I also asked the same question, just got a response this morning.
I just got a response like this as well! WE IN BOYS!!!!!!I also asked the same question, just got a response this morning.
I have looked into the question that you raised in your email below and have concluded that you should continue to receive your Post-9/11 GI Bill Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) as though you were training in-person at the facility. My conclusion is based on several reasons.
First, Congress has taken steps to provide benefits at in-person rates for recipients who have been forced to learn/train remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The VA’s own COVID-19 FAQ addresses the issue directly:
Q11) What happens if my On the Job Training (OJT) or Apprenticeship establishment changes to online and remains open, but I can’t work because I was furloughed? What if it temporarily ceases the trainee program training due to COVID-19?
· If your training facility can change to an online format, you will continue to receive your regular MHA payment.
· If your training facility remains open, but you must stop training (due to furlough, illness, etc.), VA can only pay education benefits through the last day of your training.
· If the facility where you work temporarily ceases operations, VA can continue to pay trainees their monthly housing through the end of the program or for 28 days, whichever is sooner
Second, 38 U.S.C. 3313 sets forth the educational assistance that is available through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, including the MHA. Section 3313(c)(1)(B)(iii) specifies that recipients pursuing degrees at institutions of higher learning are entitled to 50% of the in-person MHA if they pursue their program of education solely through distance learning. However, Section 3313(g)(3)(B), which addresses recipients pursuing on-the-job training like you, contains no reference to a reduced MHA due to distance learning. If Congress had intended to reduce the amount of the MHA to recipients who receive on-the-job training remotely, then it would have specified the reduced benefit in the statute. Since Congress did not do so, the conclusion is that the MHA for on-the-job training remains the same whether the recipient trains in-person or remotely.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions.
Grant E. Mulkey
Senior Counsel for Labor Relations
National Air Traffic Controllers Association, AFL-CIO