Friday, May 11, 2007

"Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2007"

Especially if you're a vet, drop by the junior Senator from Virginia's site and commend his legislation. Proud to say that my Senator, Claire McCaskill, is one of the co-sponsors. Let your own senator hear it, if he or she is not. Finals are over. Summer classes begin on Monday. Enjoying a break in the meantime.

Section 1: Short title - "Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2007."

Section 2: Educational Assistance for Members of the Armed Forces Who Serve After September 11, 2001. This section adds a new Chapter 33 (entitled "Post 9/11 Educational Assistance") to Title 38 of the U.S. Code, with the following new sections:

Section 3301: Definitions. This section provides definitions of key terms.

Section 3311: Educational assistance for service in the Armed Forces after September 11, 2001 - entitlement. This section prescribes multiple categories of veterans entitled to educational benefits under this Act. In general, to qualify, veterans must have served at least two years of active duty, with at least some period of active duty time served beginning on or after September 11, 2001.

Section 3312: Educational assistance - duration. Veterans are entitled to receive educational assistance for a period of time that is linked to their entitlement, as measured by Section 3311 above. In general, veterans may not receive assistance for more than a total of 36 months, which equals 4 academic years.

Section 3313: Educational assistance - payment and amount. In general, veterans may receive monetary assistance to pursue an approved program of education as follows: (i) payments covering the established charges of the program, (ii) room and board, and (iii) a monthly stipend of $1,000. [Note that these are basically the same benefits paid to World War II veterans.] This Section prescribes the timing of such payments and revised payment guidelines related to less-than-half-time education, apprenticeships, on-the-job-training, correspondence school, and flight training.

Section 3314: Tutorial assistance. Veterans may receive additional payment for tutorial assistance, not to exceed $100/month, for a maximum of 12 months, or until a maximum of $1,200 is used.

Section 3315: Licensure and certification tests. Veterans may receive payment for one licensing or certification test, not to exceed the lesser of $2,000 or the test fee.

Section 3321: Time limitation for use of and eligibility for entitlement. Veterans have 15 years (as measured under the provisions of this Section) to use their educational entitlement.

Section 3322: Bar to duplication of educational assistance benefits. Veterans who receive educational benefits under this Act may not receive concurrent assistance under another similar program; instead, veterans must elect one program over another.

Section 3323: Administration. This Section: (i) gives guidance on interpreting operative terms, and (ii) instructs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide information to veterans regarding this Act's educational benefits, and to prescribe regulations to carry out this Act.

Section 3324: Allocation of administration and costs. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall administer this program, and payments shall be made from funds made available to the Department of Veterans Affairs for the payment of readjustment benefits. This Section also prescribes ways for veterans to choose to elect into this Act's program from the existing Montgomery G.I. Bill program.

1 comment:

  1. Senator Webb’s bill is likely to be referred to the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. Webb serves on the Veterans Affairs Committee, as well as the Joint Economic, Armed Services, and Foreign Relations Committees.
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