Statement by Secretary Robert Wilkie on Forever GI Bill Housing Benefit Payments
To clear up any confusion, I want to make clear that each and every post-9/11 GI Bill beneficiary will be made 100 percent whole – retroactively if need be – for their housing benefits for this academic year based on Forever GI Bill rates, not on post-9/11 GI Bill rates.
I made this clear to Chairmen Isakson and Roe on calls yesterday and want to reassure Veterans and taxpayers that is indeed the case.
Although VA has encountered issues with implementing the Forever GI Bill on Congress’ timeline, we will work with lawmakers to ensure that – once VA is in a position to process education claims in accordance with the new law – each and every beneficiary will receive retroactively the exact benefits to which they are entitled under that law.
And yesterday NBC News reported this.
Veterans Affairs Dept. tells Capitol Hill it won't repay underpaid GI Bill benefits recipients
By Phil McCausland
For weeks, student veterans across the country have raised an alarm about delayed or incorrect GI Bill benefit payments, which the Department of Veterans Affairs has blamed on computer issues.
But on Wednesday, the department told congressional staffers that it would not reimburse those veterans who were paid less than they were owed, two committee aides told NBC News.
The news conflicts with a promise VA officials made to a House committee earlier this month that it would reimburse those veterans who received less than the full amount they were due.
According to the aides, however, the VA said it could not make retroactive payments without auditing its previous education claims, which it said would delay future claims. The aides asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
NBC News previously reported that some veterans were forced into desperate financial straits stemming from a change in calculating housing allowances under the Forever GI Bill, which President Donald Trump signed into law in July 2017. When its computers were unable to process that change, the VA quickly faced a backlog of veterans’ claims three times higher than normal.