Post 9/11 GI Bill provides added benefits to veterans

Published 7:47 pm Wednesday, August 12, 2009

For many veterans, Aug. 1, 2009, was an extremely important day.

That’s when the educational benefits in the Post 9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act took effect.

Randy Ross, Pike County veteran’s affairs officer, said the new Post 9/11 GI Bill will provide educational benefits for service members who have served on active duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 10, 2001.

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These benefits are tiered based on the number of days served on active duty, creating a benefit package that gives current and previously activated National Guard and Reserve members the same benefits as active duty service members.

The new GI Bill is extremely beneficial because it has provisions where some veterans can get an extra year of educational benefits and others will be allowed to transfer educational benefits to spouses and dependent children.

“We’ve had a lot or inquires because veterans who meet eligibility requirements may transfer their educational benefit to a spouse or their children if they don’t want to or need to take advantage of the benefit themselves,” Ross said.

“This is very important because if offers the opportunity for these veterans to still use the educational benefits to which they are entitled.”

The new GI Bill pays eligible individuals’ tuition and fees directly to the school not to exceed the maximum instate fee at a public institution of higher learning.

“The bill also allows for a monthly housing allowance at the location of the school and a stipend of $1,000 for books and supplies,” Ross said.

“Again, this is an important and beneficial bill for our veterans. Those think they have met the eligibility requirements should check with their veterans affairs office to see if and how they might benefit from this bill.”

The Pike County Veterans Affairs Office is accepting applications for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Once the VA has received an application they will determine the veteran’s eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and issue him or her a Certificate of Eligibility.

Eligible veterans can apply using the VA Form 22-1990. The form includes the instructions needed to begin the process.