Miyares and the coalition of attorneys general assert Virginia resident and decorated Army veteran Jason Rudisill was wrongly denied his Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.
After completing his first tour of duty, Rudisill, as an enlisted soldier, utilized his Montgomery GI Bill benefits to complete his undergraduate degree.
After completing his third tour of duty, Rudisill was accepted into Yale Divinity School with hopes of returning to the armed forces as a chaplain.
Rudisill attempted to use his Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, but the VA denied his request. The VA defended its decision by saying Rudisill was not entitled to use both the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
The VA specifies veterans’ preference in deciding which GI Bill they opt to utilize, “If you’re eligible for more than one education benefit, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Montgomery GI Bill, you must choose which benefit to receive.”
Advocates for Rudisill argue veterans with “multiple requisite periods of service” are entitled up to 48 months of educational benefits.
During Rudisill’s third tour of duty Congress passed the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
“He applied for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits based on his understanding that, under the Bill, he had approximately 22 months of education benefits remaining out of his 48 aggregate months,” the brief explained.
The VA determined Rudisill’s Post-9/11 benefits would be limited to 10 months and 16 days, “because [Rudisill] had used some of his entitled benefits under the prior version of the GI Bill.”
The coalition of attorneys general contends hundreds of thousands of veterans’ “rights” are in “jeopardy” by the Federal Circuit’s decision and are requesting the Supreme Court “secure” those rights by striking the lower court’s decision.
The state prosecutors say the decision made by the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit to uphold the VA’s decision in the case of Rudisill v. McDonough, could negatively impact post-9/11 veterans.
“The Federal Circuit took away both James Rudisill and thousands of other post 9/11 veterans’ GI education benefits,” said Miyares. “This decision actively hurts veterans’ reentry into civilian life and deprives them of earned benefits.”
Miyares is concerned the decision will negatively impact veterans as they transition out of the military.
“Over 700,000 veterans live in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This decision actively hurts veterans’ reentry into civilian life and deprives them of earned benefits,” Miyares said.
The Center Square reached out to the VA for comment; it had yet to respond at the time of publication.
State prosecutors joining Miyares are from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.