GI Bill benefits have been provided through the VA for more than 70 years. Over this time, Congress has adjusted eligibility requirements. In August, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 was enacted. The law provides updates for reservists, veterans who face school closures while enrolled, Purple Heart recipients, and surviving family members.
The bill will return GI bill benefits to students who face permanent school closures. Additionally, the bill provides eligibility for reservists undergoing medical care and will provide full GI Bill benefits for Purple Heart recipients, regardless of length of service.
Also, the law provides GI Bill eligibility for reservists mobilized under selected reserve orders for preplanned missions in support of the combatant commands or in response to a major emergency or disaster. Moreover, the bill enables use of GI Bill benefits for distance courses in technical and career education institutions.