Titus, Cook Introduce the Fair Access to Benefits for Student Veterans Act

Mar 6, 2014
Press Release

March 6, 2014      

Washington, D.C. – Today Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada’s First District and Congressman Paul Cook of California’s Eighth District introduced the bipartisan Fair Access to Benefits for Student Veterans Act.  This legislation will make it easier for veterans to access the education and training benefits they have earned when they need them most.  
 
“As a country, we have a responsibility to help our veterans successfully transition back into civilian life. The Fair Access to Benefits for Student Veterans Act honors that commitment by allowing student veterans to access their education benefits when they need them the most,” said Rep. Titus. “Our veterans deserve every opportunity to succeed in the civilian workforce, and the Fair Access to Benefits for Student Veterans Act will help them on this path.”
 
“It is unacceptable that our brave service members return home from fighting for their country, only to battle the VA for the benefits that they earn. We have a duty to make these benefits easily accessible for our veterans and this bill does just that,” said Rep. Cook.
 
Veterans who are using their education and training benefits for the first time or who have been out of school for a semester are able to request Advance Pay.  This allows them to receive financial assistance when they need it, before classes start, to buy school books and prepare for the coming semester.
 
Under current law, this advanced payment comes in lieu of the payment for the following month, potentially leaving the veteran without necessary funds just as their studies begin. The Fair Access to Benefits for Student Veterans would specify that advance payments granted to student veterans will be charged against the final month of education assistance that the veteran is eligible for. This small change will allow veterans to access the education assistance that they have worked for when they need it the most.