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The “Forever” G.I Bill Explained

The “Forever” G.I Bill: What it means for you. Who is affected by the new G.I. Bill? For veterans who were discharged after January 1st, 2013, G.I. benefits will never expire. For veterans whose college shut down mid-semester, G.I. benefits will be restored. For veterans studying STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, math), 9 extra months of G.I. benefits will be given or up to $30,000 in a lump sum. Veterans of the post-9/11 era who received a Purpleheart are now eligible for benefits regardless of the length of service.

Previously, only Reservists called to active duty by the presidential order for a national emergency were eligible for G.I. benefits. However, with the new G.I. Bill, Reservists are now eligible if they were 1) mobilized under Sections 12304(a): when a governor requests federal assistance in response to a major disaster or emergency; or 2) or 12304(b): when the DOD mobilizes reservist in support of a combatant command.

Veterans’ Dependents include children, spouses, and others who depend on a veteran financially. Those dependents who are recipients of Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) will have monthly payments increased by 50%, and the maximum number of months eligible to receive benefits will decrease from 45 to 36 months. The Fry Scholarship recipients are now eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program.

The amount of G.I. benefits possible for veterans, reservists, or dependents depends on the amount of time served in the military. Under the Forever G.I. Bill, if you served for 3-6 months you will receive 50% of the max amount. From 6 months to 1 year of service, you will receive 60% of the max amount. After one year of service, 100% will be received, if the qualifications are met.