The Forever Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill July 31st to expand the post-9/11 GI Bill and eliminate the 15-year time limit on the use of education benefits for new recruits who enlist after January 2018.

The bill would also eliminate the three years of active-duty requirement for recipients of the Purple Heart, and ease requirements for GI Bill eligibility for National Guard members and reservists, survivors and dependents.

The use-it-or-lose-it time limit of 15 years would remain in place for current post-9/11 veterans who served three years on active duty.

The vote was 405-0 in a rare display of bipartisanship in Congress on behalf of veterans seeking higher education after active duty service. The bill still has to pass the Senate and be signed by President Trump. However, with no opposition to the bill expressed during the brief floor debate in the House, it is likely the bill will thrive.

The feeling is that this bill will empower service members, survivors and dependents for generations to come. For the first time in the history of the GI Bill, they can carry these benefits with them throughout their lives, by allowing veterans and their eligible family members to choose when the pursuit of additional education is right for them.

According to VA officials passage of the bill will require major upgrades to Department of Veterans Affairs information technology systems to administer the reforms. This has caused some concerns for implementation and execution of the program.

For information on VA and State Benefits contact Montgomery County Veterans Service at 936-539-7842 or via email at vetsvc@mctx.org, also visit us on FaceBook.