Maui News

Bill to Reimburse Veterans’ GI Bill Benefits Passes Senate

January 5, 2019, 7:07 PM HST
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Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Andy Barrʻs bipartisan legislation to ensure timely reimbursement for veterans who were underpaid or faced delays in their Forever GI bill housing benefits recently passed the US senate. The Forever GI Bill Housing Payment Fulfillment Act would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to assess how many veterans were impacted, establish a plan to correct late and underpaid stipends, improve congressional oversight, and set a deadline for correcting these errors. Sens. John Boozman and Brian Schatz introduced the companion legislation in the US Senate, which now heads to the House for consideration.

“For months, problems at the VA causing delays or inaccurate Forever GI bill payments for hundreds of thousands of our nation’s veterans have caused great stress and hardship on them and their families,” Rep. Gabbard said. “Our veterans shouldn’t suffer because of bureaucratic red tape and incompetence. Our bipartisan legislation will hold the VA accountable, correct these egregious errors, and ensure our brothers and sisters in arms receive the benefits they’ve earned.”

The Forever GI Bill Housing Payment Fulfillment Act would require the VA to:

  • End improper payments as soon as possible
  • Establish a team of specialists who will be responsible for reporting a plan to correct the errors to Congress
  • Provide a report to Congress that identifies how many beneficiaries were impacted and to what extent, aggregated by state, by July 2020
  • Certify the department is fully compliant with the law

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