Bill Would Strip Benefits From Vets Using GI Bill

U.S. military veterans attending college may lose their unemployment checks. The curbing of GI Bill spending was approved by Congress in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

In December 2015, lawmakers approved of the NDAA, which included a provision to cut off unemployment insurance to veterans who are using the Post-9/11 GI Bill education funds at the same time, Military Times reports.

Only veterans who were separated from the military with an honorable discharge will be allowed to continue reaping both sets of benefits.

Currently, veterans utilizing Post-9/11 GI Bill education payouts receive up to $4,000 a month. These education payments include a living stipend.

The NDAA did not specify when and how this change will be implemented. Until the Labor Department releases a timeline plan, states have no obligation to enforce the new measure.

Officials state that this change in benefits “will only apply to a small segment of transitioning military who get Post-9/11 benefits.”

The Post-9/11 GI Bill has paid $58 billion to take care of 1.5 million veterans since 2009, according to Politico.

A substantial amount of these funds have gone to for-profit colleges that have been penalized by federal and state agencies for malfeasance.

Still, Veterans Affairs has declined to rescind its approval of any of these for-profit colleges despite being enabled with a program by the Obama administration just for that purpose.

The VA has stated that it has ruled out 32 different schools from benefiting from GI Bill payouts, but has declined to name any of them.

Some veterans have had their benefits taken advantage of by these predatory for-profit colleges.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson of Washington called upon the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald to give victims of these colleges their educations benefits back, according to the Maple Valley Reporter.

“Our veterans earned these benefits by serving our country,” Ferguson stated. “These institutions specifically preyed upon them, using false promises and dishonest statistics about their programs and job placement.”

Sources: Maple Valley ReporterMilitary Times, Politico / Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Tomora Clark / Military Times

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