Veteranclaims’s Blog

July 21, 2010

VA Asks Congress to Delays GI Bill Improvements

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 11:52 pm

This is just not Right, the VA asking that Congress delay benefits for veterans because the VA is not up to the task of doing the job.

Full Article at: Hold off on new GI Bill changes, VA urges

By Rick Maze – Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Jul 21, 2010 12:53:15 EDT

The top education official for the Veterans Affairs Department is asking Congress to delay until Aug. 1, 2011, any significant changes or improvements in the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Congress can pass changes now, said Keith Wilson, VA’s education service director, but delaying the effective date of any such changes would avoid interference with the development and deployment of a new computer system that will streamline eligibility decisions and the complicated calculation of benefits.

“VA is working aggressively on a new payment system to support the existing Post-9/11 GI Bill provisions,” Wilson told the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Thursday. Making changes, especially to eligibility criteria, could delay a solution to the claims processing problems, he said.

Delay would come at a cost, however, because some of the changes would have far-reaching effects.

For example, the Senate committee is considering a bill, S 3447, that would make it easier for National Guard an”d reserve members to earn Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits by ensuring that time spent on active-duty in full-time support of the Guard and reserve, as well as military service in support of federally declared national emergencies, counts toward the time-in-service eligibility requirements for the new GI Bill.

Military officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said many reservists on full-time active-duty are delaying their retirement — which blocks openings for other people — while waiting for this change because they are waiting for the right to transfer education benefits to their families, something they will get only if their service counts toward earning the benefits.

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