WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) released a statement applauding the Senate passage of S.3503, bipartisan legislation they helped introduce that would allow veterans on the GI Bill to continue receiving full benefits as universities move classes online to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Student veterans pursuing their education should not be at risk of losing their GI Bill benefits due to campus closures as a result of the coronavirus,” said the Senators. “We’re proud to see our co-sponsored legislation to resolve this issue pass. This bill will allow student veterans to continue pursuing an education without fear of losing benefits. We will continue working to ensure that during this outbreak we take care of all Americans, including our veterans.”
BACKGROUND: The GI Bill determines student veterans’ benefits based on whether or not they attend a physical university in person versus an online program. As colleges and universities close campuses and shift courses online to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, veterans on the GI Bill could lose or have their benefits cut.
This bill, led by Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Jon Tester (D-MT) and co-sponsored by Senators Rosen and Cortez Masto, would authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to treat certain programs of education converted to distance learning by reason of emergencies and health-related situations in the same manner as programs of education pursued at educational institutions.