Bost bill expands access to Vet Centers for student veterans

Student veterans would receive expanded eligibility to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Readjustment Counseling Centers – which are more commonly called Vet Centers – under a bipartisan bill cosponsored by U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL).

“Transitioning out of the military and going back to school can be stressful,” said Rep. Bost, ranking member of the U.S. House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “Our bill would give student veterans an additional avenue of support as they readjust to civilian life and work to achieve their dreams.”

Rep. Bost on June 29 introduced the Student Veterans Counseling Centers Eligibility Act, H.R. 4233, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC). If enacted, H.R. 4233 would furnish Vet Center readjustment counseling and related mental health services to veterans and members of the Armed Forces using certain educational assistance benefits, according to the congressional record bill summary. 

Vet Centers are community-based, not co-located with VA medical center campuses, and are confidential and free. Expanded eligibility to Vet Centers would be available under H.R. 4233 specifically for student veterans enrolled in a VA education program, such as the Post-9/11 and Montgomery G.I. Bills, which cover the cost of tuition and room and board for eligible veterans and others pursuing two or four year degrees, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Bost’s office. 

School can be stressful for any student but may be particularly stressful for veterans who are older, non-traditional students, and those who may be enrolling in school during or immediately following their separation from military service, the summary says.

Student Veterans of America endorsed the bill, which has been referred for consideration to the House Veterans Affairs Committee.