Here’s what VA finally is telling students about late GI Bill payments

Matt Saintsing
October 10, 2018 - 2:33 pm

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After weeks of delayed GI Bill payments, and confusion among thousands of student veterans, the VA is finally making an effort to contact student veterans and issue some much needed advice. 

"We are averaging a little over 35 days to work first-time applications and 23 days for re-enrollments," the VA says in a mass email sent out to student veterans Tuesday. "We regret that these delays are occurring and the impact they may have on you and your family."

READ MORE: Here's why your GI Bill payments are delayed

The letter says VA's educational call center is "experiencing higher than normal wait times." Veterans can avoid waiting on the phone for an update as to their payment statuses by calling 1-888-442-4551 and choosing Option 2 for an automated response. 

They are urging those experiencing "financial hardship" to let them know here

"Once your payment is processed by VA, it will take a few more days to reach your banking institution," according to the VA.  

READ MORE: Like countless student veterans, he’s owed thousands in late GI Bill payments.

The problem stems from the new technical regulations Congress imposed on the VA when the Forever GI Bill was signed into law last year. Over the summer, there was a delay certifying veterans' payments online. As a consequence, hundreds of thousands of GI Bill users have not received their monthly housing payments. 

The email Tuesday represents VA's first attempt to communicate the scope of the problem to veterans. 

“The VA reports that education claims will be processed immediately, as will disbursements, but if student veterans do not achieve resolution within three business days, I urge them to contact the VFW through our [email protected] email address,” says B.J. Lawrence, national commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). 

Lawrence adds the VFW will “intervene directly with the VA to ensure your housing allowance is correct and paid.” But in the meantime, he’s encouraging every student veteran to talk to their landlords and explain the issue is with VA’s computer system and not a fault of veterans.  

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