Forever GI Bill Expands VA Educational Benefits

US Department of Veterans Affairs

WASHINGTON — Effective Aug. 1, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implemented 15 more provisions of the Harry W. Colmery Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also referred to as the Forever GI Bill.

These provisions, in addition to the 13 implemented since the law was signed less than a year ago, will have an immediate and positive impact on Veterans and their families using VA benefits to pursue their educational goals.

“We are excited to get the word out about implementation of the provisions,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “From the day the Forever GI Bill was signed into law, VA, in collaboration with Veterans service organizations, state approving agencies and school certifying officials, has taken an expansive approach to ensure earned benefits are provided to Veterans in a timely, high-quality and efficient way.”

Some of the provisions that began Aug. 1 include:

  • Recipients of a Purple Heart awarded on or after Sept. 11, 2001, are now eligible for full Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits for up to 36 months, if not already entitled.
  • Military and Veteran families who have lost a family member can now reallocate transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.
  • Additional Guard and Reserve service now counts toward Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility.
  • Post-9/11 GI Bill students may now receive monthly housing allowance for any days they are not on active duty, rather than having to wait until the next month; and
  • Expansion of the Yellow Ribbon Program, which makes additional funds available for GI Bill students, now covers more students.

More provisions are scheduled related to science, technology, engineering and math benefit extensions; increased benefit levels; a pilot program for high-technology training geared toward “upskilling” Veterans to enter the workforce quickly; and another expansion of the Yellow Ribbon Program, which will be implemented by Aug. 1, 2022.

For more information, visit the Forever GI Bill – Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act page.

Visit the Education and Training webpage for more information. For questions about GI Bill benefits, call the Education Call Center at 888-442-4551 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday. Join the conversation via Facebookor follow Veterans Benefits Administration on Twitter.

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