The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is working to implement a Forever GI Bill provision that dictated a shift in how the monthly housing allowance for recipients is calculated.
The change had been scheduled to rollout on August 1, 2018, but a series of information technology-related issues led to a backlog in claims processing throughout the fall semester that resulted in housing payment delays and improper payments.
The VA now aims to roll out the updates by December 1, 2019, with the new housing rates under Sections 107 and 501 of the Forever GI Bill to go into effect for the spring semester of 2020. Students who were underpaid will receive retroactive payments in the months following December 1, while those who were overpaid will receive additional information on how the VA will waive debts.
Section 107 requires that students be paid the housing rate of the location where they physically attend the majority of classes. To account for changes to the student's past, current and future payment based on the majority of classes, schools will need to recertify enrollments for students who took classes outside of a main campus location from August 1, 2018 to December 1, 2019.
Schools will no longer need to enter zip codes into VA-ONCE. Instead, the VA will use facility codes and sub-facility codes for campuses. Each campus will have a unique facility code that will allow the agency to pay students the housing benefit based on the location where the student physically attends classes. Institutions can expect to receive the new facility codes in early August 2019.
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