The allegation that thousands of Veterans have been waiting months for GI Bill benefit payments is false.
The allegation that some Veterans have been made homeless because of GI Bill payment delays is also false.
VA has been in continuous contact with Congress, Veterans Service Organizations and other stakeholders, soliciting referrals to any affected Veterans. As we receive referrals, they are being moved to the top of the queue for immediate action.
Here are the facts:
As of Dec. 6, we have 57,468 education claims in the work queue. This includes claims that are as new as one day old, and not all involve payments, such as initial applications or changes of programs. Approximately 1-percent or fewer of these claims are more than 60 days old. We continue to monitor closely and prioritize these claims.
As of Dec. 6, VA had 39,032 pending Post-9/11 GI Bill claims, with an average education claim processing time of 23.3 days for original claims and 9.5 days for supplemental claims during the month of December.
As of Dec. 6, 60,721 VA education claims were pending less than 30 days.
As of Dec. 6, 5,009 VA education claims were pending between 30 and 60 days.
As of Dec. 6, 488 VA education claims were pending more than 60 days.
VA has processed more than 500,000 education claims this fall. Less than 4.5 percent of those processed were pending for more than 60 days.
For more information, please see the below FAQ.
Q: What is the current number of student veterans who have yet to receive housing stipends for the 2018 fall semester (and please clarify if that number, by default, would also be the number of veterans whose schools have not been paid tuition)?
A: As of Dec. 6, there are 39,032 Post 9/11 GI Bill claims waiting to be processed. This includes claims that are as new as one day old. Not all involve payments, such as initial applications or changes of programs and not all of these claims are late or taking longer than average to process. In fact, the average claim takes approximately 16 days to process – this is only a two-day difference from VA’s historic processing goal of 14 days or fewer for supplemental claims.
Also, the 39,032 claims number referenced above does not necessarily equate to the number of schools that may have received late payments, as a pending claim can involve payments only to the Veteran, only to the school, or both.
Q: What is VA doing about veterans experiencing hardships?
A: VA recognizes that timely receipt of the housing allowance is crucial for Post-9/11 GI Bill students and makes every effort to provide these payments quickly.
It is important to understand VA pays Basic Allowance for Housing in arrears, so a student will not receive a housing payment for enrollments beginning in August until September, and the stipend for September is not paid until the beginning of October.
If students believe their payment is delayed, they should check their eBenefits or vets.gov account for the status of their payment.
If after checking their eBenefits or vets.gov account the student still believes their payment is delayed, then the student can take any one of the following actions to request a financial hardship:
- A student can contact the Education Call Center 1-888-442-4551; however, we understand at times VA is experiencing higher than normal wait times, a student can avoid waiting on the phone for solely a payment status by calling 1-888-442-4551 and choosing Option 2 for an automated response
- A student can contact VA via the GI Bill website at https://gibill.custhelp.va.gov/app/utils/login_form/redirect/ask
VA is also working closely with schools, veterans service organizations, and other stakeholders to identify students that may be experiencing a hardship due to the delayed payments.
All hardship claims are expedited for immediate processing. Once the payment is processed by VA, it will take 5-7 days to reach the student’s banking institution.