Before it’s time ended, the 115th congress managed to pass two bills that will affect the lives of military members as they transition to civilian life. The Veterans Benefits and Transition Act and the Forever GI Bill Housing Payment Fulfillment Act were both passed into law. Here are some ways that they may affect you.
Protection for GI Bill Students if the VA Makes Mistakes
In the past, if there was an issue with the VA and they were delayed making payments, students ended up getting late fees or penalties on tuition, rent, and mortgages, among other things. Now, schools are not able to enforce these extra fees if they wish to continue getting GI Bill benefits.
Provide Documentation to Landlords
It used to be difficult sometimes for student veterans to prove to landlords that they would be getting housing payments. Now, the VA must provide electronic confirmation that they qualify, so they can assure their landlords.
Help With Transitioning
When troops are first transitioning out of the military, the VA will not provide them with a listing of any programs that can help with that process. The VA must also form partnerships with non government organizations to provide these programs that assist with the transition.
Assistance for Homeless Veterans
The Veterans Benefits and Transition Act now provides employment assistance to veterans before they become homeless. In the past, a veteran had to be homeless or in a shelter to qualify for those funds. This will help prevent veterans from becoming homeless in the first place.
Military Spouse Voting Changes
Military spouses can now choose to vote in the state in which the servicemember is stationed. They can do this even if the spouse themself is not living at the same address because of the enlistment orders.
Make sure to check with the VA to get a comprehensive list of all of the changes.