Representatives Mike Levin and Gus Bilirakis Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve Access to Education Benefits for Veterans
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Levin (D-CA) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) introduced the Streamlining GI Bill Processing Act to improve access to GI Bill benefits for veterans. The bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide veterans with an electronic copy of their Certificate of Eligibility for GI Bill benefits, which schools require veterans to provide. Currently, veterans are only provided with a hard copy in the mail upon request, which slows the verification process and creates an unnecessary burden for student veterans.
Representative Levin is the Chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, and Rep. Bilirakis is the Ranking Member. They have previously introduced four bipartisan bills together, all of which have passed the House.
“This bipartisan bill is a commonsense step we can take to make life easier for student veterans,” said Rep. Levin. “It may seem like a small step, but providing veterans with an electronic copy of their GI Bill eligibility certificate will help countless veterans receive the higher education benefits they have earned and deserve. I’m grateful for Congressman Bilirakis’s partnership on this legislation, and look forward to advancing it on behalf of all student veterans.”
“This legislation is a win-win. It makes the process of using GI Bill benefits easier for Veterans and it will free up the money the VA is wasting on mailing and administration to be used for a more worthwhile purpose,” said Rep. Bilirakis. “As good stewards of taxpayer dollars, we have an obligation to keep looking for ways we can improve efficiency for our nation’s Veterans.”
While the VA has an online tool which allows veterans to see how much of their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits they have used and how much remain, it is not available for other VA or Department of Defense (DoD) education benefits or for dependents who have had GI Bill benefits transferred to them.