August 2018 Updates To The Forever GI Bill

On August 16th, 2017, the Forever GI Bill was signed into law. This new bill brings about some pretty big changes to Veterans educational benefits.

While some of the changes started right away, others had plans to start on August 1st of this year.

Here is what recently was added to the Forever GI Bill:

  • The entitlement charges for licensing and certification exams under the Post 9/11 GI Bill will be prorated based on what the fee is for each particular test.
  • The amount of entitlement that new eligible individuals will receive under the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA) will go from 45 months to 36 months.
  • 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 will be able to 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 will be 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 would be able to receive those payments on the day of your discharge.
  • You will 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 will develop a pilot program that will provide veterans who are eligible to be able to enroll in high technology education programs. The VA will have to determine if 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 will be able to receive Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits at a 100% benefit level for up to 36 months.
  • Guard and Reserve members will be 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.

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

  • The VA will provide up to nine months of additional Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to those who are eligible who are also enrolled in a STEM program. August 1, 2019.
  • 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.

Other changes coming to the Forever GI Bill: