The official blog of American Veteran Magazine, the national quarterly publication of AMVETS.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Post-9/11 G.I. Bill Update: Thousands of veterans could receive late living stipends

Over the last few weeks, AMVETS has heard grumblings in Washington that the VA may be unable to deliver September's living stipend on time to thousands of veterans seeking Post-9/11 G.I. Bill (Chapter 33) benefits.

AMVETS National Legislative Director Ray Kelley has asked for specifics on potential issues from the VA several times, only to have his inquiries fall on deaf ears.

However, according to the most recent data, more than 200,000 claims for Chapter 33 remain unprocessed. VA, which hired hundreds of new claims processors to handle the influx, only has a few short days remaining to file the additional claims and issue checks.

Earlier this month, Keith Wilson, VA's primary representative handling Chapter 33, placed the blame on many of the colleges and universities, saying that they failed to file veterans' paperwork in a timely manner, leading to a flood of claims to be processed in August.

College representatives refute this claim, saying that the VA's self-imposed start date of July 7 to accept paperwork was far to late to adequately process all of the new benefits claims.

Regardless of where the disconnect occured, the delay in payment could leave many of the 200,000 veterans without their first month's living stipend.

When the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill was signed into law, the nation made a promise to veterans that they would not incur any outlandish costs pursuing higher education. The living stipend--based on the military's basic allowance for housing for an E-5 with dependents--was designed to cover the costs of rent, food and other expenses so that veterans could focus on their studies.

Now, will veterans need to hastily apply for loans to cover these costs in the interim? What happens when veterans cannot make the rent for the month of September?

American Veteran will continue to follow this story closely. Check back regularly, as we approach Sept. 1 for updates. In the meantime, let us know what you think.

30 comments:

  1. My education counselor told me the first quarter of fall semester I would have to pay with my credit card and it would be reimburse later. I found myself dropping out to avoid out of state tuition the limited slots of Yellow Ribbon program could not copper bottom.

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  2. I initially completed my Chp. 33 paperwork June 23rd. My school certified my classes August. 5th, 2009. But now are stating that it will be upto 8 weeks before I receive assistance. It is now Sept. 9, 2009, and I have yet to receive any assitance from the VA. And was informed to wait until Oct. 1st, before attempting to seek a status update. I have since had to seek multiple student loans just to cover basic needs, and borrow money from family. As a disabled single father with two children. I find it increasingly hard to make ends meet. I understand that this bill was relatively rushed. But really, they should have been more prepared before rolling it out. Wait another year if need be. Haste makes Waste as they say. And as one of those 200,000 vets. We all have to live with the waste.

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  3. Thank you for these postings, if you are interested in discussing further, please feel free to contact me. rgallucci@amvets.org.

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  4. I submitted all of my paperwork the day we were eligible to submit and the VA incorrectly processed mine as a Montgomery GI Bill application instead of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. I received a denial letter on July 27th and when I called them they admitted to the mistake and I was told it would have to be processed again. It is now 9/11/09 and still no certificate of eligibility.

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  5. ALL this post 911 GI Bill is a bunch of bull shit just like everything else in the military hurry up and wait,This gets me angry,promises,promises and no pay, how the hell they expect us to concentrate on school and school work when these idiots are not giving us the money they promised. 12 years in service thinking that uncle sam would take care of me, (US),yeah right, this is just way too much bull shit.

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  6. what happend to the 7P's eh VA???whats uo with that? by the way, does all this time we are not getting anything, counts againts our time we have the gi bill? cause if it does, that is a major ripoff...they did hustled us up!

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  7. Boy did they pull another fast one on us! I had to take out a student loan that I would have otherwise not needed just to pay for gas to get to school. I'm just another vet that is facing eviction as well. Good news though guys, I've emailed a lot of news agencies and The New York Times has contacted me and it seems that they are going to be doing a story on this situation. Hopefully something good will come out of this as it seems that the only way to get the government to move on anything is to get them embarrassed by the media. I'm hoping that whoever is responsible for this gets fired.

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  8. It is now Sep. 23 and I havent seen any money from the Post 911 GI bill. I have been recieving benefits from chapter 30 for two years now and just as i feared I got shafted by the government on my monthly payments. My question is why is it that the vets that have been with chapter 30 cant still recieve there money until they roll over to chapter 33. Ih wait I forgot that makes to much sense.

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  9. Mr. Wilson, YOU HAVE THE NERVE TO BLAME THE COLLEGES BECAUSE THEY DID NOT FILE OUR CLAIMS IN A TIMELY MANNER?? YOU AND YOUR UNPREPARED CLOWNS HAVE HAD OVER A YEAR TO PUT IN PLACE A FUNCTIONAL GAME PLAN NOT TO MENTION YOU ALSO TOLD THE COLLEGES NOT TO BEGIN OR ACCEPT CLAIMS UNTIL 1 AUG 2009. GET A LIFE YOU MORON!!!

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  10. October 1st and still no money. 40 minutes on hold and all I can get out of them is "it's processing."

    They told me to go down to my local VA loan and submit an application for emergency funds.....

    WTF

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  11. I have been working full time while my wife stays home with our new baby girl and everytime I have called to VA they tell me it is processing. I understand that there are alot of claims to go through but they should have prepaired for that. I talked to the VA one monday after finally getting through and whating on hold for 20 mins. They told me that my claim was processed and the check should be mailed to both me and my school this week. I have never recieved an eligibility notice for the post 9/11. I would think that since many of us already had the ch 30 gi bill that it would be quick and easy to process those claims. I agree with the guy that said they should have started claims befor July or just waited another your for it to take effect. Good luck to everyone and hang in there.

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  12. October 5 and still waiting......

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  13. I filled out the paper work at the right time and still have not gotten an answer. Its now Oct. 5 and I have yet to get books or have adequate funds for living since I had to pay tuition in advance. I try to call the VA only to get "sorry we are unable to take your call at this time." It would be OK if it was once in a while; however, this everyday when I try to call 2-3 times a day. I filled out the form for the emergency fund and have not recieved an email regarding it along with the "sorry we are unable to take your call at this time" phone calls. I havent bought books b/c I had to pay for tuition. This VA is a disgrace and a joke.

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  14. I have been using the Montgomery GI Bill for one year now. I have not had not one single solitary issue with the VA or my GI Bill. In August I applied to switch from my existing MGIB to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Today, when I expected to get paid usual monthly payment, if not more, I was disappointed to find there was less than 1/3 of the payment I should have recieved sitting in my bank account. Someone please explain to me what just happened? Oh, and did I forget to mention, that mysteriously I no longer exist on the VA Certification line? I called to check the dates I was certified through, and it tells me I have no file. I now can't make my mortgage payment, not to mention I am currently stranded in another state when I came up here to visit my sister in the hospital. Hopefully I won't get kicked out of school because I DON'T have the money to get back home!

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  15. How do you think everyone else pays for school, books, and rent who do not recieve VA benefits? Although the relentless whining on this site is very entertaining, I will have to be the voice of reason that got so many of you through your military careers. Someone who cannot take care of himself without the help of others is a fool. Don't respond with so drivel about war related injuries because 99% of you are fine. Your merely victims of your own stupidity, laziness, and lack of prior-proper planning. So wipe the cheeto crumbs off your face, unfuck your life, and try to maintain some minimal level of pride. Your making the rest of us look bad.

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  16. Oh goody! Tommy toilet mouth

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  17. hey voice of reason: Do you have a job? if the answer is yes, then YOU depend on someone to take care of you...someone has to write you your check for the work you perform right? Guess you're just a fool too. Everyones situation is different and I guarantee you don't know them all...so, quit disgracing US with your negativity and show some support because WE served too.

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  18. Voice of Reason: Let's say you worked a 40 hour a week job, and were promised pay at the end of the week. Friday rolls around, and your employer tells you, "Hey, the check is in the mail buddy!"
    Turns out the check isn't in the mail. You talk to your employer again, he tells you, "It's processing, expect a check on the first of next month." The check doesn't come.
    This is the exact same scenario. Veterans were promised one thing, and given nothing. We did our time, with a promise of education benefits, plainly spelled out to us, and we aren't receiving what we were promised. If you fail to see that, I'm sorry. Perhaps you have some sort of learning disability.

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  19. Tommy toilet mouth gets a thumbs up!! Your all a bunch of pathetic weiners.

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  20. I'd like to adress any individual who feels they are the voice of reason to the world "the know it alls". I know plenty of "Real Soldiers" who have served mulitiple combat rotations. Purple Heart recipients, Green berets, rangers, etc. Some have finally retired or have just simply did their part and want to genuinely persue a higher education. Its not a reliance on any entity its a benefit that the soldier is entitled to point blank. If the promised benefit is not provided that is a problem. So unfuck your way of thinking because the people who have sacrificed time away from family and have done their part for this country deserve to be heard and respected. You are making the rest of us look bad by not supporting your fellow brothers in arms.

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  21. I have mixed emotions on this argument. Yes everyone that has served their time, a minimum of two years, weather you seen combat or not deserves what they were promised. Now at the same time I know all of you were taught to “Plan a Head”. If you were ever late to a muster and you had some excuse as to why you were late you were told to “plan a head”. The second thing you should all already know and expect is that if you owe the government money they will take it in the blink of an eye and leave you penniless BUT if they owe you then you better not hold your breath waiting on that check. With those two things in mind I don’t see how this is such a big “shock” to everyone, hell I expected it. For those of you out there who refuse to accept the fact that you might have to get a JOB to support yourself while you wait then you deserve what ever you get, not everything in life is handed to you and some of the best things in life are the ones you have to work for. I work 40+ hours a week (straight midnights 2300-0700), go to school ¾ time during the day and help raise my 3 children, somewhere in there I sleep 4 hours, I WANT my education! So to everyone out there Adapt, Overcome, and Survive quit bitching you will get your check when you get it.

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  22. It still cracks me up that some people will go ahead and justify what the government is doing. Just because it has become the "norm" for the VA to be a bunch of fucktards doesn't make it ok. You are right, if you owe the gov't money, they take it in the blink of an eye, but if they owe you, it takes forever. This is how it works, and its a tragedy that people have become so adjusted to their own government dicking them over.

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  23. I had all of my paperwork processed and approved in July! It's Nov. 11th and I have yet to receive a dime. I even put in an application online for an advance on 8 Oct 09. Nothing! This is the biggest Dog and Pony show I've ever seen! Now, I'm facing having to quit school because I can't take a full schedule of classes and pay my bills. This is a shame! They can give all kinds of money to bank and car companies, but Veterans...screw 'em they're used to it, right? Govt Assholes!

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  24. For the 7yrs of bull shit I went through in the military, I deserved to pout about my fucking check all I want. It dosent matter weather you was hurt in war or not All I know is that they at least owe me that much if not more. While serving in the Army I dealt with ass holes day in and day out. I feel like they should pay me $10,000 per mounth for working with those assholes.

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  25. We sincerely appreciate all of the comments and heated commentary on the blog and we've taken your concerns to heart. AMVETS leaders continue to pressure VA and VBA to ensure timely delivery of benefits. Veterans LITERALLY can't afford further delays. However, we only ask that you please try keep your comments clean in your postings, since we would like to use some of these comments in the "Letters" section of our print magazine.

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  26. It's Nov.17th already and I have yet to recieve a single check. I did however, have to go get the emergency relief that was offered for up to $3k. Now as far as I know... i should still continue to recieve a check monthly with the gov't deducting a small amount from future checks for the cash advance. If this is the case... like I said... Nov. 17th already and not a single check in the mail. That first check went on past due bills and once again... I am the hole.

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  27. Sorry... I meant to say I AM IN THE HOLE**

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  28. It's december 2, and i have not recieve any payment yet! i Applied since june 24th, but my Va representative did not send the right papers. they have received the new papers in september 4th, and still nothing! I BLAMED BOTH THE CLAIM PROCESSORS, FOR BEING SLOW! AND THE VA SCHOOL REPRESENTATIVES FOR NOT DOING THEIR JOB!

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  29. I believe a lot of veterans were not fully prepared to deal with this type of bureaucracy. Despite some rash comments, some of you are fully capable of seeking employment and weathering the storm. Clearly, if you have served, you are fully aware of the game and the details of it re: "hurry up and wait". I work full time and I'm a full time student. How were you supporting yourself before this GI Bill was rolled out? If you were Active Duty, did you not attend transitional assistance program (TAPS)? If you were a civilian, how did you support yourself? To this day, I have not had my payment deposited, but I expected that. Here's a tip: seek gainful employment.

    For my disabled brethren; I hope they square you folks away ASAP. I would wait a year or more, if it meant that you could be paid promptly. You're truly the reason why this country is free.

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