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By Phil McCausland
For weeks, student veterans across the country have raised an alarm about delayed or incorrect GI Bill benefits that the Ministry of Veterinary Affairs has been owed to computer issues.
But on Wednesday, the Department of Congress staff told us that it would not replace the veterans paid less than they owe, told two committee members NBC News.
The news is in line with a promise VA officials made a house committee earlier this month that it would replace the veterans who received less than the full amount they expired.
According to the assistant, it said that it could not make retroactive payments without examining their previous education claims, which it said would delay future claims. Aides asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak in public.
NBC News reported earlier that some veterans were forced into desperate financial disturbances due to a change in the calculation of housing allowance according to Forever GI Bill, as President Donald Trump signed in law in July 2017. When his computers could not handle that change, VA fast a backlog of veteran claims three times higher than normal.
Because of these problems, VA had announced that we would delay changes for ever GI Bill housing allowance until 2019 – and promised that retroactive payments would be made to those who did not receive the correct amount.
However, VA officials told Congress staff in a phone call on Wednesday mornings that when the system is done right next year, they will not make retroactive payments to those underpaid due to housing miscalculations.
“They will largely ignore the party saying that that change will only take place until December 2019,” told a news agency for NBC News.
The reason that VA decided that it would not make retroactive payments is that it would have to review all its previous education claims by 2019, which means that VA could need to inspect 2 million claims, Aide said.
VA officials said that this could cause further delays in the treatment of future claims, according to assistants, a question that caused some veterans to suffer earlier this year.
Although this decision could mean that the agency violated the law because it would not give the right money to student veterans, required by two parts of Forever GI Bill, VA told Congress staff that they had a legal motivation that would make it possible for them to proceed with this decision.
However, they do not share this righteousness.
When a commentator requested a VA spokesperson di d do not address the problem immediately. Instead, it was repeated that the agency would delay paying housing allowance in accordance with the new Forever GI bill until the spring term of 2020 and instead pay housing subsidies based on the Department of Defense’s older basic housing rates.
Attempts to implement the law would put “a huge administrative burden for schools where about 35,000 certifying officials would need to trace retroactively and recertify hundreds of thousands of enrollment documents,” said Curtis Cashour, VA spokesman, on e-mail.
Cashour also said that students who were overpaid because of the law’s changes or due to problems in implementing the law “will not be held responsible for the debt.”
But he did not comment on those who were underpaid and a shining confusion continues to surround the problem, as it is unknown how many students have been underpaid so far, how many more can be underpaid due to changes in the law and how much money these Veterinarians
Congressmen described the situation as “frustrating”. One who commented on the shifting answers and the constant confusion that came from VA asked, “I mean I’m taking crazy pills?”
Under Secretary for Benefits Paul Lawrence is scheduled to testify on Thursday morning to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.
One of the committee’s assistants said Congressmen will try to clear this issue before proceeding with the hearing.