Veterans’ GI Bill benefits to continue during COVID-19 pandemic


Student Veterans will continue to receive their GI Bill benefits under S. 3503, which President Trump signed into law March 21.

The law enables VA to continue providing the same level of education benefits to students having to take courses online due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The law gives VA temporary authority to continue GI Bill payments uninterrupted in the event of national emergencies. This allows for continued payment of benefits even if the program has changed from resident training to online training.

Thanks to the law, GI Bill students will continue receiving the same monthly housing allowance (MHA) payments they received for resident training until Dec. 21, or until the school resumes in-person classes.

In the wake of COVID-19, thousands of students nationwide have been converted to distance learning as many educational institutions are transitioning to technology-based lesson delivery.

“I commend President Trump and Congress for their work on this important law,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “It will give Veteran students certainty as they continue their education.”

Students receiving GI Bill benefits are not required to take any action. Benefits will continue automatically. VA will work closely with schools to ensure accurately certified enrollments and timely processing. Updates will be provided to students via direct email campaigns and social media regarding VA’s effort to implement these new changes.

Students with specific questions can contact the Education Call Center at: 888-442-4551 between 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday-Friday.

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  1. Liza R Bosta    

    My son attends college for aircraft maintenance certification. These courses are hands on only and the FAA requires hours in the hangar for certification. He is very concerned his benefits are at risk AND that failure to attend a class puts him in default of funds paid. When he called to ask about if the protection covers his situation, the Education Call Center could not provide an answer or guidance. Will he be protected and once school re-opens, be allowed to continue using his benefit?

  2. Bobby    

    I had 1 class online and 3 in person. Now all are online. I am a single parent with a child at home also learning online classes which conflict with my ability to attend class schedule dates and assignment schedules. My school has allowed an ability to drop classes or move to a pass fail system. If students were receiving scholarships or federal aid didn’t have to pay it back if classes were dropped or failed. How does this apply to veterans and the post 9-11 bill?

    1. Xavier Cotee Mitchell    

      I have the same question my mother contracted the virus and just yesterday I found out that I’ll be a father. My grades suffered and I wasn’t able to withdraw on time. I thought I could thug it out and now I’m worrying about the debt repayment coming out of my disability benefit. It’s hard to stay hopeful nowadays.

      1. Joe Bacula    

        I have a similar question as well. I was taking 17 credit hours in person. Since it all moved to online during this Covid-19, my grades have suffered as I am not an online person. I’m thinking of dropping the classes because my mental health has severely suffered. I would just like more information for what will happen if I drop the classes.

    2. Joshua Budyn    

      Whats funny is it just got a letter in the mail from the VA today stating my MHA has been stopped because all my classes are distance learning now. So which is it, are we still getting our MHA or not?

  3. Dottie K    

    Why are online courses treated any differently than on campus? You do a lot more work and writing than you do for most on-campus courses. The pay difference needs to be eliminated completely and just base your housing on the course load (amount of credits). If I end up having to take all classes online for the Fall semester to ensure my health and wellbeing we should not get paid less. Interesting how some professors have bailed on making an effort to teach online and still get their paycheck and the students are given heavy writing assignments instead just because they don’t want to bother learning Zoom.

  4. Jody Kremzar    

    My son was furloughed from his job in the restaurant industry. He receives the GI Bill because he is also a full time student. He depends on this extra income to survive, but has been told he doesn’t qualify for unemployment because he is receiving the GI Bill. In his case, this money does not cover all of his expenses. Why wouldn’t he qualify for unemployment?

  5. Jacob Masga    

    My daughter did not get the full amount. Even if I included the 6 days spring break it is still way short

  6. eric    

    i havent gotten bah this month either.. currently attending IBT but from march 17th we are transfered to online courses

  7. L.B.L.    

    Husband has seen his either and it is usually deposited on the last day of the month

  8. Matt ODonnell    

    The way it looks right now, if you have been receiving benefits for school like tuition or mha you will continue to receive those benefits. I usually get my compensation and mha for school on the first of the month so we will find out tomorrow.

  9. Charlene Naasko    

    What about upcoming courses that may be cancelled? I have been receiving housing allowance for the past 14 months, and I am currently registered in classes for spring/summer, but the semester may be cancelled. Does this mean I will not have any income until fall?

  10. Trevor Lamb    

    My school just told me the VA told them not to authorize for future semesters at this time… even though my school is fully operational with online courses.

  11. Donna Adams    

    Will military veterans receive their disability checks on time during the coronavirus

    1. S. T. G.    

      Good question. I usually receive mine on tis day and I haven’t seen it yet. fingers crossed. I depend on it, as all others do, for my survival.

  12. Daphne Dunbar    

    The Georgia Board of Massage is currently refusing to implement online learning for lecture only like the Board of Cosmetology and Barbers so I’ve been forced to take a COVID-19 leave of absence. I really depend on my housing because I’m in school full time and only working part time. On top of that my job close.

    1. Lesley Dowden    

      Mine haven’t been deposited. I rely on that like so many others.

  13. Stephen R Puckett    

    God Bless our President….Veterans always in mind….He is still my Commander In Chief and I was 214’ed in 1976 !!

  14. Clinton O'Brien    

    What about us using are GI bill for a trade job. I am currently doing a trade as a electrician but due to the virus my company will be closing down. Now I will not be getting my housing allowance due to me not having hours to certify with. Whats my next step because this looks like it only protects college students and not us trades people doing OJT.

    [Editor: VBA’s Education Service is monitoring action in the House of Representatives that would address this issue.]

  15. Luke Bergeron    

    Does this apply to veterans who are currently enrolling to start school in April? Or do you have to be already receiving benefits from the GI Bill?

Comments are closed.