UPDATE: benefits have been restored. Read more HERE.
One of my hobbies, of sorts, at work is to keep up on the education world for the Coast Guard. I was an Education Services Officer at my last unit and now have an overwhelming belief that the best military is an educated one. So, in a nutshell, I’m our local education evangelist.
As the fiscal crisis we’re going through has set in, a few questions started to float my way with regard to military tuition assistance and the GI Bill.
The exact questions were in the realm of how the lack of funding would curtail the funding stream of both TA and the GI Bill? Both will be impacted.
Tuition Assistance: With no funding for the government, let alone the Coast Guard, there is no money to fund extracurricular educational activities (i.e. TA). If you’re in the CG and are currently in a course or had your planned courses approved prior to 23 September 2013 then you’re good to go. If not, well, you’re going to have to wait and see if any further funding comes our way for FY14.
GI Bill: Most would think that the GI Bill, for educational expenses, wouldn’t be in this crunch. However, it is. The VA put out guidance (PDF warning) on 27 September (then updated it on 1 Oct ’13) in preparation for a potential, now real, government lapse in funding. The money for the GI Bill will run out if a prolonged shutdown occurs. From the guidance:
Claims processing and payments in the compensation, pension, education, and vocational rehabilitation programs are anticipated to continue through late October. However, in the event of a prolonged shutdown, claims processing and payments in these programs would be suspended when available funding is exhausted.
So prepare accordingly and you’ll be all right. Any questions?