Veterans or their beneficiaries who receive a housing allowance as part of their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits will not receive their payments on Friday as a result of a processing failure, Department of Veterans Affairs officials announced late Thursday.
The VA said that the department is working to rebuild the file that enables the payments to be sent so they can be delivered "as soon as possible," aiming for Monday, April 3, to initiate electronic transfers and mail paper checks.
VA officials said they have notified the department's inspector general and are conducting a review to determine the cause of the disruption but are concentrating on fixing the problem for now.
"We are mindful of the stress this may create for our student Veterans and their families," VA Press Secretary Terrence Hayes said in an email Thursday to Military.com. "VA is preparing electronic communications to inform Veterans and provide them with a letter, which they can share with their creditors in the event this delay impacts their ability to meet personal financial obligations."
Hayes added that the VA is also contacting schools that veterans attend using their benefit to keep them apprised of the situation.
More than a half-million veterans or their families receive education benefits through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, although not all use the housing benefits. VA officials did not say how many beneficiaries would be affected by the delay.
Officials said they would keep veterans and the public informed on the process, providing updates when payments are distributed and when the department finds the cause of the breakdown.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides up to 36 months of tuition, a monthly living stipend and other benefits to former service members or their beneficiaries who enrolled in the program while they served.
-- Patricia Kime can be reached at Patricia.Kime@Military.com. Follow her on Twitter @patriciakime.