Magazine article VFW Magazine

84,000 Vets Apply for New GI Bill by July 1

Magazine article VFW Magazine

84,000 Vets Apply for New GI Bill by July 1

Article excerpt

The new Post-9/11 GI Bill goes into effect this month, and 460,000 participants are expected to use it this year. VFW service officers have been studying the new benefits and stand ready to help. by Tim Dy house

VA started paying out benefits under the new Post 9/11 GI Bill on Aug. 1, but questions regarding the application process began months ago. Ranging from simply "how much money will I get?" to "how do I transfer benefits to family members?", the queries have kept VFW's service officers busy since May 1, when VA began accepting applications.

"Most of these questions can be answered online, but the details of costof-living stipends and tuition vary greatly," said Jerry Manar, deputy director of VFW's National Veterans Service. "Many vets will want to verify information they find online with a VFW service officer and an on-campus veterans representative."

Manar, who coordinates VFW's service officers from the organization's Washington, D.C, office, notes that some veterans qualify for benefits under both the Montgomery GI Bill and the new Post 9/1 1 GI Bill. He says vets that do qualify need to think carefully about which bill is best for their circumstances.

"Our service officers should be able to direct you to resources and give you the details of the different programs," he said. "Campus veterans representatives should be able to talk to you about the costs associated with college and which classes the Gl Bill will cover."

But he adds that campus vet reps "may not be able to help a veteran untangle payment problems. This is where knowing your local service officer is very important. …

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