Post-9/11 GI Bill Payments Late…Again
Hundreds of veterans did not receive their book stipends or housing allowance on time for the summer semester in Ohio, North Carolina, and West Virginia. For the second time since the implementation of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, veteran students are left in financial limbo because of technical glitches in the system. Many veteran students experienced the same issue in the fall of 2009.
Students in Ohio began calling the VA when payment did not arrive, to be told by the VA that the schools in question did not submit the students’ information. Schools did indeed correctly submit the required information on time. Explanations from the VA include a problem in transferring data from one hub to another and simply just long delays in the system. Veterans using Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits find themselves in classrooms without required supplies and texts, let alone payment for their homes.
Fortunately, most colleges in this are willing to work with students in regard to tuition payments, but this does not address housing or book costs. Some schools, such as Bowling Green State University in Ohio, are even offering short–term zero-percent interest loans to affected students, but many educational institutions are not going that far in their assistance.
You can’t help what happens with paperwork, electronic or otherwise, but you can help being blind-sided by these types of problems. Being proactive and setting up a contingency plan will help you alleviate if not some of the actual issues the extra stressors that accompany these types of situations you have no control over.
- Always have a copy of your DD-214 handy.
- Make sure your information with your college, university, or professional program is correct and up-to-date.
- Keep in steady contact with your school’s Veteran’s Education Office (or whatever they call it). Having a face to go with the name on a piece of paper personalizes you, and that never hurts when you need their help.
- Always have a rainy day fund set aside with at least one-month’s cost of expenses. This is much less than what is usually advised (six months to two years depending on what you read), but if you use the “starving student” scenario, one month of savings is huge. Once that is accomplished, go for two months savings, and so on. Don’t touch it.
- Investigate what short-term emergency financial options are offered by your school should the worse happen.