Washington, D.C. - Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, announced that the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity will hold an oversight hearing on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) GI Bill payment delays. The subcommittee hearing will be held on November 14, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. More information, including the witness list, will be made available in the coming weeks.
Chairman Roe released the following statement:
“It is of great concern to me that there continues to be excessive GI Bill payment delays and that VA remains unable to properly implement the necessary changes to the system that were outlined in the Forever GI Bill. I continue to hear from a number of student veterans who are facing hardships due to VA’s failure to implement necessary changes to its system. Student veterans should not have to face these problems in order to receive their earned benefits. It is of utmost importance that we hold this oversight hearing to get to the bottom this problem and ensure that VA is working to swiftly correct these errors. I look forward to hearing VA’s plan to right these wrongs, receiving additional insight into the core of the problem, and learning how VA plans to avoid future errors like this one. I will continue to work to ensure these problems are fixed and I will not rest until our student veterans receive the full and correct benefits they have rightfully been promised."
The Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX) released the following statement:
“As I said last December, when the Subcommittee held our first hearing on the implementation of this law, and again in July during an oversight hearing, it is critical that we work to ensure that this bill is implemented in a way that is consistent with Congress’ intent and that veterans receive the benefits they deserve in a timely and consistent manner.
“I have become increasingly frustrated with VA’s inability to make their IT systems work and believe more and more that these failures are the root of many of the Department’s problems. These failures aside, my biggest question is how these delays will impact student veterans who rely on the correct living stipend payments that were to be made by September 1st. That is simply unacceptable for something that the VA has had almost a year to plan.
“We all understand the importance of the Forever GI bill and the impact it will have for future generations of veterans to come, and that is why it is so vital that we get implementation right.”
The following event is open to the press:
WHO: Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity
WHAT: “A Continued Review of GI Bill Payment Delays”
WHEN: 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 14, 2018
WHERE: 334 Cannon House Office Building and streaming here.
Background: During this oversight hearing, the subcommittee will receive an update on VA’s plans for implementing the remaining sections of H.R. 3212, the Harry W. Colmery Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also known as the "Forever GI Bill." The Subcommittee Members will also discuss VA’s efforts to improve information technology (IT) functionalities to handle new mandates under the law. The subcommittee will review explanations for the IT failures that have led to students and schools receiving the wrong payments and associated processing delays for tuition, fees and the monthly housing allowance. Lastly, the subcommittee will discuss how the Department is informing beneficiaries of these delays, as well as training VA staff to disseminate the proper information about the Forever GI Bill.