• October 22, 2014

Veterans Waiting for GI Bill Benefits Will Get Emergency Funds

Veterans who applied for benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill but have not yet seen a check might be getting money sooner than expected, according to The Washington Post.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has approved emergency checks of up to $3,000 each for veterans still waiting for the payments. More than 250,000 veterans have applied for the benefits, which allow veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to attend a public, in-state college free, but less than 10 percent of applicants have received their first payments.

The department has processed all but about 72,000 of the claims, and about 25,000 of the remaining claims will probably result in payments this fall.. But before the students can receive their checks, their colleges must certify the veterans' enrollment. Many colleges have not yet done so, which the veterans-affairs department has called a source of the delays. While some colleges have postponed the tuition deadline for veterans, most students have had to pay housing costs themselves while they wait for their checks.

The backlog of cases and processing delays have angered veterans' groups."This is absolutely unacceptable," the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a veterans-advocacy group, said in a statement last week. "Delayed payments are forcing veterans to take out loans or pay out of pocket for costs the VA promised to cover. The men and women who so courageously served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan deserve better."

The $3,000 checks, which the secretary of veterans' affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, called "an extraordinary action" in a statement issued on Friday, are advances on future GI Bill payments. In order to get the money, students must go to a regional veterans-affairs office with a photo ID and a class schedule. The department will also send representatives to colleges that enroll a large number of veterans.

Emergency checks will be issued starting on Friday.

Comments

1. 11234450 - September 28, 2009 at 03:19 pm

"to attend a public, in-state college free,"

This statement makes it look as though the government is discriminating against private colleges. Can veterans attend private colleges under this bill or is government using tax dollars to push private universities out of business?

2. pennstateomr - September 28, 2009 at 03:38 pm

Yes you can. There's no discrimination. Read the bill.

3. pennstateomr - September 28, 2009 at 03:43 pm

for the most part private schools are much more expensive. Public schools due to the minscule public support are able to offer reduced tuition prices. The new GI Bill will pay up to the most expensive in-state public school. For instance, in Pennsylvania it is the Univ of Pittsburgh Pharmacy undergraduate degree program. Which means all Penn State campuses qualify for free except the medical school and only the first $5,000 of the law school tuition is free. SO if a soldier qualifies for a Pell Grant and gets the tuition free they make out.
But then, they deserve it for getting their asses shot at in Iraq and Afghanistan while we enjoy our cushie lives back here at home.

4. 11234450 - September 28, 2009 at 04:31 pm

Thank you for this information.

5. director19 - September 28, 2009 at 06:00 pm

Once again, the government has proven that they cannot run anything effectively. And they want us to believe that they can reform health care? Can you say... SNAFU!

6. glenc101 - October 06, 2009 at 06:32 am

This action is great, i have been waiting 4 weeks for my paperwork to even show up in the va, then im told another 6 to get first payment. Were talking mid december for housing and book money paid out in sept and oct. I was worried to say the least and without this action im not sure how i would have been able to stay in my classes. Lets just hope the va and the schools get this thing together for future semesters.

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