Veterans are complaining that GI Bill benefits have stalled, and this has caused many, who served their country, to go without the education and housing benefits that they have been promised. The Department of Veterans Affairs claims that a series of glitches are causing many of these benefits to be delayed, and in some cases, payments for these benefits have not been delivered.
Some veterans, close to graduating, have not received benefits, which are creating obstacles in completing their degree programs. Some may also lose their housing, leaving veterans homeless on the streets after not receiving the benefits that were promised to them.
Official figures have not been released on how many veterans are waiting to receive their benefits.
As of November 8, there were as many as 82,000 waiting for their housing payments to be made. Reports suggest that hundreds of thousands of veterans have been impacted, with late payments stretching well into November and just weeks left in the fall semester.
Backlogs are growing in the government, as many benefit programs have applications pending and payments are missed. “In September 2017, the backlog of SSDI benefit applications exceeded 1 million and the estimated wait for benefits grew to more than 2 years,” writes https://www.mooreandhedges.com.
The VA’s Office of Information Technology has been unable to correct the issue, and the age of the current system started to show when a stress-test on the system was performed. The stress test caused many colleges and universities to have to reenter student information.
Upgrades to the way ZIP code processing was performed was pushed through, causing many schools to receive enrollment information just weeks before the fall semester. Many schools were not be able to keep up with a process that would normally spread from spring through the end of summer.
Testing and changes to the system are still being implemented in an attempt to correct the delay. The delay had caused an additional 100,000 pending claims compared to a year prior in August. Veterans have been forced out of their homes in some cases, and others have had to take on credit card debt or loans to ensure that they can stay enrolled in degree programs.
A hearing on the matter is scheduled this week that will investigate the matter by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
Booz Allen Hamilton, the contracting billion-dollar company that was hired by the VA to update the system, will be called on by the committee to testify on the issue.