VA and COVID-19 UPDATES
March 24 - Update from the House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC). New legislation has been introduced to build on (S. 3503), which was signed into law this past weekend by President Donald Trump.
Key additional points of the Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 would, if passed:
- Allow the VA the authority to continue paying student veterans through the VA’s work study program if the student lost their position on campus as a result of COVID-19;
- Modify current law to expand emergency situations, including public health emergencies to provide expanded protections for student veterans so that the VA can continue paying housing and allowances for student veterans;
- Ensures that veterans continue to receive housing benefits through the end of their respective term and will not have a student’s GI Bill eligibility charged for classes/credits they could not complete if their school was shut down during the emergency;
- Extends the “use or lose” date for VA education benefits so that a veteran or their dependent is not penalized for any of the time that a student was prevented from attending their school due to the emergency; and
- Extends added school closure protections to Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Veterans and provides two added months of subsistence allowance for vets participating in the VR&E program that face employment challenges as a result of COVID-19.
March 24 - Pass/Fail Option and Impact on VA Benefits:
March 21 - Bill S. 3503 signed into law allowing the VA to continue to provide educational assistance, including monthly housing allowance, for programs of education that have been converted to distance learning due to an emergency or health-related situation.