Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today urged the Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) Inspector General to launch an investigation into issues related to delayed Post 9/11 GI Bill payments to veterans.
In November, Bennet responded to media reports of on-going problems with the VA’s IT system, which resulted in veterans not receiving living stipend payments for education and housing expenses in a timely manner. According to reports, the payments of approximately 1,500 GI Bill students at Colorado State University have been affected. In a November 15 letter, Bennet wrote to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie requesting the department address the problem.
Today, Bennet expressed concern about conflicting reports regarding the VA’s commitment to make retroactive payments to veterans for missed or underpaid housing stipends. He requested the Inspector General investigate issues related to the delayed payments, including analysis of what led to the delays and of the VA’s capability and willingness to ensure veterans receive housing allowance at levels provided under the Forever G.I. Bill.
“Such ambiguity about education benefits is a disservice to those who have served our country,” Bennet wrote. “I ask that you investigate the VA’s capability and willingness to carry out the law.”
A copy of the letter is available HERE and below:
The Honorable Michael J. Missal
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Ave NW
Washington, DC 20571
Dear Mr. Missal:
I write to request an investigation into issues related to delayed payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to veterans receiving Post 9/11 G.I. Bill benefits. Specifically, I am concerned about conflicting reports regarding the VA’s commitment to make retroactive payments to veterans for missed or underpaid housing stipends. Such ambiguity about education benefits is a disservice to those who have served our country.
I ask that you investigate the VA’s capability and willingness to carry out the law. This should include an analysis of whether veterans are receiving proper levels of housing allowance, as provided under the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act (P.L. 115-48, the “Forever GI Bill”). Additionally, this should include an analysis of what led to the delays. Such information will be useful to continued congressional oversight of this critical issue.
I thank you for your consideration of this time sensitive matter and I look forward to your response. Thank you for your work on behalf of our nation’s veterans.