VET­ER­ANS POST

The Weekly Vista - - Fun & Games - GI Bill ben­e­fits de­layed

If you’re go­ing to school and were ex­pect­ing your hous­ing stipend ben­e­fit money by now, you’re not alone. Over 300,000 of you are in the same boat. Ei­ther you’re re­ceiv­ing in­cor­rect low amounts or you’re re­ceiv­ing noth­ing at all.

Why is this hap­pen­ing? It’s be­cause of old IT pro­gram­ming that was never up­graded to in­clude new changes in the For­ever GI Bill. The ma­chines don’t know how to make the cor­rect cal­cu­la­tions.

Talk to the peo­ple at your school first to be sure your pa­per­work was sent in, prov­ing you’re in school. If you’re a first-time stu­dent, ex­pect things to take a bit longer be­cause you have to be put in the sys­tem.

If some­one you talk to at the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs sug­gests you get put in the hard­ship queue, don’t jump at it. You have no way of know­ing just how much that will speed things up be­cause you don’t know how many peo­ple would be ahead of you in ei­ther of those lines. You’ll have to go on your best gut hunch. Call the GI Bill Hot­line:

1-888-442-4551.

If you’re not a full-time stu­dent, you’ll need to ask how your hous­ing al­lowance is cal­cu­lated. It’s a com­pli­cated for­mula, and much of it de­pends on your in­di­vid­ual sit­u­a­tion. It in­volves your rate of pur­suit, ex­pressed as a per­cent­age cal­cu­lated by di­vid­ing the num­ber of cred­its you’re en­rolled in by the num­ber of cred­its con­sid­ered full time. If you’re en­rolled in dis­tance learn­ing (you don’t ac­tu­ally go to a class­room set­ting), the above is cut in half.

Be­ware: Even when you get paid, you might get the 2017 amount be­cause the com­puter can’t cal­cu­late the 2018 rates. They’ll catch up later on back amounts.

As a last re­sort, call your U.S. se­na­tors’ of­fices.

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