WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan announced today that he recently introduced legislation to help student veterans by ensuring they are able to quickly and easily transfer their course credits to another institution should their school close or program end suddenly.
While current law requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to restore G.I. Bill benefits (up to 12 credits) to eligible student veterans whose schools close or program ends in the middle of a semester, the process can be very confusing and oftentimes leaves veterans unable to easily transfer their earned credits to a new school.
The Veterans Eligible to Transfer School (VETS) Credit Act, H.R. 6604, would require the VA to work with students and explain the school credit transfer process and to provide them with a certificate of eligibility from the VA providing proof of their restored benefits.
“America’s veterans have selflessly sacrificed and put it all on the line to defend our country and our way of life,” said Buchanan. “The VETS Credit Act will ensure that no veteran loses valuable G.I. Bill credits if their school closes or program ends abruptly. This legislation would also help ensure that the VA notifies, and the student understands, the processes in place to restore that potentially lost eligibility.”
Buchanan’s bill has been endorsed by Veterans Education Success, an organization dedicated to helping student veterans and their families receive their earned benefits.
William Hubbard, the Vice President for Veteran and Military Policy at Veterans Education Success said, "When a student veteran faces the collapse of their school, added layers of bureaucracy only serve to worsen an already difficult situation. Student veterans should have the option to apply to a quality school without waiting on unnecessary mandates from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – we're very grateful to Congressman Buchanan for seeking to cut through this red tape."
Buchanan has a strong record of fighting for veterans and military families. In December, a Buchanan measure to reduce military training accidents following the death of Bradenton soldier Nicolas Panipinto was enacted into law. Buchanan has also re-introduced the Veterans Overmedication and Suicide Prevention Act, which requires the VA to study the link between addictive opioids and the alarmingly high rate of suicides among veterans.