U.S. Senators Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Jack Reed (D-RI) today introduced the "Veterans and Survivors Employment and Training Act of 2007." This legislation would make school more affordable to veterans, survivors, and dependents pursuing an education in high tech fields. The bill would expand the education programs that are eligible for accelerated payments under the Montgomery GI Bill, and provide the benefit to recipients of the Survivors' and Dependents Educational Assistance Program (SDEAP).
"America's service men and women make tremendous sacrifices in service to our country. As policymakers, we have an obligation to ensure they have the resources they need to pursue their education. This legislation will make it easier for veterans, and the families of veterans killed or permanently disabled in service to our country, to afford higher education and expand the much needed high tech workforce in our country," Hagel said.
Under current law, individuals eligible for the Montgomery GI Bill qualify for accelerated payments of their education benefit if they are pursuing two or four year programs in life or physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, science technology, computer specialties and management. The accelerated payment option is currently not available to individuals eligible under SDEAP.
This bill would provide 60% of the benefit for each semester in a single lump sum at the beginning of that eligible semester for veterans, survivors, and dependents pursuing an education in approved fields. Further, this bill would:
· Expand the programs eligible for accelerated payments; and,
· Extend the same eligibility for the accelerated payments to recipients of SDEAP as recipients of the GI bill.