for the difference. If the school is a Yellow Ribbon school and the veteran is at the 100% tier, that program will still apply.
  • These new rules will again throw the VA into disarray, so expect longer processing times and payment errors. Some forecasters are estimating it will the VA take up to 18 months to adapt the application and enrollment process to match the new rules. Here we go again!

From one of my sources, work on GI Bill 3.0 is already started to try and fix some of the unintended consequences of GI Bill 2.0.


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