Forever GI Bill Signed into Law

on August 17, 2017

Veterans now can use their GI Bill benefits whenever they want instead of being restricted to a 15-year time limit.


The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, which was signed into law on August 16, 2007, also awards full GI Bill benefits to Purple Heart recipients. Under previous legislation, Purple Heart recipients could not receive full GI Bill benefits unless they were on active duty for three years.


The new law also protects a veteran’s GI Bill benefits if their college closes. The veteran’s GI Bill benefits will be restored in the event that their college folds.


Other important changes enacted by the law include:

  • The law expands coverage for the National Guard and its reserves. The legislation increases the benefit from 40 percent to 50 percent for people who serve at least 90 days but less than six months of active duty. For members who serve six months but less than a year, the amount increases from 50 percent to 60 percent. This provision takes effect on August 1, 2020.
  • The living stipend will be based on where a student attends a majority of his or her classes instead of where the college or university is located.

The GI Bill allows a veteran to transfer remaining benefits to a dependent. If that dependent dies, the benefits can be transferred to another dependent.

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