U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., has introduced a proposal that he insists will make it easier for veterans to use their GI Benefits.
Bilirakis, the top Republican on the U.S. House VA Economic Opportunities Subcommittee, brought out the “Streamlining GI Bill Processing Act” this week with U.S. Rep. Mike Levin, D-Calif., the chairman of the subcommittee, as a cosponsor.
According to the Florida Republican, the bill will “improve the benefits and services available to veterans” by having the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offer veterans an electronic copy of their certification of GI bill eligibility.
“Schools require veterans to submit a verification form prior to using the GI Bill to pay for classes. Under current law, the VA must mail this form to students upon request. If a veteran loses the certificate, or needs to access it again later in their educational career, he or she must call the VA again and have it re-sent. In addition to adding convenience for veterans, this small change will result in sensible cost savings for the VA,” the Florida congressman’s office noted.
Bilirakis weighed in on the bill on Wednesday.
“This legislation is a win-win,” Bilirakis said. “It makes the process of using GI Bill benefits easier for veterans and it will free up the money the VA is wasting on mailing and administration to be used for a more worthwhile purpose. As good stewards of taxpayer dollars, we have an obligation to keep looking for ways we can improve efficiency for our nation’s veterans.”
“This bipartisan bill is a commonsense step we can take to make life easier for student veterans,” said Levin. “It may seem like a small step, but providing veterans with an electronic copy of their GI Bill eligibility certificate will help countless veterans receive the higher education benefits they have earned and deserve. I’m grateful for Congressman Bilirakis’s partnership on this legislation, and look forward to advancing it on behalf of all student veterans.”
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee this week. So far, there is no counterpart over in the U.S. Senate.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.