This week at American Veteran, we will continue to follow implementation of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, which VA says is on track to deliver in a timely manner to all enrolled veterans for spring 2010. As of last Friday, VA reported that more than 70,000 of its 100,000 claims received for the spring have been processed. Veterans whose paperwork was sent to VA prior to Jan. 19 should receive payment no later than Feb. 1.
Reports continue to trickle into AMVETS from veterans who have not received payments for the fall semester, which we will continue to track. However, the reports are not flowing to the same extent as we saw late last year, which is encouraging news for the progress of VA. Unfortunately, the news that veterans continue to slip through the cracks has prompted American Veteran to ask whether the blame for this significant shortcoming falls more to the schools than to the VA.
In the fall semester, the Buffalo VA Regional Office issued a memo to all participating colleges and universities, asking the schools to monitor their paperwork closely for accuracy and to submit all necessary paperwork in a timely manner, which we discussed on this blog. In the coming weeks, American Veteran will be reaching out to student-veterans and institutions of higher learning in an effort to discover why this problem persists. If you know any veterans that continue to face difficulties with the G.I. Bill process, please let us know.
On Wednesday, AMVETS will be on Capitol Hill for the House Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing on rural and remote veterans' issues. AMVETS has made rural and remote veterans' access to VA care and benefits one of its top legislative priorities for 2010. As we draw closer to the hearing, check back for updates on panelists and multimedia links.
On Thursday and Friday, AMVETS Deputy National Legislative Director Christina Roof will also participate in the VA's Mental Health Forum, taking place at the Capitol Hilton in Washington. American Veteran will keep you posted with updates from the forum.
Finally, be on the look-out for the winter issue of American Veteran magazine, which should be appearing in your mailbox in the next couple of weeks, featuring the inspiring story of Dana Bowman, the new AMVETS national spokesmen introduced at this summer's national convention.
As always, we're eager to tell the AMVETS story from posts and departments around the country, so please share any photos or comments with the communications staff. We're happy to post them on this blog and in the Keeping Posted section of American Veteran magazine.