Thursday evening, the U.S. Senate passed legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) to streamline the process for dependents receiving post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.
The bipartisan legislation passed the upper chamber by voice vote and will now head to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.
Thursday’s successful passage of the bill marks the second piece of legislation that Alabama’s junior senator has ushered through the chamber. Earlier this year, the Tuberville-authored “Supporting Families of the Fallen Act” was given approval by his Senate colleagues.
In a statement lauding the bill’s passage, Tuberville, a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, stated his desire for veterans’ families to efficiently receive benefits absent “bureaucratic red tape.”
“As the son of a veteran and a grateful American, I want to ensure that our veterans and their families are well-taken care of, not the victims of bureaucratic red tape,” advised the senator. “This bill is another targeted, meaningful change that makes it easier for our veterans and their families to receive the benefits they so rightly deserve. I look forward to seeing this bill pass the House and sent to President Biden’s desk soon.”
According to Tuberville’s Senate office, the bill clarifies the information required on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) forms filled out by a service member when they elect to have their post-9/11 GI Bill benefit transferred to a dependent.
Presently, the forms require the service member to fill out a field labeled “end date,” which refers to the date on which the dependent may no longer receive the benefit. Tuberville’s legislation would remove this required field.
The legislation would allow a service member to transfer their Post-9/11 GI bill benefits to a dependent under the following requirements:
- Completed at least six years on the date the service member requests to transfer the benefit
- Agreed to add four more years of service
- The individual receiving the benefits has enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)
Tuberville’s bill was cosponsored by U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).
Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL