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Significant changes to the GI Bill on its 77th anniversary

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 9:35 AM CDT
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(WSAW) - The historic GI Bill provided a wide range of benefits to veterans returning from World War II, including education and vocational training, low-cost home loans, unemployment payments and an expansion of veterans’ health care.

From the Montgomery GI Bill to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the VA offers education and training benefits to meet a wide range of education goals. VA administers five educational benefits programs, the largest of which is the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Since its inception on August 2009, VA has provided more than $117.4 billion of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to over 2.3 million trainees.

The multiplier effect of VA education benefits reflects the fact that just a 1% increase in Post-9/11 GI Bill usage is associated with the following outcomes nationally – 62,000 new jobs gained in the first year alone, $2.82 billion increase in real GDP, 26,000 people lifted out of poverty and 58 times the Return on Investment on Real Gross Domestic Product. As evident, the GI Bill will play a pivotal role in rebuilding the U.S. workforce and the economy.

The VA’s modernization initiatives for the GI Bill are leveraging people, processes and technology to provide benefits, more efficiently, through a new Digital GI Bill and the highest standards of world-class customer service. It’s goals are three-fold to:

· Expand opportunities for service members, veterans and eligible family members to pursue their academic goals

· Enhance the nation’s economic strength with innovative programs that support employment in high demand fields

· Enrich lives by giving beneficiaries the tools they need to further their education to lead to fulfilling careers.

Charmain Bogue is the VA’s senior executive in the area of education benefits. She is among the most visible and popular top executives at the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. Bogue joined Sunrise 7 to talk about recent significant changes to the GI Bill, which is incredibly good news for veterans and service members and their families. Most are not aware that they can receive training for new high demand careers, including job placement and housing stipends while attending college up until age 67.

There is a new feature in allowing the transfer of GI Bill education benefits to veterans’ dependents and family members, for the first time including stepchildren and wards in their care to receive unused benefits.

Some changes to the GI Bill are large— in response to the COVID-19 pandemic—such as the $17 billion included in the American Rescue Plan in March to support veterans. Others are part of ongoing modernization and digitization, making it extremely easy and fast to receive these benefits in time for the next school semester.

For more information, check out VA Education Service and the Veteran Roadmap Infograph

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