Money Available For College Military Veterans - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Money Available For College Military Veterans

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL)

Iowa Congressman, Dave Loebsack says the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has authorized checks for up to $3,000 for students who have applied for educational benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, but who have not yet received their government payment. 

Loebsack says there's a huge backlog right now, and many students have not received their education benefits. That will begin to change October 2, when checks will be distributed to eligible students at VA regional benefits offices across the country.

"I know from first-hand experience what it is like to worry about paying for your tuition, housing, and other living costs, and to worry about being able to stay in school because of financial constraints," said Congressman Loebsack. "These student veterans deserve the very best from us, and we must ensure that we are able to cut through red tape and backlogs so that they can receive the college education they have earned through their service to our country."   

Starting Friday, Oct. 2, 2009, students can go to the VA's regional benefit offices with a photo ID, a course schedule and an eligibility certificate to request advance payment of their housing and book allowance. The Des Moines regional VA office is located at 210 Walnut Street in Des Moines. To alleviate the strain of traveling to the regional office, the VA expects to send representatives to schools with large Veteran-student bodies and work with Veteran Service Organizations to help students with transportation needs.

The VA has approximately 25,000 claims pending that may result in payments to students.  The funds VA will give to students now are advance payments of the earned benefits for housing and books.  This money will be deducted from future education payments.

VA officials have said students should know that after this special payment, they can expect to receive education payments on the normal schedule -- the beginning of the month following the period for which they are reimbursed. More than 27,500 students have already received benefits for housing or books under the new Post-9/11 GI Bill, or their schools received their tuition payments.

Online Reporter:  Ron Steele

rsteele@kwwl.com

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