Assistance with tuition costs is one of the most important benefits afforded to veterans. Aside from helping them transition to civilian life, heading back to school after separating from service can lend a hand in their finding employment. However, there's a time restraint placed on the benefits. Troops have to pay $1,200 before leaving the military, and if they don't use the GI Bill benefits after 10 years, they lose their chance. .Now, one Connecticut Senator is looking to change all that, according to The Associated Press.

Millions could benefit
The driving force behind the legislation, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, says, is that thousands of troops may not have been able to take full advantage of their GI Bill benefits, even if they paid the requisite $1,200 upon separating from service. Specifically, he says that imposing the arbitrary time limit of 10 years is doing troops who have put their lives on the line a disservice. His proposal could restore benefits to everyone from more recent vets to those who served in the Vietnam War. 

"I am very hopeful that there will be strong bipartisan support," Blumenthal told WCBS recently. "The financial cost is minimal, the benefits are huge and we owe it to our veterans."

Measuring the benefits
The GI Bill has been a part of veteran life for decades, but the most recent incarnation – the Post-9/11 GI Bill – was one of the most beneficial in recent memory, and now a former servicemember is looking to analyze exactly what impact it has on the lives of troops. The researcher, Frank Bergmeister, used the bill to obtain two master's degrees, and he wants to uncover how the ability to transfer benefits to children and spouses has impacted the military community, according to the Free Lance-Star. Bermeister said he's interested in answering questions few people have asked. 

"No one has ever examined what happens," he told the newspaper. "How does it change lives. What does the family think? Does the spouse get involved?"

Tips for veterans
While the benefits offered to veterans are there for the taking, it's important they educate themselves on all information that's available to them. Perhaps most significantly, they should identify the schools that offer the best options. For instance, the post-9/11 Gi Bill covers full tuition and fees to in-state public universities.