By Terry Howell: June 17, 2009
The Supplemental Act of 2009, or so called War Spending Bill, recently passed both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and awaits President Obama’s signature. The bill includes a key provision that will have a significant impact on surviving children of military servicemembers. Under the provision, Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits will be extended to the children of servicemembers of the armed forces who die while on active duty. If signed into law, surviving children will be given access to benefits which include up to 100 percent tuition and fee coverage, a monthly housing stipend averaging more than $1,200, and an annual book and supply stipend of up to $1,000. These benefits are a vast improvement to those provided under the VA’s Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance Program, which provides education and training opportunities to all eligible dependents of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition, or who died while on active duty or as a result of a service related condition.