Veteran Groups Divide Over Stricter Transfer Rules For GI Bill

There is currently a rift among two of the largest Veteran’s Advocacy groups in the United States over proposed changes to the GI Bill which would put a cap on the time frame through which the family members of service men and women could take advantage of funds earmarked specifically for GI Bill spending. While there was previously no cap, the new rule would only allow service members who have served less than a total of 16 years to take advantage of the financial assistance. So what exactly is the GI Bill and who is arguing for and against this rule change?

  • What Is The GI Bill?
  • What Do The Two Sides Think About The New Rules?
  • What Portion Of The GI Bill Is Used For Service Family Members?

What Is The GI Bill?

The term GI-Bill actually refers to many different programs designed to help service members and their families continue their education at either a reduced or no cost at all. The specific GI Bill in question here is the Post 9/11 GI Bill. This Bill provides up to 100% of the total cost of education for those who have served more than 90 days of active duty after the horrendous terrorist attack that occurred on September 11th, 2001.

What Do The Two Sides Think About The New Rules?

The two sides arguing for and against the proposed rules change are the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars (VFW) and The American Legion. The American Legion argues that this is a benefit earned by all service members regardless of how long they have served. The VFW, on the other hand, states that the GI Bill’s transferable nature was always designed as a type of retention tool instead of a true benefit guaranteed to all service members.

What Portion Of The GI Bill Is Used For Service Family Members?

Currently, the GI Bill funds roughly twelve billion dollars in education expenses each year. Of this twelve billion dollars, roughly $1.8 billion was used to fund the educations of service member’s families. This equates to roughly fifteen percent of this large total. While the future of this proposed change to the rules is uncertain, it is certain that it will have a lasting impact on thousands of families across the United States regardless of the final ruling.

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