September 29, 2008


It seems pointless to opine about the current Wall Street woes, bailout, and other issues that have yet to finish "unwinding" ... I'll definitely spend some time exploring these issues when a specific direction has been decided upon. I thought this week it would be nice to focus on something much more positive (not a lot of positive financial news out there) ...

On June 22, 1944, FDR signed into law what has since been heralded as one of the most significant pieces of legislation ever produced because of its far-reaching social, economic, and political impacts - the GI Bill. By the time the original GI Bill ended in 1956, nearly half of the 16 million World War II veterans had participated in an education or training program.

In 1984, Senator Montgomery revamped the bill which has since been known as the "Montgomery GI Bill" ensuring education programs for our newest generation of combat veterans. This year (2008), the GI Bill was updated once again. The new law gives veterans with active duty service on, or after, 9/11/2001, enhanced educational benefits that cover more educational expenses, provide a living allowance, money for books, and the ability to transfer unused educational benefits to a spouse or children.

Facts About Post- 9/11 GI Bill:
- Benefits take effect on August 1, 2009
- Benefit-eligible for up to 15 years (instead of 10)
- Provides a stipend of up to $1,000 for books and supplies
- Provides up to 100% of tuition costs
- Provides monthly housing stipend
- Transferable benefits (see additional links below for details)
- Unlike prior GI Bills, benefits extend to activated Guard & Reservists

Eligibility Requirements:
If you have served a total of at least 90 consecutive days on active duty in the Armed Forces since Sept. 11, 2001, you’re eligible. The actual benefits you receive under this program are determined by the amount of accumulated post 9/11 service provided. To be eligible for the full benefit, you must have three years of active duty service after 9/11 or have been discharged due to a service-connected disability.

Benefits Based Upon Service:
* 100% - 36 or more total months
* 100% - 30 or more consecutive days with disability-related discharge
* 90% - 30 total months
* 80% - 24 total months
* 70% - 18 total months
* 60% - 12 total months
* 50% - six total months
* 40% - 90 or more days

Additional Links:
- About GI Bill 2008
- Calculate Benefits
- GI Bill Fact Sheet
- GI Bill Home Page
- New GI Bill Overview