The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has something to worry about in HR 3813 (The Veterans Training Act). HR 3813 looks to expand benefits of the Post-9/11 GI Bill to include vocational and technical training. The Post-9/11 GI Bill does not currently include these types of training as the previous version of the GI Bill does.
The VA, however, is asking congress not to make any changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill until next year. While there may be very good recommendations for changes to the bill, the VA is currently developing an automated benefits system and they feel changing anything before December will interfere with the system’s functionality.
The VA’s main concern is changing the Post-9/11 GI Bill before December, prior to a successful test of the system, will interfere with veteran students drawing benefits this summer and fall. Numerous changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill have been suggested to The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, such as:
- Increased fees paid to colleges for processing veterans’ education claims;
- Expand vocational education; and
- Pay for college preparatory courses.
It isn’t that vocational training for veterans is not supported. The VA’s issues with vocational and technical training are:
- How the VA pays for vocational schools when the Post-9/11 GI Bill pays benefits based on term-by-term tuition; and
- Possible repayment issues should a student veteran fail out of a vocational program.
No matter what happens, according to VA Secretary Shinseki, veteran students have earned the best possible education this country can provide them. Hopefully these benefits will one day be available to all those who deserve them.
Learn more about possible changes to Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.