The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is currently experiencing a backlog of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, The Military Times reported. Student veterans using GI Bill benefits this fall have been waiting longer than three weeks on average to receive housing benefits.
IT challenges at the agency as well as a delayed implementation of the Forever GI Bill, which was passed last year, are among the contributing factors behind the backlog. The agency alerted students to the higher-than-normal wait times in an email this week, noting that average processing times are currently around 23 days for continuing GI Bill claims and 35 days for first-time claims, the Times reported. In general, the VA aims to process such claims in 14 days and 28 days, respectively.
As of Monday, there were 158,922 pending claims, an agency spokesperson told Inside Higher Ed, a 51 percent increase over the same time last year. The backlog has decreased in recent days, the spokesman said, but the VA expects a higher than normal backlog through the rest of the year.
The Military Times
Inside Higher Ed