Tuesday, June 19, 2012

VALOR Act and Post 9/11 GI Bill are keys to transitioning from military to civilian life

Governor Deval Patrick signed the VALOR Act into law on May 31, 2012. Some of the provisions of this law are:

1) Provides greater access to financial assistance for veteran-owned small businesses;

2) Affords greater opportunities for service-disabled veterans to participate in public projects;

3) Makes it easier for children of military personnel to transfer between school districts and states;

4) Expands support by the Massachusetts Military Family Relief Fund to Gold Star Families, including uncapping the property tax exemption in year six and beyond (was $2,500);

5) Calls for Board of Higher Education to develop policies that consider a student's military occupation, training, coursework and experience for academic credit;

6) Allows for military training to be used for qualifying for trade and professional certifications;

7) Allows towns to adopt up to a $1,000 real estate tax abatement for veterans who provide volunteer services to their towns.

Veterans looking to continue their education should become familiar with the Post 9/11 GI Bill and other GI bills that focus on various aspects of higher education and skills training. A veteran with 36 months active duty or with a disability discharge can take advantage of 100%-paid tuition and fees at state universities.

Resources

VALOR Act press release: http://www.mass.gov/governor/pressoffice/pressreleases/2012/2012531-governor-signs-valor-act.html

VALOR Act: http://www.randyhuntcpa.com/podcasts/Bill_S02269_VALOR_Act_2012.pdf

GI Bill: http://www.gibill.va.gov/

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs VOW to Hire Heroes Act 2011: http://www.benefits.va.gov/VOW/

Massachusetts Veterans Assistance: http://www.massvetsadvisor.org/

Randy Hunt, State Representative / randy.hunt@mahouse.gov
Susann Koelsch, Legislative Aide / susann.koelsch@mahouse.gov

District Office
297 Quaker Meeting House Road
East Sandwich, MA 02537
(508) 888-2158

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