Pro Bono Legal Veterans Win Major Victory for Military Service Members of Post-9/11 era

Pro Bono Legal Veterans Win Major Victory for Military Service Members of Post-9/11 era

Possible Billions of Dollars in GI Bill Educational Benefits Restored with Court Win WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has issued a major decision that could restore billions of dollars in Post-9/11 GI Bill and other educational benefits to military service members of the Post-9/11 era. Since World War II, Congress has provided veterans with different GI Bill benefits for different periods of qualifying service. Nevertheless, since 2009, the Department of Veterans Affairs has required veterans with more than one period of separately qualifying service to relinquish or exhaust their entitlement to Montgomery GI Bill benefits before utilizing their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, thereby capping most veterans’ combined GI Bill benefits at 36 months. In BO v. Wilkie , the court on Aug. 15 rejected this practice, declaring that the law “require[s] neither relinquishment nor exhaustion” and determined that the law allows veterans with separately qualifying service “to receive entitlement under both programs subject to a 36-month cap on utilization of each of the two separate programs and a 48-month cap overall.” The court reversed a decision by the VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals and ordered the board to recalculate BO’s entitlement to GI Bill benefits. Attorneys from Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP and Dominion Energy, the appellant’s pro bono counsel, estimate that the decision impacts millions of veterans affected by the VA’s illegal practice and those who would have been affected. “BO” is the identifier given to the veteran in this case, which is sealed to protect national security and BO’s service as a federal counterterrorism agent. BO is also a highly decorated Army combat veteran of the pre- and post-9/11 eras. After an initial period of enlisted military service, he attended college on the Montgomery GI Bill, then returned to the Army as […]

Click here to view full artile at www.veteransnewsreport.com