9 new updates to the Forever GI Bill

Jonathan Kaupanger
August 06, 2018 - 10:59 am



There's a change to the monthly housing allowance and family members now have less time to use educational assistance in the Forever GI Bill.  Here’s what you need to know about the change and how you can access these benefits.

  • Licensing and Certification Charges (VA Form 22-0803):  You may be entitled to a reimbursement if you paid for one or more tests to become a licensed or certified professional. There are no limits to the number of tests you can take or the number of times you take the same test.  VA will pay for tests even if you don’t pass.  You may either upload your form to the GI Bill site or mail it to your nearest VA regional processing office.  Requirements:
    • You qualify for the GI Bill
    • The test or exam costs less than $2,000
  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (VA Form 22-5490): The number of months new users have to take advantage of this program decreases from 45 months to 36 months. You may either upload your form to the GI Bill site or mail it to your nearest VA regional processing office.  You  must be the child or spouse of a service member and at least one of the following is true:
    • Service member died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001
    • Service member is MIA or was captured in the line of duty
    • Service member was detained/held by force while in the line of duty
    • Service member is in the hospital or getting outpatient treatment for a service-connected permanent and total disability
  • Transfer of Benefit.  Veterans who transferred educational benefits to a dependent may now designate a new one if the original dependent dies before using the entitlement.  Dependents who receive a transfer of benefits may move their entitlement to another eligible dependent if the veteran who made the transfer dies.  This change applies to deaths on or after August 1, 2009.  Apply to use transferred educational benefits here.  Typically it takes VA 30 days to process your request.  You’ll be informed by mail if the agency needs more information.
  • Monthly Housing Allowance during Active Duty Service.  Up until now, those leaving active duty didn’t get their housing allowance until the beginning of the next full month after being released from active duty.  This change lets students receive housing payment on the day of discharge.  Current payments rates are here.
  • Starting Aug. 1, 2018 the Monthly Housing Allowance is based on the zip code of the campus where the student physically attends the MAJORITY of classes.  In the past this was based on the location of the institution of higher learning.  Current payments rates are here.
  • Purple Heart Recipients.  Starting Aug. 1, 2018, anyone awarded the Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2011 are entitled to Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits at the 100 percent level for up to 36 months.  Apply here.
  • Reserve Component Benefits.  Two changes here, now National Guard and Reserve members are authorized to receive Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.  Also, Reserve Duty Counts Towards Post 9/11 Eligibility going back to September 11, 2001, the time a reservist was ordered to receive authorized medical care or when medically evaluated for a disability and when ordered to complete a DOD health care study, now counts towards eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
  • Yellow Ribbon Extension to Fry and Purple Heart Recipients.  Recipients of the Fry Scholarship and Purple Heart are covered under the Yellow Ribbon Program.  Here’s the list of schools offering the Yellow Ribbon Program.


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