The Problem With COVID The GI Bill & Your Housing Allowance

The Problem With COVID The GI Bill & Your Housing Allowance

Authorities in Veterans Affairs believe the resurgence of COVID-19 cases won't cause critical challenges for veteran college students this fall, but it could come spring.

That is because a large group of crisis specialists endorsed by Congress last year to manage potential pandemic issues is set to lapse this December. Without help from legislators, students who are receiving their education in remote learning situations may miss out on a percentage of their housing allowances.

"We have already begun prepping a message for our students to learn about the situation this fall, explaining the danger of not supporting more legislation,” said Charmain Bogue, VA’s chief executive officer. “Without these measures, we will be back to how things were before the pandemic."

The GI Bill will cause major problems for student veterans next spring:

The Post-9/11 GI Bill grants educational cost cash for school courses, in addition to a month-to-month lodging payment and other payouts to cover books and mentoring administrations. Qualified veteran students who attend in-seat classes can get the full monetary advantages when they start classes.

Despite that, Congress passed rules limiting their housing stipend to half for students enrolled only in online classes. Depending on where students live, students may lose out on thousands of dollars per semester.

College campuses across the country switched to online coursework in response to COVID in the spring of 2020, causing students to lose about half their housing allowance. The VA did not have the authority to waive the rules until Congress stepped in and made an exception that lasts until December.

The House and Senate will have busy legislative schedules in the coming months, and it is unknown when new legislation will be voted on to allow an extension. 

There were more than 875,000 people who used GI Bill benefits for college classes in the fiscal year 2020, with more than 75 percent using the PGIB.