Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, June 20, 2001

U.S. House OKs 70 percent increase in GI Bill benefits

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The House yesterday unanimously endorsed one of the biggest increases ever for a program that has helped millions of veterans get college educations since the end of World War II.

Under the legislation, passed 416-0, education and training benefits available to a veteran with three years of service would increase over the next three years from the current $650 a month to $1,100. The bill still needs Senate consideration.

For veterans with two years of service and reservists who have served four years, the maximum benefit would increase from $528 to $894 over three years.

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, said the education benefit, when fully phased in, would rise from today's $23,400 to $39,600.

Smith estimated that with the 70 percent rise in benefits, the number of veterans using the program would increase from 266,000 today to about 375,000 in 10 years.

Almost 21 million veterans have taken advantage of the GI Bill, enacted in 1944 and revised several times over the years.