Monday, January 25, 2010
VA to Begin Recovery of GI Bill Advance Payments
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2010 - The Veterans Affairs Department is beginning the process of recovering advance payments made available during the fall 2009 semester to veterans and servicemembers who applied for education benefits.
"The advance payments were a huge success and helped thousands of student veterans during the first days of the historic Post-9/11 GI Bill focus on studies and not their finances," said Keith Wilson, VA's director of education
services. "Now, we can get to the business of closing the books on advance payments and focus on supporting veterans for the spring semester."
VA officials will begin sending out notification letters this week explaining the repayment process.
In October, VA instituted an advance-payment process for all eligible students who were enrolled in an institution of higher learning for the fall 2009 term to ensure that all veterans and eligible students were able to focus on their academic studies and not be burdened with financial concerns, officials said. As part of that process, a Web portal was established to allow electronic submission for advance payment, and advance payments also were made at VA offices around the country.
At that time, student veterans were told that advance payments would be deducted from future benefit payments.
In collaboration with the Defense Department, VA also will notify active-duty servicemembers who may have mistakenly applied for the advance payment of their options for returning uncashed checks or reimbursing deposited funds.
VA discontinued advance payments via the Web portal after the fall 2009 semester. Officials now are processing about 7,000 education benefits daily, up from an average of 2,000 at the beginning of the fall 2009 term, officials said.
As of Jan. 22, the department had processed more than 105,000 of the roughly 132,000 spring enrollments received. Since the inception of the new program last year, VA has paid out more than $1.3 billion in education benefits and opened the door to higher education to more than 183,000 veteran students.
(From a Department of Veterans Affairs news release.)
Department of Veterans Affairs
Defense Department News Through Facebook On American Forces Press Service's Facebook page, you can post comments and share news, photos and videos. Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Forces-Press-Service/65137437532 or search for American Forces Press Service at Facebook.com.
Update your subscriptions, modify your password or e-mail address, or stop subscriptions at any time by clicking on your 'User Profile' page at https://service.govdelivery.com/service/user.html?code=USDOD. You will need to use your e-mail address to log in. If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have another inquiry? Visit the online FAQ at http://www.defense.gov/landing/questions.aspx for up-to-date information.
Get the help you, your family, and fellow servicemembers need, when you need it. Visit www.WarriorCare.mil http//www.WarriorCare.mil to learn more.
Check out the National Resource Directory at www.nationalresourcedirectory.org, a new web-based resource for wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans, their families, families of the fallen and those who support them from the Departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs.
This service is provided to you at no charge by U.S. Department of Defense. Visit us on the web at http://www.defense.gov/.