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Booker unveils bill to extend education benefits for veterans

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U.S. Sen. Cory Booker.
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. - ()

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., has announced the introduction of legislation that would extend educational benefits for student veterans.

The Veteran Education and Transfer Extension Act would address critical gaps in current U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs education benefits by expanding coverage for remedial courses, allowing veterans to transfer benefits to future dependents and ending the restriction on education benefits transfer for longtime service members.

Most student veterans receive education benefits through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which grants 36 months of educational entitlement to veterans after they separate from the military. But those 36 months do not include the time needed for service members to take remedial courses, which are often required for students who are out of school for a period of time.

In July 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that eligibility to transfer educational benefits to a dependent will now be limited to service members with less than 16 years of total active-duty or selected reserve service, where previously there were no restrictions.

The VET Extension Act addresses these issues by increasing the months of assistance available to qualifying veterans by the lesser of 15 months, or in the case of an individual who has already completed remedial courses, the full-time equivalent number of months of educational assistance that they used to complete such courses.

The act would also expand the ability to transfer benefits to dependents.

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David Hutter

David Hutter

David Hutter grew up in Darien, Conn., and covers higher education, transportation and manufacturing for NJBIZ. He can be reached at dhutter@njbiz.com.

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