Secretary Shinseki Orders Emergency Checks to Students Awaiting Education Benefits
Thousands of Checks to Alleviate Student Financial Burden
WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has authorized checks for up to $3,000 to be given to students who have applied for educational benefits and who have not yet received their government payment. The checks will be distributed to eligible students at VA regional benefits offices across the country starting Oct. 2, 2009.
“Students should be focusing on their studies, not worrying about financial difficulties,” Secretary Shinseki said. “Education creates life-expanding opportunities for our Veterans.”
Starting Friday, Oct. 2, 2009, students can go to one of VA’s 57 regional benefit offices with a photo ID and a course schedule to request advance payment of their education benefits. Because not all these offices are located near students, VA expects to send representatives to schools with large Veteran-student bodies and work with Veteran Service Organizations to help students with transportation needs.
A list of those VA regional offices is available at www.vba.va.gov/VBA/benefits/offices.asp.
“I’m asking our people to get out their road maps and determine how we can reach the largest number of college students who can’t reach us,” VA’s Under Secretary for Benefits Patrick Dunne said. “Not everyone has a car. Not everyone can walk to a VA benefits office.”
Although VA does not know how many students will request emergency funds, it has approximately 25,000 claims pending that may result in payments to students. The funds VA will give to students now are advance payments of the earned benefits for education benefits.
This money will be deducted from future education payments.
VA officials said students should know that after this special payment, they can expect to receive education payments on the normal schedule -- the beginning of the month following the period for which they are reimbursed.
“This is an extraordinary action we’re taking,” said Shinseki. “But it’s necessary because we recognize the hardships some of our Veterans face.”
More than 27,500 students have already received benefits for housing or books under the new Post-9/11 GI Bill, or their schools received their tuition payments.
24 September 2009
WLF partners with White House and VA to get GI Bill payments expedited
The Warrior Legacy Foundation (WLF) is working with the White House and the VA to assist veterans who have been experiencing delays in GI Bill payments. Recently a number of veterans have not received payment for college expenses they are due in a timely fashion. This has caused financial hardship in an already difficult economy.
This is unacceptable and WLF is committed to helping fix the problem.
Our leaders have been in contact with veterans officials at both the White House and VA and they agree this is a priority that must be addressed. They have dedicated resources and we will be working with them to expedite these payments and to ensure that systemic problems are addressed. We will provide assistance to veterans affected by this and connect them with the proper authorities to get them the benefits they earned. We appreciate the attention and help from both the White House and VA in rectifying this.
Veterans who have not received payment can contact us at email@example.com with GI Bill in the subject line.
25 September 2009