A lawmaker hopes to make tuition reimbursement just a little easier for military veterans.
A new Wisconsin law allows soldiers from our state to be reimbursed for their college education, but State Representative Terry Musser (R-Black River Falls) says if those veterans don't get the paperwork done in a timely manner, they're out of luck … and he says that's wrong.
"There's just simply no reason to be denying a veteran a semester of benefits. The whole thing is just archaic."
Musser, who's the Chairman of the Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs, which held a hearing on Wednesday, says veterans are required to fill out a form and send it to the Department of Veterans Affairs within 30 days after the start of the semester in order to get their education paid for.
"Currently law, if they don't get that in within 30 days of the start of the semester, they can't be reimbursed — ever — for that semester. So what we're doing is totally eliminating that portion so all they have to do is go to school, and then within 60 days of the completion of the semester they apply for reimbursement and then they're done. So instead of the two steps there's just the one step after the fact."
Musser says some veterans weren't aware of that condition for eligibility, or maybe it slipped their minds in the hustle and bustle of life. And, unlike other areas in life, there's no late fee or appeal process.
"And there's just literally a few hundred veterans that have been denied their educational benefits for that semester because they just simply forgot that they had to have that pre-enrollment in within 30 days."
The bill ( AB-555 ) also requires the Veterans Department to review all applications for tuition reimbursement that had been recently denied.