H.R. 4830, as amended, would amend 38 U.S. Code § 3679 so that a school is not eligible for GI Bill benefits unless it adopts a policy that protects eligible student veterans, survivors, or dependents from policies that . penalize these students for their inability to meet the institution’s financial obligations because of a delayed GI Bill payment. Penalties that are prohibited include the assessment of late fees; the denial of access to classes, libraries or other institutional facilities; or the requirement of borrowing additional funds. The VA can waive these two required polices as deemed appropriate. These provisions would not apply to schools if the delay is longer than 90 days.
H.R. 4830, as amended, would also amend the heading for section 302 of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-48). The new heading would read: Authorization for use of educational assistance under any of the educational assistance programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs to purpose independent study programs at certain education institutions that are not institutions of higher learning.
Students eligible for Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits must file a claim with the VA who provides a certificate of eligibility. The student provides this certificate to the educational institution so that the school can certify the student can receive payments.
The processing of these VA claims can be delayed and delays happen more often at the beginning of semesters. As a result some schools have forced students to begin a payment plan until their benefits are paid by the VA. H.R. 4830, as amended, would address this by requiring schools to adopt policies preventing such penalties if they want to remain eligible for GI Bill benefits.