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VA fixes GI Bill payment delay for 300 students

Sep. 10, 2012 - 07:37PM   |   Last Updated: Sep. 10, 2012 - 07:37PM  |  
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The Veterans Affairs Department has resolved Post-9/11 GI Bill problems involving about 300 students in Ohio and West Virginia and is working nights and weekends to process the pile of claims for the fall term, VA officials said Monday.

VA has received 341,945 claims for the fall term and has processed 217,132, officials said. On average, new claims are being completed in 27 days while supplemental claims are being approved in 17 days.

Tuition and fee payments are made directly to schools, while living stipends and book allowances are paid to students. These student payments begin on the first day of the month following the start of classes, so a student who began classes in September will not receive a living stipend until Oct. 1 at the earliest.

"August and September are traditionally the highest enrollments of the year, and VA receives hundreds of thousands of claims during this period," said Steve Westerfeld, a spokesman for the Veterans Benefits Administration, which manages education benefits.

A problem with the electronic transfer of the files of about 300 Ohio and West Virginia students led to a delay in processing their claims. The problem was limited to enrollments received between July 24 and August 9, and has been resolved, Westerfeld said.

He stressed that no claims were lost.

"VA has fully processed all 300 affected claims by this electronic file transfer problem and continues to work diligently on education claims received for the fall semester across the nation," he said.

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