New law ensures that GI Bill benefits continue during remote instruction period

March 24, 2020 03:33 pm

Within a week of introduction, the Emergency GI Fix for Coronavirus School Closures was passed by Congress and then signed into law by President Trump on Saturday, March 21. The law gives states temporary authority to continue GI Bill education benefit payments, including housing stipends, at normal levels, uninterrupted, in the event of national emergencies.

 The legislation includes the provision that payments continue even when an approved and accredited education program, such as the University of Oregon, switches from in-person to remote instruction. It also addresses monthly housing stipends and applies through December 21, 2020.

The Oregon delegation tracked this issue closely as both the US House and US Senate moved to consider bills to enact a fix. Ultimately, Senate Bill 3503 became law. The University of Oregon joined a coalition of universities to support the bills including signing onto a  letter of support as it was pending before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.