Friday, September 25, 2009

Frogs, checks falling from the sky

The VA has taken a huge step forward in righting its wrongs with the GI Bill brouhaha by issuing $3,000 emergency checks to veterans who have yet to receive housing benefits. The money quote:

Starting Friday, Oct. 2, 2009, students can go to one of VA’s 57 regional benefit offices with a photo ID and a course schedule to request advance payment of their education benefits. Because not all these offices are located near students, VA expects to send representatives to schools with large Veteran-student bodies and work with Veteran Service Organizations to help students with transportation needs.A list of those VA regional offices is available here.

The VA deserves recognition for this. They've taken a lot of heat for this fiasco, but their decision to take emergency measures was the right course of action. It'll save many veterans from getting tossed out on their ass. Well done.

Update: Perhaps my celebration was premature. Ryan has dropped out of school due to lack of funds. To say the VA was late on this is a gross understatement. Their negligence is inexcusable no matter how you look at it. I can only hope this debacle will be the last obscene miscalculation they make, but I'm not terribly faithful when it comes to the VA.


CI-Roller Dude said...

As much as we vets bitch about the VA, I think the real problem is that the "gov" doesn't fund it well enough to hire enough people.
If you are given millions of more dollars to give to "customers" but they don't give you the money to hire enough employees to do it...then who's a fault.

Most of the Presidents in office for the last 40+ years have not funded the VA well.
When the CI Roller first went to kollege in 1977, he had the exact same friggen problems with the VA...they were months behind in paying us for kollege. I had to hock my favorite rifle.
I blame, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, the movie actor, Bush, Clinton, Bush and the new guy.

Anonymous said...

Sorry - The government is still busy catching up with cash for clunkers checks. We'll get to the vets at some point...please stand by, your call is important to us...

Anonymous said...

The same thing happened to me in 1971. It took 5 months to get an education check. At that time many of us thought the VA was staffed by some anti-military government employees. Today, with a lot more experience, I would suspect incompetent government employees rather than anti-military.

Rhod said...

In 1967, the total VA educational allowance for vets was $125 per month for full-time college attendance and $85 for part-time attendance.

Even adjusting for inflation, that amounted to a gasoline subisidy with a few burgers thrown in. Then, there was the VA hospital system. If you'd been wounded, twice bad luck.

The Great Society was unwilling to kick into the VA, but government never delivers efficiencies. It only picks up your prosperity and well-being at your door and that's the last you see of it.

Joe said...

An emergency one-month late payment is still a one-month late payment. I already know a few dudes who had to drop out and get a job to pay for rent and food.

Steve: The Lightning Man said...

Dealing with the GI Bill people at U-Maine was a fiasco even back in 1993 when I went there.

Vets should get FREE tuition as a thank you for their service.....

Kanani said...

If the VA isn't hitting the mark, then the reason is that we as a society let it fall off the rails. For the most part, it's a reflection of how our polititicans eagerly sent soldiers off to war, and then when they came back, we ignored them. The consistent drawing back of funds from the VA system for decades has been de rigeur, and in fact, many hospitals closed in the past two decades.

In part, much of this was possible because the internet didn't exist as it does today. So if they closed things hear and there, never bothered to fund it fully, no one had a system-wide way to complain!

Let's hope bloggers will start holding the senators and congressmen accountable, and that we work to reform the bureaucracy that is the VA.