VFW: GI Bill delays leading to evictions, repossessions

Eric Dehm
October 26, 2018 - 11:57 am

(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Joe Roudabush, Released)

When the "Forever GI Bill" was signed in to law in 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs was given an August 1, 2018 deadline to have all of the required changes instituted. That deadline was not met, leading to students not receiving the correct GI Bill payment and in typical government fashion, there was no new deadline established. In fact, for weeks after the August 1st deadline, no information on any fix or a timeline was provided to anyone, not even School Certifying Officials.

Eventually, the VA did provide fairly vague estimates with an "average" wait time to be expected for students and offered assistance for students facing "financial hardship." Tony Lowe of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) says progress is being made with around 120,000 vets still having payment issues. Still, the Air Force vet says the organization has been hearing from vets who have paid a steep price after months of non-payment.

"It's real out there," Lowe said during an appearance on the Morning Briefing radio show. "We're receiving eviction notices, repossession notices (from student vets)... we're moving into two-and-a-half, almost three months of no benefits being paid to thousands of individuals and so that's real. Three months equals evictions, repossessions."

So what should student vets do if they find themselves on the verge of losing their home or car? Lowe recommends reaching out to the VA via their Education Call Center at 888-442-4551 and to specifically tell the agent who answers that you want to process your claim as a financial hardship, which does not require any additional forms, and it should be processed immediately, and you should receive payment in 24-48 hours.

If that payment doesn't come through, Lowe implores students to e-mail 1studentveteran@vfw.org which will alert the VFW to your situation and their offices will directly contact the VA to work on expediting the payment.

You can listen to the full interview with VFW's Tony Lowe below.

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