On April 1, 2021, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) made a significant change to the rules pertaining to education benefits, which will allow Veterans to further maximize the benefits they’ve earned going forward.
The Veteran Readiness and Employment program (VR&E) can now be used in conjunction with the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Previously, under what was informally known as the “48-month rule,” Veterans who used the full 48 months of VR&E benefits would be ineligible for benefits under the GI Bill.
The Veteran Readiness and Employment program is a benefit that provides various resources to help Veterans with service-connected disabilities establish and maintain employment. Services under this program include job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and professional counseling. It can also include coverage for certification courses and some degree programs, similar to the benefits of the Post 9/11 GI bill which provides coverage for college tuition and housing costs.
This shift in policy could grant those who were trained in a job they can no longer perform, due to a service-related disability, the ability to return to school and start a new career path that is in-line with their current circumstances. A recipient of these benefits could also potentially earn multiple degrees by using both of the programs.
In order to use both benefits fully, veterans must first use the VR&E benefits before accessing Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.