Post 9/11 GI Bill claims will take on average a month to process, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced on Friday. From the date a school certifies a veteran’s enrollment to the VA, it takes the VA an average of 28 days to process a payment to the veteran. Processing for the old Montgomery GI Bill has slowed to over 38 days, more than double of last year’s processing time. Over 67,000 veterans are currently awaiting the VA to process their paperwork and over 20,000 claims are over 30 days old.
IAVA is deeply disappointed to hear that veterans are being made to wait this long before their GI Bill checks are being cut. The purpose of the new GI Bill was to help veterans start school without all of the startup costs and now due to the slow processing of claims, some veterans are still being forced to pay out of pocket for expenses the VA should be paying for.
IAVA has been working diligently over the past year to help the VA be prepared for the August 1st start date and we are currently pressuring the VA to ensure that all available resources are being pushed forward to the processing lines. IAVA is calling on all colleges and universities to continue deferring tuition/fees charges till the VA pays their share. Lastly, we are working with Congress to streamline and simplify the new GI Bill in order to ensure that future GI Bill benefits are generous, equitable and easier to administer.
Veterans can help expedite the processing of their paperwork by:
- Thoroughly fill out VA Form 22-1990 online (Submit an electronic DD214)
- Give copy of your VA Certificate of Eligibility to school certifying official (if available)
- Coordinate with your school certifying official to ensure your paperwork has been submitted
- Fill out financial aid forms (FAFSA) as a possible back up to delayed GI Bill payments
- Report any schools failing to defer tuition/fee payments to IAVA immediately.
Please keep in mind that although the steps above will help speed the processing of a GI Bill claim, some basic rules still apply. While tuition/fees payments are made immediately after the VA processes a GI Bill claim, the living allowance is paid “arrears,” at the end of each of month. For example, time spent enrolled during August will be paid September 1st and time spent enrolled in September will be paid October 1st.
|Tuition & Fees||~28 days after school certifies enrollment|
|Living Allowance||at end of each month|
|August Classes||Sept. 1st (or as soon as processed)|
|September Classes||Oct. 1st (or as soon as processed)|
|October Classes||November 1st|
|November Classes||December 1st|
|December Classes||January 1st|
|Book Stipend||~28 days after school certifies enrollment|