Eye Opener: Help Getting Emergency VA Payments
Happy Thursday! Thousands of student veterans who have not yet received tuition, housing and book payments under the Post-9/11 GI Bill may apply online for emergency aid beginning Friday, the Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday.
"The agency announced last week that students struggling to pay their bills could receive a maximum $3,000 advance on earned educational benefits, but said that veterans could claim the aid only by going in person to one of 57 regional offices," reports The Post's Emma Brown.
Congress approved the Post 9/11 GI Bill last year and the program began in August. The department spent several months promoting the new program and thousands of veterans applied for benefits. But most veterans across the country have yet to receive any payments as the department struggles to process the requests.
In Michigan, one student at Northern Michigan University would have to travel 15 hours round trip to get his benefits, Brown reports.
In California, veterans attending Santa Rosa Junior College would have to travel about 70 miles, or 90 minutes, to get their money.
In Minnesota, Steven Chock, 20, a first-year student at Normandale Community College in Bloomington should have already received $1,000 to pay for his books, and more than a month's worth of living expenses, Minnesota Public Radio reports. Instead he's held off paying rent, electric, cable, phone and food bills.
Students may apply online at www.VA.gov. Applicants will receive checks in the mail. But will those emergency checks arrive in time? Stay tuned.
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| October 1, 2009; 6:15 AM ET
Categories: Agencies and Departments, Eye Opener, Workplace Issues
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