We hope you are doing well as you work remotely to finish out the spring semester. Below are a few updates from the Office of Military and Veteran Services. We’re exploring ways to support and engage you the rest of this semester, so watch for additional information in the coming days.
We have a wealth of resources available at our COVID-19 Info and Resources Box folder. The list keeps growing, so check back periodically for updated information on academic, community, financial, food, health and wellness, homeschooling, military- and veteran-specific and technology resources.
Be well, and please reach out to us if you are seeking additional information or support during this time.
VA Educational Benefits Update: The President signed S.3503 into law on March 21st, giving the VA the authority to continue GI Bill payments uninterrupted in the event of national emergencies. The new law allows for VA to continue to pay benefits regardless of the fact that the program has changed from resident training to online training. Students will continue to receive the same monthly housing allowance payments that they received for resident training until January 1, 2021, or until the school resumes normal operations of resident training. VA is working to immediately implement the new changes to address current and future school terms to ensure students continue to receive their education benefits.
VA Debt Management Center Update: The VA Debt Management Center (DMC) issued guidance to veterans and family members that provides temporary relief to those who owe a debt to the VA and are unable to repay because of the impact of COVID-19. If you are affected by COVID-19, have a Veterans Benefit Administration benefit debt and need temporary financial relief, please contact the DMC at 1-800-827-0648 to request assistance.
CARES Act: On March 27th, the President signed into law H.R.748, the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security” or “CARES Act.” This bill provides much needed relief for students across the country. While additional support will be needed, this legislation will help students now as they grapple with the impact of COVID-19.
Activation in Support of COVID-19 Response Operations: While many active duty, Guard and Reserve members are already serving in direct support of COVID-19 response operations, on March 27th, the president signed an Executive Order granting the Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security additional authority to activate members of the Selected Reserve and certain members of the Individual Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces to active duty in support of the COVID-19 national emergency. If you are currently serving in the Armed Forces and are unable to complete classes because of your participation in military response efforts, please reach out to us to explore whether a short-term absence or a Military Leave of Absence is required.
Student Participation in the U.S. Census: The U.S. Census Bureau has released information regarding where students should be counted in light of COVID-19 campus closures. The Census Bureau is proceeding as if students are still at their campus (either on- or off-campus) residences, NOT at whatever residence they’ve relocated to because of these closures. What does this mean for WashU students? You should still be counted as though you are in the St. Louis area! Visit the WashU Counts website for additional information.
Jennifer Goetz, M.Ed., MSW, LCSW | Veteran Student Services Advisor | Military and Veteran Services
Washington University in St. Louis | Umrath Hall, Room 121 | One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1175 | St. Louis, MO 63130
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Office: (314) 935-2609 | Website: https://veterans.wustl.edu
Schedule an appointment: https://meetme.so/milvet