On Monday, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans can apply in Tucumcari for the new college benefits, said a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan’s office.
Lujan is urging Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to apply for the new GI Bill Benefits.
Although veterans could begin applying today, Lujan’s new Tucumcari office is to be set up with th Internet on Monday, the spokesman said.
The new GI Bill for the 21st Century takes effect Aug. 1.
Congress enacted the new GI Bill for the 21st Century to provide a full, four-year college education for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
Veterans can sign up for benefits by visiting: www.gibill.va.gov, or visit Lujan's office in Tucumcari, the spokesman said.
“Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have an opportunity to receive significant education benefits under the new GI Bill,” said Lujan, in a press release.
Members of the military -- including activated reservists and members of the National Guard who have been honorably discharged from service with at least 90 days of active duty service on or after Sept.11, 2001 could receive up to four academic years of education benefits.
These benefits include stipends for housing and books, and are correlated on a sliding scale relative to years served.
To receive full benefits a veteran must have served on active duty for three years. Veterans will have up to 15 years after they leave active duty to use their education benefits.
The new college benefit program will pay for:
l Tuition and fees up to the maximum in-state tuition and fees at a public institution in your state;
l A monthly housing allowance at the location of the school, based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents; and
l An annual books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000.
Veterans can visit any of Luján’s district offices, in Santa Fe, Rio Rancho, Farmington, Gallup, Las Vegas or Tucumcarui, to sign up for benefits, the release said.