Tester, Moran Bipartisan Fix to Protect GI Bill Benefits during Coronavirus Outbreak Signed into Law

Student veterans will continue to receive their earned education benefits as universities move to online curriculum due to COVID-19

(U.S. Senate) – President Trump today signed Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jon Tester’s bipartisan bill to allow veterans on the GI Bill to continue receiving full benefits as universities move classes online to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Congress stepped up to the plate and worked quickly to push our bipartisan fix over the finish line for student veterans across the country who rely on their GI Bill benefits,” said Ranking Member Tester. “As more schools move to an online curriculum and make necessary adjustments during this crisis, it’s increasingly important that we provide students with the financial support they need. Folks who served our nation in uniform can breathe easy knowing that this law helps give them the financial stability they earned.”

The GI Bill determines student veterans’ benefits based on whether or not they attend a physical university in person versus an online program. As colleges and universities close campuses to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, veterans on the GI Bill could lose or have their benefits cut. This bill would allow these student veterans to continue to receive full benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) even if the universities they are attending decide to temporarily move classes online due to COVID-19. Tester introduced this bill last week with VA Committee Chairman Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas.

Tester is continuing to lead the Committee’s effort to ensure VA is well-equipped to handle the emergent threat of the novel coronavirus. The President signed the bipartisan, Tester-backed coronavirus relief package into law this week, delivering critical resources to protect veterans and local communities from the COVID-19 outbreak— including $60 million for VA testing.