Veterans Using G.I. Bill Might Get Extra Year

| December 27, 2020

Currently, those who opted for the new G.I. Bill forfeit their Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits. However, Jim Rudisill sued the VA over this policy. His argument is that the VA misread the law. Instead of giving up their Montgomery G.I. Bill, veterans keep it. The VA argues that this is “double dipping”. However, both benefits would not be used at the same time. When one benefit runs out, assuming three years worth of benefits were used, then the veteran would have one extra year of benefits under the other program (four years total).

From The Military Times:

A final decision from the latest court is expected sometime in the next few months, possibly in time for students looking to enroll in college courses in fall 2021.

Either side will be able to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, but the standard for getting that case heard may be unrealistically high, especially if the courts rule against VA officials again. The Supreme Court declines the vast majority of cases seeking a hearing, allowing the lower court’s ruling to stand as law.

For Rudisill, the case represents a chance to get partial compensation for his current degree program at another theological school, coursework aimed at helping him follow a new goal of being a minister to veterans and first-responders.

But for an estimated 1.7 million veterans with some Montgomery GI Bill eligibility left, Rudisill’s lawyers argue, the courts’ rulings could be life changing.

“I’ve heard from a number of other veterans who this will help,” he said. “I’ve heard from Army buddies, through friends of friends, that this may affect them as well.”

Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits program, eligible veterans receive 36 months of tuition payouts, housing stipends and other financial assistance.

The Montgomery GI Bill benefits program offers far less money, but still has several thousands of dollars annually to offer veterans for tuition costs if they paid into the program at the start of their military service.

For veterans like Rudisill, that’s the difference between being able to afford the costs of a graduate degree program or dropping their education goals.

Military Times has the full article here.

Category: Veterans in the news, Veterans Issues, Veterans' Affairs Department

Comments (13)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Commissar says:

    I wonder what the remedy would be for those that they denied.

    • Commissar says:

      I guess they would just credit them with additional months of benefits.

      But if it had been more than ten years since leaving the service do they need to fight to get them as expired benefits?

      • Roh-Dog says:

        “If your service ended on or after January 1, 2013, your benefits won’t expire thanks to a new law called the Forever GI Bill – Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act. Some letters you receive from us may not yet reflect this change. Thank you for your patience as we work to update our systems.”
        On 16AUG17 The Greatest President in Our Time, Donald John Trump signed the Harry W. Colliery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 into law.

        Prior sep would be 15 years use-or-lose.

        https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3218/actions?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22hr+3218%22%5D%7D&r=1

        Are you sure you’ve gone to college?

        • Roh-Dog says:

          ^Colmery. That second reference to the Act was a direct cut-and-paste that Safari decided needed to be autocorrected but didn’t ‘correct’ the first.

          I hate technology, I don’t need its help to look fucking stupid.

        • Commissar says:

          Roh,

          Despite the “are you sure you went to college” remark, I think you are trying to help…

          However, as far as I can tell the forever bill applies only to the Post 9/11 GI bill and not the Montgomery GI Bill.

          The lawsuit is about having to give up the Montgomery GI Bill benefits in order to receive the Post 9/11 GI bill benefits.

          The question remains as to what happens if the lawsuit is successful.

          I assume anyone that had to give up their remaining Montgomery GI bill benefits to receive the post 9/11 benefits will be credited with those remaining benefits…

          However, if their benefits have expired (the GI bill had a 10 year expiration date from last period of active duty)…

          I was wondering if they would extend the expiration date when crediting it or if they would say…”well, you are entitled to the befits we made you give up but now it is too late because they expired”….

          Your response is useful information, but I don’t think it applies to the Montgomery GI bill and thus it does not answer the question.

        • 11B-Mailclerk says:

          He didn’t go to college. He went to Berkeley instead.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tuition Assistance (TA) rules still apply… won’t pay for a degree at a level you already have and won’t pay for a PhD. (Enter w/ a master’s and you won’t get anything back if you elect G.I. Bill… unless you transfer it to a wife/kid and they don’t have a master’s yet.)

    • Green Thumb says:

      I used the year of my plus up (3 years Chapter 31 for my enlistment and one additional year of the New GI Bill – plus up – as an Officer) towards a PhD.

  3. Prior Service says:

    Still active duty here. I was told I had to use up all my Montgomery GI Bill before I could get a one – year benefit of the new GI Bill. Then the VA insisted I had one day, yes, one day, of benefits remaining and that I couldn’t just waive it. It took them two years to admit that I had used all of it. Then and only then could I put my daughter on the enrollment for it, thus incurring the four year service obligation, which will finally be up in February, taking me to almost 32 years in service. So now I’ve signed up for one more PCS which will take me to 34. Thanks, VA!

  4. 26Limabeans says:

    When can I be reimbursed for all the money I borrowed from
    the VA to attend college? I paid it all back with 6% interest
    after I graduated. They cancel non veterans student loans.
    Where’s the forgivness for “he who has born the battle”?

    • KoB says:

      Where to we sign up? Was it the Boomer Privilege or the White Privilege that allowed us to borrow that money? Oh…wait…it was the promise to pay it back.