 GI Bill update – VA having problems implementing Forever GI Bill:

The VA is once again experiencing growing pains while trying to implement changes to the GI Bill. A major part of the GI Bill was changed by a law passed more than 12 months ago, and despite being supposed to take effect on 1 AUG, hasn’t happened. The provisions are part of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, or “Forever GI Bill” since one of the major items included in the law eliminated the time limit for veterans to use their GI Bill.
Location based housing allowance not being paid Another part of the law, which was called for by many veterans groups changed the way that GI Bill recipients are paid their Monthly Housing Allowance. Previously, GI Bill users were paid the housing allowance based on the main campus of the school they were attending. This often led to inequity since many schools have several campuses in different cities where the housing costs can vary wildly.
The GI Bill’s Monthly Housing Allowance is based on the military’s E-5 with dependents Basic Allowance for Housing. This amount changes every January to reflect the actual cost a service member pays for civilian housing. The VA updates their GI Bill housing allowance to reflect this change in the following August, the beginning of what is known as the “academic year”, or “school year”. Well, as a result of the SNAFU surrounding the implementation of location based GI Bill Housing Allowance, all GI Bill recipients who are due for an increase of their Monthly Housing Allowance still haven’t received it. The Cost-of-Living adjustment normally seen in August has been held back for everyone while the VA figures out how to implement legislation that was passed more than a year ago and affects only a small portion of veterans. According to veteran’s groups, this means that more than 300,000 veterans are left in the lurch and remain underpaid due to VA’s inability to implement year-old legislation.

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