S.3447 GI Bill Reform = GI Bill Cuts

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I called my dad the other day when I heard the good news. “Dad, guess what? I just read how the government fixed the GI Bill by cutting benefits to all veterans using educational benefits. Surprise!” But, all veterans on almost every educational and rehabilitation program will see their total yearly stipend payouts dip because “Interval Pay” (pay between terms like Fall and Spring) has been almost completely cut. For full-time students attending year round, the yearly cut will be approximately 20 percent. So, a GI Bill veteran receiving $1,300 per month will really receive $1,050 per month when you average in 12 months of stipend after subtracting 10 weeks of previously received interval pay. A Pre-9/11 veteran with no dependents using Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment will see $554 drop to $450, over 12 months. No wonder the Act was able to get passed last December. They scalped $2 billion off the price tag. Yet another way America thanks you and your family for your sacrifices. Just don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

What does this mean? On average, a veteran attending college year round will have 10 weeks per year between classes. The Act cuts all interval payments between classes except for national emergencies and Executive Order, removing the old standard that paid a stipend over shorter breaks between fall, spring and summer semesters, for full-time students. When aggregated, the GI Bill veteran loses $3,000 per year, decreasing the $1,300 stipend to $1,050 per month. The Pre-9/11 Voc Rehab veteran loses $1,300 per year, decreasing the $554 stipend to $450 per month. And sadly, the Pre-9/11 veterans don’t even get to take advantage of any of the Act’s benefits. Not one.

The math. GI Bill stipend avg: 12 months x $1,300 = $15,600. $15,600 / 52 weeks per year = $300 per week. Weeks of transition: 4 between Fall/Spring; 3 between Spring/Summer; 3 between Summer/Fall = 10 weeks. 10 weeks x $300 = $3,000 per year reduction.

In S.3447Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2010, there are many new, fandangled improvements. The biggest that caught my attention was Section 205 of the bill addressing Post-9/11 disabled veterans using Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment. For these veterans, they can choose to receive the equivalent to E-5 with dependents BAH pay.

The majority of the cuts to pay for the “improvements” came from a severe limitation of the Interval Payment totaling over $2 billion. This is the payment veterans receive in between semesters so that they don’t have to go into debt while in school to pay things like rent and child support. The new rule changes the payment so that it “would be paid out very rarely.” Congress decided veterans don’t need the money. And the cut does not just apply to Post-9/11 veterans eligible for the new GI Bill. It applies to practically all veterans, even the ones receiving the paltry $554 per month who are not eligible for the BAH increase.

The background was that the different between the GI Bill stipend amount and the Voc Rehab stipend amount was pushing a lot of disabled veterans to use the GI Bill and miss out on the specialized help some veterans get from Voc Rehab. You’re talking $1300 per month (national average GI Bill) versus $554 (Voc Rehab veteran with no dependents). While the veteran is eligible for both programs, they can opt for the BAH amount. Once they are no longer eligible for the GI Bill (after 36 months), then what happens? Assumedly, they go back down the Voc Rehab rate, which is $554 per month. Not too great, especially when most students are unable to finish college within the allotted 36-month window, much less students who need extra schooling to accommodate for their disabilities.

Luckily, Uncle Sam had a solution. Senator Akaka and the Committee were:

“concerned that, since the months of educational assistance available to eligible veterans and others is, in most cases, equal to the number of months needed to attain an educational objective, using entitlement for months during which a student is not actively pursuing an educational goal unnecessarily uses months of entitlement that could be otherwise utilized and results in the student’s inability to complete an educational objective with available assistance.”

Done and done. Yet another example of our great government looking out for the little guy, right?

But all of us know that when you hear the words, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help,” run away. Yes, in S.3447 there are numerous “readjustments” to the original Post-9/11 GI Bill that needed to be made to make it “more equitable.” In fact, to make it fairer, Congress cut $2.3 billion from the benefit. “Huh,” I thought to myself, “seems like ‘Improvements’ was added to the title of the Act to merely be ironic.” If the Act is intended to help veterans better use their 36 months of GI Bill, then how does the Congressional Budget Office know they will “save” $2 billion with the adjustment? The short answer: they anticipate veterans will not use the full 36 months; otherwise, there would be no savings.

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Richard
Richard

????

Is that $17,500.00 per year or semester?

Ben Krause
Ben Krause

That is per year. Down from $20,000.

Thomas
Thomas

What about the non-average student who goes to class from January through December NON-stop?
Where in the GI Bill contract I signed does it state “benefits may very”?
Maybe Congress should cut their pay because Americans decided they don’t need the money!

Jerry Burns
Jerry Burns

This bill is outrageous. Veterans were told if they would provide for the defense of our country the country would be there for them. Over the past 65 years, veterans, because of the GI bill, have increased incomes, paid more in taxes and raised the standard of living for all Americans. Now, because of the inability of our so called leaders, they once again must bear the burden of being the ones to suffer. Congress must restore these benefits.

Jeff McNeill
Jeff McNeill

I only just able to make my bills on the small amount they give me now. am I supposed to get a part time job for a week during spring break? And, when the summer break hits I will be forced to drop out of the program and find a full time job. well, there goes my dream of a college education.

Tabitha
Tabitha

I’m a single disabled veteran and mother of a autistic five year old. For sone reason the Army dropped my eligibility for the GI bill so I went to Voc rehab and have to deal with the lousy 345$ a month for three classes a semester and the 600 and some change for full tine during the fall and spring semester. That doesn’t even cover all the day care or gas I have to pull from my disability to finish paying for my daycare and gas. I was having a hard time with finances until I talked to another friend of mine going to a junior college. She told me some schools refund any grant money from the pell grant not used to the student. So I did some research and found out my school does that and because the VA pays my full tuition I get the full amount of 2700 at the end of each semester. So if your a disabled and single parent out there just apply for the pell grant. It does help me pay almost all my debt off at the end of my semester. Also disabled veterans are automatically suppose to get Social security disability pay. All they have to do is file for SS disability and bring their records of the award letter from the VA with you to the physical. With the SSI benefits, pell grant, and my monthly disability check from the VA I’m still struggling but not as bad and I get the pell grant in between the fall break and the spring break of semesters so there is no gap of no Vic rehab payment. That is why Voc rehab gets paid less too. Is we can pull SSI and VA disability. They just never tell veterans that. So please if your over 60% go file for SSI you’ll get a second pay check each month that will help you through school. Plus while on SSI you can work and are allotted 900$ to make a month without your SSI taken away so you can work part time as long as you keep your grades up. I hope this info really helps someone.

brian
brian

HI am 60% rated how can I apply or can I apply for ssi or social security disablity you can or anyone can email me at [email protected]
subject SSI thanks

Jason
Jason

Can you help me understand this……I get Voc Rehab now. If I opt for BAH, will that go away until the Post 911 discontinues after the 36 months? Or do I get both of those allowances during that period and jsut the GI bill discontinues? Hope you can get what I am trying to say.

sandy
sandy

U use your 911 gill bill but don’t use it all save a week entitlement then when u go to voc rehab they can pay u your bah rate from post go bill. But if u exhaust your go bill you get the lower rate which is I think the Montgomery rate
. I may have the long rate think wrong but the saving a week part I got straight from vrap.

David
David

I was told that if I use up my GI bill then I can no longer use Voc Rehab, so I never officially enrolled. I have 6 months left of post 9/11, but 9 months left of school (if I’m lucky). I was just told by a fellow vet that the rules had changed for Voc rehab-that it no longer cuts into your GI bill that it now pays e5 pay with dependents, which sounded crazy to me at the time, and after looking it up still seems implausible. I just thought you might be able to offer me some advice. I’m thinking of applying for Voc rehab, hope they’ll pay for me to receive my bachelors on it, even if only pays $500 a month since I’ll need more than just 6 months of school-then hopefully retain what’s left of my GI bill to work on a masters. I don’t know. I’m 50 % disabled right now, but am working on getting it raised because I feel like they really low-balled me at 30 % for PTSD. I’ve been seeing a psychiatrist and have been on meds for going on 4 years. I just started going to combat stress group therapy where the therapist says I should be at 100% with my symptoms. I wish Voc Rehab was a better program, to top off the low pay-my case manager seemed like a true idiot, her office was a total mess and she didn’t seem to have a firm grasp on proper grammar-I wonder if I can choose to work with someone else in their department. I thought the program seemed ridiculous at the time-I’m hoping it sill isn’t.

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S.3447 GI Bill Reform = GI Bill Cuts

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Annie O
Annie O

Please stop whining and be grateful that we get a cost of living stipend and free state tuition as well as a pretty good chunk towards private tuition and a book stipend! this generation is so entitled, I would have reenlisted if I wasnt so tired of younger troops always crying and acting like spoiled brats when they had to lift a finger.. The Vietnam vets didn’t whine and claim PTSD when they went to war and they sure as heck didnt get half the benefits we do as post 9/11 vets. The GI Bill and the VA is not designed to be a source of income, it is a benefit that soldiers earn in return for serving their country. No one OWES you so stop complaining and be grateful for what you have.

jose d
jose d

This is to Annie O the woman who thinks she knows everything, and any other so called “vet” that never saw real combat. It is so called veterans like you that get on my nerves u sit up here and talk this big game about how we need to stop whining about the cut backs on our gi bill, and how we need to be grateful, and how vietnam vets didnt whine and all this other stuff. let me start off by saying that if you consider yourself a vet for just going to iraq and sitting out there and not doing crap than your wrong, your not a vet. And im not saying this because your a woman and im trying to bash on military woman. I did two 15 month tours in iraq under real combat, i didnt sit back with my feet up in some air-conditioned office and collect some hazard pay that i didnt earn, Some vets actually earned the right to call them selves combat vets. And let me say that I have full respect for my vietnam era vets and other older war veterans, but they also went to combat for one month or two and some did less time than that in combat; so us newer generation vets have to indure combat for longer periods. And I know that if they would of had these benefits back then, for them that they would be as u call it “whining” if their benefits that they earned got cut too. I and lots of other soldiers put their life on the line for their country for our very well deserved benefits, so when our us government slaps us in our face by cutting back something we earned, I and the other combat vets have a right to be pissed off. I’ am a proud us army veteran that served the united states, but im not proud of our government and how they can sit in thier offices and happily send us to war once, twice, three times, and even four untill we either we get killed in the middle east or get burned out of getting shot at on a daily basis, but when it comes time for them to cough up for us soldiers and do right by us as we did for them and everyone else in this country, “THEY DONT DO IT”. So when u become a real vet and not some garrison soldier that sat behind the wire your hole tour than maybe you should shut up.

jose d
jose d

This is to Annie O the woman who thinks she knows everything, and any other so called “vet” that never saw real combat. It is so called veterans like you that get on my nerves u sit up here and talk this big game about how we need to stop whining about the cut backs on our gi bill, and how we need to be grateful, and how vietnam vets didnt whine and all this other stuff. let me start off by saying that if you consider yourself a vet for just going to iraq and sitting out there and not doing crap than your wrong, your not a vet. And im not saying this because your a woman and im trying to bash on military woman. I did two 15 month tours in iraq under real combat, i didnt sit back with my feet up in some air-conditioned office and collect some hazard pay that i didnt earn, Some vets actually earned the right to call them selves combat vets. And let me say that I have full respect for my vietnam era vets and other older war veterans, but they also went to combat for one month or two and some did less time than that in combat; so us newer generation vets have to indure combat for longer periods. And I know that if they would of had these benefits back then, for them that they would be as u call it “whining” if their benefits that they earned got cut too. I and lots of other soldiers put their life on the line for their country for our very well deserved benefits, so when our us government slaps us in our face by cutting back something we earned, I and the other combat vets have a right to be pissed off. I’ am a proud us army veteran that served the united states, but im not proud of our government and how they can sit in thier offices and happily send us to war once, twice, three times, and even four untill we either we get killed in the middle east or get burned out of getting shot at on a daily basis, but when it comes time for them to cough up for us soldiers and do right by us as we did for them and everyone else in this country, “THEY DONT DO IT”. So when u become a real vet and not some garrison soldier that sat behind the wire your hole tour than maybe you should shut up.

John
John

I second Thomas’s remark..

As for Annie’s insensitive reply:
Whining? Crying PTSD? You are not even considering the context of the era. No one knew what PTSD was at the time. You claim that no one owes us anything. That is funny.. because for a lot of us, we enlisted FOR the GI Bill in its ENTIRETY. Perhaps you have assistance outside of the BAH, but for some of us, we depend on it for our expenses. If you ask me, I think taxes should be raised if veteran benefits were “on the table”. The rich have the most to lose without the protection of the military, after all…

John
John

Annie you are a idiot and you need to spend some time at your nearest VA. Hospital there you will find so mn vietnam vets it overwhelming. Ptsd was not reconized back then, if it was we wouldn’t have hospitals full of vietnam vets that can not function in society. I can’t stand people like you. I bet the reason your soldier we’re always complaining probably has something to do with your attitude and lack of knowledge, I can tell just based on what you wrote you can bring the moral down to a stand still at a 5 star resort.

That being said, I am a veteran from the marines I served in the unjust war of iraq, we sure s hell earned these benefits and for them to be taken away is a sign that our government has lost all respect for all its people. Revolution is at hand people. They don’t care that this put many of us on the streets, that many of us have familys to care for, and that many of us are unemployed and can not get a job to save our life. Hell I was lucky enough to get a job at jack in the box recently and what’s sad is even getting that job was competitive. So tell me how me the veteran who is going to school full time and work around that have the time to make up the loss in pay. We have already lost so much.

Caprice Manos
Caprice Manos

I will refrain from calling people names because it’s not necessary here on this site. However, I just got word from the VA that my BAH goes to 674.00 per mo, from 901.00 per mo. just because I’m fully online now. Online is MUCH harder than just showing to class and having the option to “zone out” while your professor is speaking. There is more work involved in online. People view online wrongly. They think online is nothing. I have to spend 5 hrs in each class every day 7 days to get high grades. It’s more demanding and you must be more self-starting and self sufficient while meeting the workloads that are more demanding because it’s expected that online is allegedly “less than” in house schooling. It’s quite the opposite.

So, while I’m doing this 12-15 hour day till approximately 4:00 a.m. for studies (witnessed), just how do I go to work full time to meet what I just learned is not only the above-referenced cut, but also I was told that the $674.00 is being cut to 274.00 this month because I had “a week off in between semesters!!!!!” as if it’s my fault that we have a week in between semesters. I spent time tonight reviewing the Regs for the CFR. Title 38. I just reviewed the above-mentioned reference to the housing moneys being cut. First, I didn’t even get any notice at all, so what will I tell my landlord now one week before rent is due. I’m already living way below poverty. No private bathroom and no shower. At all. Secondly, where is the justification that this went into effect? In order for there to have been that law that was enacted regarding BAH, there had to have been preposed rules, which means that the public could have voted yes or no. (although I don’t expect that we’d even be listened to), Who the heck voted that law in????

I would like to petition Congress to re-evaluate that Housing Assistance BAH issue for “between semesters.” That is what the VA rep used to tell me that the $674.00 a month was going to $274.00. The VA rep explained that $22.44 Cents is taken for the week that I was between semesters. That only comes to $157.00 approx. So 157.00 from 674.00 is not 274.00!! I asked “where is the other money at?!” He started with the old “telemarketing control tactics and started talking over me as if I were yelling at him – which I wasn’t, but he had to have an excuse to say he was terminating the phone call. He hung up and this after I held 45 full minutes to get a rep on the phone at the VA.

I wish to see a “PETITION FOR EQUITABLE ESTOPPEL” to address this situation because this is NOT FAIR, being induced into something, thinking that if I study to maintain my grades, which is what I was told, that I would keep getting my GIBill and BAH. Now, it becomes different and places a big burden upon a full time (required ) student. Well, if they’re going to cut the money, then we should have the option to go part time and be able to work. Cause most humans cannot go full time to school, read and LEARN, NOT JUST MEMORIZE, the material for school, and then work full time too. There are not enough hours in the day. What are they hoping we’ll starve or quit because of having to work. That’s unlawful. It actually repudiates the agreement that is entered into.

That was like when AWI induced me (as well as others) into filing for unemployment benefits, they then hid who I filed on as the employer, changed the name of the employer to someone I had not worked for in about a year and who wasn’t even chargeable in the base period for benefits. Then they refused to send me a determination through the mail, all while adding three FALSE DENIALS for benefits; thereby making me formally appeal in writing each false denial, hoping I’d quit…well let me tell you, I was organized stalked and made what they did public plenty before I stopped challenging what they did. Then the Unemployment Appeals Commission hid what the lower tribunal referee did (as he threatened that if I didn’t go along with their version of the “alleged employer” of who they falsely stated it was, that they’d dismiss the appeal…and he unlawfully did dismiss the appeal). The UAC hid everything and denied me the right to submit a brief on the merits. It got to the 1st district court and the lower tribunal almost completely falsified all of the transcripts that I had to sit and redo myself as they would not give me the number to the court reporter. The court did not make the lower tribunal fix the record on appeal and hence, I couldn’t supply a brief on the merits due to not having a record on appeal that was correct. Because the only way one can submit a brief on the merits is by way of only sticking to the record on appeal. (that Record was falsified and was filled with mostly…”instructional pamphlets of how to file unemployment etc.) And if they don’t like me talking about it, they shouldn’t have done it! Tough. By this time by and through their theft of my benefits that I by and through a woman who refused to participate in the charade, sent me the correct determination that said I was determined “eligible” found out I was supposed to get the benefits per Ch 443 151 (5)(a) F.S., which states if a determination states one is “eligible” for benefits, that during the pendency of any appeal, a claimant/appellant gets benefits. Well, mine were never sent and I was made homeless contrary to the public laws for why Unemployment was created in the first place. I got so stalked and threatened it wasn’t even funny. I finally bought a used RV and was told literally, to “get out” or we’ll call you “crazy.” So I had to leave it behind. P.S., so that was stolen making me homeless again. Then I stayed in my office and more terrible organized stalking happened,but there’s not time for the story here. This stuff was all witness as I had a full time body guard most of the time. That’s how bad it got. Plus all my family witnessed some of this stuff cause while it was happening, I had them on speaker phone most of the times I was threatened. What I’m saying is: Despite my challenges under “Equitable Estoppel” for those induced into agreements per receiving monies and then the contracts are changed or we’re given little notice …it’s highly unlikely we can do something. But petitioning never hurts. By the way, the day I was supposed to file a Motion for Certiorari to the Supreme Court to have my Unemployment Case heard, I was battered (witnessed) by my landlord of my office, threatened that he’d have me kidnapped and thrown out, literally. Then cops circled my car. I was smart enough not to place any phone calls so that they couldn’t use the excuse of one allegedly “being crazy cause of making complaints.” If no one here believes this stuff, check out http://www.torturedinamerica.org and read till you get to “the hidden evil part.” I went through alot of that. No one should go through this stuff. It’s been ten years now while going through it. Alot of the stalkers I just had to forgive. Yet, to go into why it was done, use your imagination. I am a Veteran. I am studying hard to become a Civil Rights attorney one day to stop Organized Stalking and abuse to women, along with military women.

I may petition Congress….If I have time. Right now, three main posts are due for class/online and I’ll be here again till 4 am. It’s now about midnight.

Ryan
Ryan

Sorry, but all of us veterans DO deserve and are OWED an education. Who better to be educated than those of us already disciplined and dedicated to our country, the United States of America? We are only asking for what has already been agreed upon.

Quoting President Obama- There’s a shortage of engineers in most of the country, however. “We’re falling behind in the very fields that we know are going to be our future,” . ( A couple of months later he signs a bill to CUT education benefits)

Now, halfway through an engineering education, almost half of my BAH is gone. I was only going 7 credit hours because it was absolutely necessary to work part time.

ANNIE O- I don’t know what branch of the service you served in, or for what country you serve. In the United States Marine Corps, we did more than ‘barely lift a finger’. It was a constant struggle to remain alive, and we all worked together to achieve that, some of us never came home. We are not asking for anything more than what we agreed upon.

I will finish with a quote from George Washington, a real leader who fought in a ‘Just’ war for his country- “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”

Tia
Tia

I wish I would have fought to stay in after being medically retired with asthma. The way the education office made the 9/11 GI Bill sound is nothing what it actually is in reality. My family and I are close to having our vehicles repossessed because of the VA’s incompetence in paying our housing stipend/work study paychecks on time/correctly. Also, how does Congress expect families to pay their rent during the holiday breaks? Living in a town that has one major university and one huge community college makes getting a job that makes anything more than minimum wage difficult. In order to feed our family we’ve had to give plasma. GIVE US OUR BENEFITS BACK!!!

sandy
sandy

So I used both forms of GI Bill montgomery and post 9/11. Honestly the post 9/11 is awesome even with the cutbacks. The mongomery gi bill made it impossible to attend school u didn’t get any money on it til you completed a whole semester first. So that being said its a good benefit.
PTSD started begin diagnosed during Vietnam war because of our bothers who lead the one. Its disrespectful to all of us to try to compare current combat soldiers and Vietnam vets. Yes their tours were shorter and fewer but a lot of resources weren’t available to them we have now. Bottom line we are family period, an elite family all of whom deserve respect.
And to those who are under the delusional myth that females don’t experience combat and have it easy, you are seriously fooling yourself. Females actually have more cases of and more extreme PTSD. That’s not an opinion its a documented fact. I myself also have permanent spinal damage. Females do much more than shuffle papers, at least in the Army. Sorry but never saw a marine anywhere in sight downrange so I can only seak from my experience.
Instead of ripping each other apart we need to share information that can assist each other, which several people did. And just to be a hypocrite to the dumb a** who stated the war was immoral or whatever stupidity that was stated, that’s exactly the ignorant crap that morons threw at the Vietnam vets, it was a idiot statement then and it still is now so shut the hell up!

Kaela Creighton
Kaela Creighton

They have special squads that go around and dumb us down so that we can’t complete the education but still have some ability to do lay work–so they think. Basically, they find these angry individuals that really hate us and they justify their actions from their own miserable personal experiences. The problem with this is that it makes us disabled a lot of times. Since these people have never worked, they don’t understand what it takes. I mean, they passed high school or college and then went into this profession. They must not have any life experience. “Evil Angel” by Breaking Benjamin is an example of a death squad. He targets the disabled veterans.

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