Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Nobody has more respect for veterans than Trump

NBC News previously reported that some veterans were forced into desperate financial straits stemming from a change in calculating housing allowances under the Forever GI Bill, which President Donald Trump signed into law in July 2017. When its computers were unable to process that change, the VA quickly faced a backlog of veterans’ claims three times higher than normal.


For weeks, student veterans across the country have raised an alarm about delayed or incorrect GI Bill benefit payments.


But on Wednesday, the department told congressional staffers that it would not reimburse those veterans who were paid less than they were owed, two committee aides told NBC News.

The news conflicts with a promise VA officials made to a House committee earlier this month that it would reimburse those veterans who received less than the full amount they were due.


VA officials told congressional staffers in a telephone call on Wednesday morning that once the system is made right next year, they will not make retroactive payments to those who were underpaid because of the housing miscalculations.

"They are essentially going to ignore the law and say that that change only goes forward from Dec. 2019," one aide told NBC News.


While this decision could mean the agency is flouting the law because it would not provide the correct amount of money to student veterans as required by two sections of the Forever GI Bill, the VA told the congressional staffers that they have a legal justification that would allow them to move forward with this decision.

They did not share that justification, however.


UPDATE 11/30:  Reversed.

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