04.21.20

Chairman Mark Takano’s GI Bill Fix for Student Veterans Impacted by COVID-19 Passes Senate

Washington, DC – Today, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano’s bill, the Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act, has passed the U.S. Senate and is headed to President Trump’s desk for a signature. The bill allows student veterans to continue receiving certain housing, education, and work study benefits provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that would have otherwise been reduced or halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As the nation faces the COVID-19 pandemic, no student veteran should have to worry about losing income from work study jobs, interrupting their studies, or unexpected bills when their schools close,” said Chairman Takano. “I applaud the Senate for coming together to pass my bipartisan legislation and thank them for joining me and my friend Ranking Member Dr. Roe in safeguarding our student veterans’ benefits. I urge President Trump to quickly sign this legislation into law – our student veterans have already waited long enough for these guarantees.”

The Senate and House versions of this legislation were introduced by Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.), House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Phil Roe (R-Tenn). The U.S. House of Representatives passed this legislation on March 31.

H.R. 6322 will make certain student veterans on the GI Bill can continue to receive housing and work allowances as classes are disrupted. This legislation provides many benefits, including:

  • allowing student veterans that are in work study programs to still receive payments during this time even if they are unable to reach their place of employment due to COVID-19;
  • making certain veterans can receive additional housing allowance payments if their institution closes due to COVID-19; and
  • allowing student veterans to have their education entitlements restored or extended if campuses are closed or veterans are forced to withdraw due to COVID-19.

This is the second GI Bill legislative fix passed due to COVID-19. The Senate and House passed and President Trump signed into law S.3503, a legislative fix to allow student veterans to continue online training and receiving GI Bill benefits even if they were no longer able to attend a university campus as classes were moved online to prevent the spread of the virus.

 

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