Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) this week introduced bipartisan legislation, the Forever GI Bill Housing Payment Fulfillment Act, to ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) properly and retroactively pays student veterans with the educational housing benefits they have earned.
This legislation, introduced in response to the VA’s failure to comply with the reimbursement rates set by the Forever GI Bill and an IT glitch, requires the VA to correct all under-payments and non-payments no later than January 1, 2020. Additionally, this legislation requires the VA to establish a team of specialists to establish a plan to identify all impacted veteran students, execute proper retroactive payments, and develop a new, functional IT system.
“The Forever GI Bill provides housing benefits to thousands of Kentucky’s active military, reservists, and veterans as they pursue higher education,” said Congressman Barr. “The VA must be held accountable for properly implementing the law and administering the Forever GI Bill in accordance with Congressional intent. Our nation’s veterans deserve better than to be faced with inaccurate, late payments. This legislation will remedy an undue hardship placed on veteran students and provide oversight and accountability to ensure these payments are made in a timely manner. I look forward to the swift passage of this legislation to provide relief and certainty to our veterans.”
The Senate is expected to pass the companion bill this week and the House of Representatives is expected to consider the Forever GI Bill Housing Payment Fulfillment Act next week.