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GI Bill Expansion Signed, Hudson Responds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2017
 
GI Bill Expansion Signed, Hudson Responds
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08), the representative of Fort Bragg and the voice for North Carolina’s veterans, released the following statement after bipartisan legislation to make several landmark improvements to the GI Bill was signed into law:
 
“This largest expansion of GI Bill benefits in a decade will be life-changing for North Carolina’s veterans,” said Rep. Hudson. “It improves job training and education resources to help veterans transition to civilian life and find good-paying jobs. It also accomplishes one of my goals to enhance resources for military families and dependents. This is good policy and a picture perfect example of how Washington should work.”
 
The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, also called the Forever GI bill, is the biggest expansion of the GI Bill for veterans in a decade. The American Legion says it will begin “a new era for all who have honorably served in uniform, and for the nation as a whole.” This law has the potential to increase GI Bill usage rates and give service members far greater flexibility and more control while pursuing job-training and education. It:
 
  • Simplifies the benefit for future service members by consolidating the GI Bill into a single program over time, which will reduce VA’s administrative costs.
  • Eliminates the expiration date for GI Bill benefits. Under the previous program, veterans have 15 years after they separate from the military to use their benefits or they lose them.
  • Provides 100% GI Bill eligibility to Post 9/11 Purple Heart recipients, regardless of how long they served in uniform. Under previous law, the bill doesn’t fully activate until a service member has served for 36 months.
  • Allows troops to more easily transfer benefits to spouses or dependents, and boosts benefits for National Guard and military reservists whose benefits can now fall short of those received by active-duty troops.
  • Protects students from losing their benefits if a school closes in the middle of the academic year or in the middle of a degree program.
 
In addition, Congress has been hard at work to clean up the bureaucracy at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and ensure veterans get the care and support they were promised. In June, the president signed landmark bipartisan VA reform to make it easier to fire VA employees for poor performance or misconduct and to establish whistleblower protections. And in April, the president signed legislation into law to improve the VA Choice Program and extend access to timely, quality health care for veterans.
 
North Carolina is fortunate to be home to more than 700,000 veterans, and taking care of these retired service members and their families is one of Rep. Hudson’s top responsibilities. As always, Rep. Hudson’s office stands ready to assist every veteran in our district with problems they are having with the VA or a federal agency. If a veteran in the 8th district needs assistance, please contact our office in Concord at (704) 786-1612 or our office in Fayetteville at (910) 997-2070.
 
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    Washington, DC Office 2112 Rayburn House Office Building
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    Phone: (202) 225-3715
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    Concord Office 325 McGill Avenue, NW
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    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Haverhill District Office
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