Congressman Brian Higgins announced passage of the Responsible Education Mitigating Options and Technical Extensions (REMOTE) Act (H.R. 5545). The bill ensures veterans attending college remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to receive Veterans Affairs Department (VA) education benefits through June 2022.
“At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as colleges began to shift to online learning, Congress passed legislation to ensure veterans making the transition to virtual classes would not see their VA education benefits reduced or eliminated,” Higgins said. “This bill extends that protection, keeping veterans in school without having to worry about losing the benefits they earned.”
In March 2020, to avoid the reduction or elimination of education benefits typically seen in students who take classes online, Congress passed legislation that would ensure veterans taking online courses would still receive full benefits. Extended multiple times, with a current expiration date of Dec. 21, 2021, the REMOTE Act ensures the education benefit protections laid out previously by Congress would be extended through June 1, 2022.
The legislation would also assist veteran students by allowing the VA to make payments or extend eligibility periods for students who can’t participate in school, work-study, or vocational rehabilitation programs that were closed as a result of COVID-19.
Last month, Higgins announced the passage of several additional bills improving education services and benefits for veteran students and their families.