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Mar 15, 2019

Tester Fights for Equal G.I. Bill Benefits for Foster Children

Bipartisan bill would bring VA benefits in line with Department of Defense standards

(U.S. Senate) - Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Jon Tester introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure veterans' foster children and legal wards can get the same quality education biological children are entitled to.

Tester's G.I. Education Benefits Fairness Act extends Post-9/11 G.I. Bill education benefits to veterans' foster children and legal wards. Currently, a foster child and legal ward isn't legally included as an "eligible child" for a veteran to transfer education benefits.

"VA benefits must reflect the reality of many American military and veteran families and include foster kids and all manner of family units," said Tester. "My bill would make sure all veteran families can access the education benefits their mother or father earned."

Under current law, the Department of Defense includes foster children and legal wards in its definition of an "eligible child" to receive unused education benefits. The VA does not.

Tester's G.I. Education Benefits Fairness Act would change current law by expanding the definition of "eligible child," allowing foster children and legal wards to receive the education promised to them. In addition, Tester's bill would retroactively reimburse foster children and wards who were previously approved for G.I. Bill education benefits only to have them revoked.

Tester's bill is endorsed by the Student Veterans of America (SVA), National Military Family Association, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).


Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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