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Legislative fix to protect GI Bill benefits introduced as universities close due to coronavirus

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The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON D.C. (KSNW) – Senate Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Wednesday introduced legislation that would allow veterans on the GI Bill to continue receiving full benefits as universities move classes online to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or coronavirus. House Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

The GI Bill determines student veterans’ benefits based on whether or not they attend a physical university in person versus an online program. As colleges and universities close campuses to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, veterans on the GI Bill could lose or have their benefits cut. This bill would allow these student veterans to continue to receive full benefits even if the universities they attend move classes online due to COVID-19.

“Student veterans relying on the GI Bill to attend college should not be stripped of their benefits because universities are moving to online classes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” said Chairman Moran. “This would be a disservice to our veterans. We must swiftly pass this bill to make certain that veterans still receive the benefits they’ve earned despite concerns surrounding the coronavirus. I urge my colleagues to quickly pass this legislation so our veterans have the chance to pursue a college degree and achieve success after service.”

“Student veterans should never have their earned education benefits put on the chopping block because they’re taking proper precautions to ensure their health and safety,” said Ranking Member Tester. “Our bipartisan bill offers a technical, commonsense fix that will provide schools transitioning to an online curriculum with the resources they need to continue serving students across the country. This is a critical step in making sure that VA can keep providing GI Bill benefits to veterans working hard towards an education, even in emergency health situations.”

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