On Wednesday, VA hosted a conference call to discuss progress on this semester's processing of pending Post-9/11 G.I. Bill (Chapter 33) claims. AMVETS National Legislative Director Ray Kelley participated in the call.
VA took the time to discuss the current volume of claims as well as the looming backlog from the fall semester when the new benefit rolled out with substantial delays.
VA assured veterans and veterans' advocates on the call that all claims received for the fall semester have started receiving payments and that nearly 70 percent of spring claims had already been processed.
To date, VA says it has received more than 100,000 claims from schools for the spring semester and that all paperwork received by Jan. 19 will be paid in full by Feb. 1.
Though the call presented encouraging trends, the figures left AMVETS confused. Earlier in the week, AMVETS received a critical call-to-action from a student-veteran at Lehman College in New York who was being barred from spring enrollment for an out-standing bill. At the time of VA's conference call, she had not received payment for her fall semester.
However, this does not necessarily mean VA is solely responsible for veterans slipping through the cracks. VA has continued to stress that schools must complete and send the necessary paperwork before any claims can be paid, which is why lines of communication among student-veterans, VA, and schools must remain open throughout the process.
In November, VA retained the services of ACS Federal to assist in claims-processing for the next two semesters while VA and Navy SPAWAR stand up the digital enrollment system. Today, VA has the equivalent of 1,200 claims-processors handling G.I. Bill claims.
As of the most recent VA Monday Morning Workload Report on Jan. 11, 42,220 pending Chapter 33 claims remain. To view the report, Click Here.
If you are still experiencing Chapter 33 payment delays, do not hesitate to let us know through this blog or via email. AMVETS remains committed to ensuring that all veterans seeking to take advantage of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill receive the benefits they have earned.
(Image: VA's official logo for the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill)