One Big Step Forward, But Backlog Remains Staggeringly High

The VA is now capable of processing 10,000 new GI Bill claims a day, a 500% increase in productivity over last fall. The VA’s new automated system not only accelerates the processing of claims, but it should also dramatically lower the number of errors.

Under the old system claims examiners had to input student veterans’ information into 4 separate excel worksheets and then “print-screen” the results to create a document trail in the student’s file. This old process took over an hour per GI Bill claim. The difference between the old system and the new one is the difference between a typewriter and a MacBook Pro. This change is one huge step forward. However, long wait times continue to be hugely problematic. According to the VA’s GI Bill hotline, the current wait time is over 40 days. This is a far cry from the VA’s goal of 14-17 days. Also, the backlog of GI Bill claims is currently over 185,000 outstanding claims. The VA has a 50% larger backlog than any other time this decade, except for last year. And like last year, we are beginning to hear reports of student veterans having to drop out of school due to these delays in benefits.

Last year IAVA held the VA accountable when we saw an alarming backlog in GI Bill claims and forced the VA to provide advances on veterans’ late benefits. IAVA has your back and will continue to fight for timely, accurate benefits for every veteran.

For the latest updates on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, follow IAVA on Twitter @NewGIBill.