According to the Department of Veterans AffairsMonday Morning Workload Reportissued October 15, there are 26,872 Post-9/11 GI Bill original claims pending.
While the onus continues to be on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to rectify the problem with urgency, Student Veterans of America's Executive Director issued the following statement calling on communities and institutions to step up and offer innovative solutions:
"The GI Bill backlog is making it incredibly difficult for many student veterans to succeed academically, let alone provide for their families. We need more calls to action, like that issued by Ohio Governor John Kasich earlier this semester when he urged schools in his state to be more flexible in collecting tuition payments from student veterans due to the backlog.
We need state legislatures, universities, and colleges to implement tuition deferral policies that don't penalize veterans or force them to drop out due to an outstanding account balance caused by delayed benefits at the federal level.
We need community leaders and local nonprofits to recognize the urgency of this issue and offer emergency financial support to student veterans struggling to pay their rent.
We need higher education and financial institutions to heed this call to action and offer no-interest loans to student veterans struggling to cover books and housing. The money is guaranteed to come in - it is simply a matter of time.
My goal here is not to shift the focus off of the VA, but instead to offer private sector and community-based solutions to an issue that is not going away anytime soon. Now is the time to innovate and address these challenges locally, while continuing to work on a long-term, national solution within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
SVA is willing to work with any community, institution of higher learning, corporation, or financial institution to help implement these solutions to help support America's student veterans."
SVA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit coalition of over 500 student veteran organizations on college campuses globally. SVA's mission is to provide military veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation.
Student Veterans of America: Focusing on Student Veteran Success