A major part of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 — or Forever GI Bill — has been completed, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced on Dec. 7.
VA successfully completed the implementation of all Information Technology (IT) updates to process education benefits for veterans, which should expedite the process.
“These IT changes improve our ability to deliver education benefits to GI Bill students,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “As VA works to modernize processes, this milestone is an important step in our digital transformation journey — merging people, procedures and technology.”
The American Legion-backed legislation was named in honor of Past National Commander Harry W. Colmery, the principal architect of the original GI Bill, the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944.
Some of the updates in the Forever GI Bill include:
• Removal of the expiration of benefits for those who served on or after Jan.1, 2013.
• Changed the way Post-9/11 GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance is calculated.
• Expanded Yellow Ribbon Program eligibility to include Purple Heart recipients.
• Established the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship and improved the attendance verification process for scholarship recipients.
• Proration of the entitlement charge for licensing, certifications and national exams.
The implementation of the Forever GI Bill has a been a collaborative effort between the public and private sectors, with the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), Office of Information and Technology (OIT), MITRE Corporation and Accenture Federal Services working together to meet the immediate needs of the nation’s veterans.
For more information on the bill, visit benefits.va.gov/gibill/.