U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) recently introduced bipartisan legislation that would improve the criteria required for America’s disabled military veterans to receive federal higher education financial aid.
“We need to be doing everything we can to help our veterans,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said on Wednesday. “Our disabled veterans put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms, and deserve full access to educational opportunities when they return home.”
Rep. Fitzpatrick on Nov. 11 signed on as the original cosponsor of the Honor Our Nation’s Oath to Remember (HONOR) Our Veterans’ Sacrifice Act, H.R. 8748, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA).
Currently, Veterans Affairs (VA) Disability Compensation must be reported in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and then is considered when calculating an applicant’s Estimated Family Contribution. The additional costs may create more of a financial burden for veterans and their families who send their children to college, according to information provided by Rep. Fitzpatrick’s office.
If enacted, H.R. 8748 would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 by updating the definition of untaxed income and benefit by excluding veteran benefits, including VA Disability Compensation, from the list of benefits required to be reported in the FAFSA.
“Our bipartisan HONOR Our Veterans’ Sacrifice Act will amend existing law to ensure that VA Disability Compensation is not factored into FAFSA allocation, to help our veterans receive as much tuition assistance as they are eligible for,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “We should be making it easier for our veterans to get an education after serving, not harder.”
H.R. 8748, which received endorsement from Student Veterans of America, has been referred to the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee for consideration.