Forever GI Bill Updates

Forever GI Bill Updates for 2019

While some of the Forever GI Bill changes went in to effect right away, other changes are being slowly implemented and will continue to do so for the next few years. Here are the latest Forever GI Bill updates as well as what has already been implemented in 2018 and 2019, and what is ahead in the future.

2018 Forever GI Bill Updates

  • The entitlement charges for licensing and certification exams under the Post 9/11 GI Bill are now prorated based on what the fee is for each particular test.
  • The amount of entitlement that new eligible individuals can receive under the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA) has gone from 45 months to 36 months.

RELATED: GI Bill Transfer Changes Delayed

  • If you transfer your entitlement to a dependent who passes away; you can then designate a new dependent. If the veteran dies, the dependent who received the transferred entitlement can designate a new eligible dependent of that Veteran to transfer any remaining entitlement to.
  • The information about the amount of educational assistance you are entitled to must be made available to educational institutions. You can elect for the VA to not provide this information.
  • The VA is now prorating monthly housing allowance under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Before this, those who leave active duty couldn’t receive a housing allowance until the beginning of the next full month after they were released from active duty. Now, you can receive those payments on the day of your discharge.
  • You can now use the zip code of the campus where you physically attend most of your classes, not the location of the school where you are enrolled.
  • The VA has developed a pilot program that will provide veterans who are eligible to be able to enroll in high technology education programs. The VA will determine if the programs provide training and skills that are sought out by employers who are in a relevant field or a technology.
  • Those who were awarded a Purple Heart on or after Septemeber 11, 2001 can now receive Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits at a 100% benefit level for up to 36 months.
  • Guard and Reserve members are able to receive Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits under 10 U.S.C 12304a and 12304b.
  • If a reservist was ordered on active duty to receive authorized medical care, to be medically evaluated for a disability, or to complete a DOD health care study, on or after September 11th, 2001, that time will now count as active duty towards Post 9/11 GI Bill eligibility.
  • Fry scholarship, as well as Purple Heart recipients, can use the Yellow Ribbon program.

2019 Forever GI Bill Updates

  • Because college degrees in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math take longer than the typical four years to complete, the Forever GI Bill authorizes an additional school year of GI Bill funds, on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship, which is named for one of the first women who served in Congress, will be available for up to $30,000 for eligible GI Bill users in those fields. This will also include those who need teaching certification after completing their degree in the above fields. Students will need to have completed at least 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours toward a degree that requires more than 128 semester hours, or 192 quarter hours. In 2019, they had $25 million in funds to use for this scholarship, and by 2023 the amount will increase to $100 million. This will only be for the veteran or surviving family member of a deceased veteran, not for dependents using transferred benefits.

For a list of Yellow Ribbon Schools, go here.

Future Forever GI Bill Updates

In the next few years, there will be additional changes to the Forever GI Bill. Here is what you can expect:

  • They will eliminate the 40% benefit level and will expand the 60% benefit level under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. August 1, 2020.
  • Active duty service members will be able to use the Yellow Ribbon Program. August 1, 2022.

If you are interested in more information on the Forever GI Bill or would like to apply, please visit the VA website.

Additional Forever GI Bill Updates:





About the author

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Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.