U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville’s veterans bill (S. 3606) passed the U.S. Senate with unanimous support. The bill, which clarifies the information required on the post-9/11 GI Bill benefit transfer forms, is Senator Tuberville’s second piece of legislation to pass the Senate, after the Supporting Families of the Fallen Act passed in March.
A bipartisan group of nine senators cosponsored the bill, including Senators John Thune, Marco Rubio, Mike Braun, Tim Scott, Marsha Blackburn, John Boozman, Raphael Warnock, Dianne Feinstein, and Richard Blumenthal. Once the bill passes the U.S. House of Representatives, where it also has bipartisan support, it will head to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
In a press release, Tuberville, applauded the support for the bill. “As the son of a veteran and a grateful American, I want to ensure that our veterans and their families are well-taken care of, not the victims of bureaucratic red tape,” said Tuberville. “This bill is another targeted, meaningful change that makes it easier for our veterans and their families to receive the benefits they so rightly deserve. I look forward to seeing this bill pass the House and sent to President Biden’s desk soon.”
After learning of a small, but correctable error that makes it difficult for dependents to receive their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, Senator Tuberville introduced legislation to fix the issue in February 2022. The bill clarifies the information required on U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) and U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) forms filled out by a service member when they elect to have their post-9/11 GI Bill benefit transferred to a dependent. Part of current VA and DoD transfer forms requires the service member to fill out a field labeled “end date,” which refers to the date on which the dependent may no longer receive the benefit.
Many service members were misreading the information requested in the GI Bill benefit transfer forms. This error resulted in eligible dependents being barred from education benefits due to an easily amendable error. Since this field is the cause of many incorrectly completed transfer forms, Senator Tuberville’s bill would remove the “end date” to prevent further issues. This bill will allow a service member to transfer his or her Post-9/11 GI bill benefits to a spouse or child so long as the service member has done the following:
- Completed at least six years on the date the service member requests to transfer the benefit, and
- Agreed to add four more years of service, and
- The individual receiving the benefits has enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).