After months of pressure from IAVA, the VA announced to the Army Times last week that they will be cutting checks to veterans for underpaid living allowances sometime this August.
We reported back in January that the VA chose not to accommodate the new 2010 DOD Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) rates. Over half of new GI Bill users would have been paid, on average, an additional $63/month if the new rates had gone into effect immediately.
However, the VA’s only public comment on the issue for the first four months was nothing more than just one tweet:
@DeptVetAffairs: For GI Bill students: BAH rates will remain the same to begin the spring semester. Any changes won't happen until later in the spring.
This lack of clarity by the VA caused many veterans to be unaware of what their benefits should be and left doubt if they would ever see the increases they were owed.
IAVA has been pushing the VA tirelessly and we are happy to hear that it will soon be resolved, and veterans will receive the allowances they deserve.
The VA also announced last week in a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee (SVAC) hearing that the student veterans who would have received a lower rate under the new 2010 BAH rates will not be receiving a bill from the VA.
This is just the beginning to improvements needed on the GI Bill. IAVA continues to press Congress for those improvements, evident by our recent testimony in front of SVAC.