President Trump has recently signed the The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2017, also known as the "Forever GI Bill".
Listed below are the 11 changes to the GI Bill:
1. There’s no longer an expiration date-Previously veterans had to use their Post-9/11 GI Bill within 15 years of their last 90-day period of active-duty service. This requirement is going away. This portion of law will apply to anyone who left the military after Jan. 1, 2013. It also applies to spouses receiving education benefits through Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship and families of service members who were killed in the line of duty since Sept. 10, 2001
2. Purple Heart recipients will receive more benefits- Anyone who has received a Purple Heart on or after Sept. 11, 2001 will receive 100% of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Previously these recipients without a service connected disability who did not reach 36 months of service were not eligible for the full amount. This will go into effect in August 2018.
3. More people eligible for Yellow Ribbon- The Forever GI Bill will expand eligibility for this program to surviving spouses or children of service members in August 2018 and active-duty service members in August 2022.
4. There’s some extra money-and time- for STEM degrees- With various degrees extending past four years the new law authorizes an additional year of funds. Scholarships up to 30,000 will be available for users beginning August 2018. Only veterans or surviving family members of deceased service members are eligible.
5. Vets hurt by school shutdowns will get benefits back- GI Bill users whose schools have abruptly closed since January 2015, for credits earned at these institutions that did not transfer to new schools. Benefits will be restored to these victims. A semester’s worth of reimbursement for GI Bill users affected by future school closures, and UP TO FOUR months of housing stipend.
6. VA will measure eligibility for benefits differently- Starting August 2020 90-days-to-six-month window is equal to 50% of benefits. Service Member with at least six months and less than 18 months of service will be eligible for 60% of benefits. This change is mainly intended for reservist.
7. Reservists can count more of their service toward eligibility-Starting August 2018 National Guard and Reserve members can include time spent receiving medical care or recovering from injuries received on active duty toward GI Bill eligibility.
8. Housing Stipend will decrease slightly- A 1 percent decrease in housing stipends over the next 5 years will cover the expansions. This change will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018 and will ONLY apply to service members who enroll in GI Bill benefits AFTER that date.
9. Benefits can get transferred after death- Beginning August 2018, if a dependent who received transferred benefits dies before using all of the benefits, the service member or veteran can transfer remaining benefits to another dependent.
10. Surviving family members will get more money but less time- An education stipend increase of $200.00 will be given to surviving spouses and children of service member that are receiving Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance. Instead of the 45 months of education, individuals will receive 36 months beginning in August 2018.
11. School certifying officials must be trained- Schools with more than 20 veteran students will undergo training.