Monday, October 19, 2009

VA Contacting Veteran-Students about New GI Bill

Calls Part of Systematic Outreach to Improve Service

WASHINGTON (Oct. 19, 2009) -- Representatives of the Department of
Veterans Affairs (VA) will be telephoning Veterans across the country to
explain their education benefits under the new Post-911 GI Bill and
ensure beneficiaries are able to receive payments due them.

"The Post-9/11 GI Bill is one of our highest priorities," said Secretary
of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "Instead of making people wait to
hear from us, we're reaching out to Veterans, so they can get the money
they need to stay in school."

The Department is conducting this telephone outreach in response to the
large numbers of Veterans who have applied for education benefits for
the fall 2009 semester.  The calls are scheduled to go to Veterans who
have applied for benefits under the new educational assistance program.
Those who registered for advanced payments will be called, too, in
ensure they received their benefits.

To protect the personal identity of Veterans, VA representatives making
calls will not ask for any personal information, such as birthdates,
bank account or social security numbers, but they may ask family members
for information to contact Veterans who are away at school.

"Our procedures and policies to provide advanced payments remain in
effect," Shinseki said. "Meanwhile, we're completing the on-time
development of our automated processing system that will ensure timely
delivery of checks in the future."