WASHINGTON—Legislation that would allow veterans to continue receiving full GI Bill benefits as universities move classes online to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has cleared Congress and is expected to be signed into law by President Trump.
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), an original cosponsor of the Emergency GI Fix for Coronavirus School Closures bill, applauded Congress’s swift action to ensure that veterans do not see a disruption in education benefits as a result of steps taken to protect public health.
“We are all adjusting to changes in our daily routines as a result of the coronavirus. Concerns about the loss of GI Bill benefits is the last thing a student veteran should have to worry about amidst all this disruption. These are earned benefits that should not be put at risk due to the fact that a public health emergency has forced classes to move online during a temporary closure of campuses. I am pleased that Congress moved quickly to address this and look forward to President Trump signing this bill into law,” Boozman said.
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 COVID-19, veterans using the GI Bill could lose or have their benefits cut. The Emergency GI Fix for Coronavirus School Closures bill would allow these student veterans to continue to receive full benefits even if the universities they are attending decide to temporarily move classes online due to COVID-19.
The legislation now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.