Government Shutdown update affects VA education benefits


 

 

In an email sent to veterans at RSC, Lance Newbold director, veteran services and academic advisement released the following information:

Due to the government shutdown, as of 4 p.m. EST Oct. 7, the GI Bill social media team will not post, reply to comments, or monitor the GI Bill Facebook account.

Effective 8 p.m. EST Oct. 7, the Education Call Center is no longer accepting calls.

Claims processors (including education) have been excluded from furlough for a short time. However, in the event of a prolonged shutdown, funding for these processors will run out by late October, and VA will be unable to make further benefit payments.

When asked for clarification about whether or not RSC veterans would continue to receive benefits that have already been approved, Newbold emailed the following information:

The way the update is written could be interpreted two ways.  First is that they will continue to process new education claims and benefit payments through October.  But after October when all processors are furloughed there will be no NEW processing.  The second, and more ominous, interpretation is that there will be NO payments after the end of October.  There is a whole bunch of “we don’t know” going on right now so I can’t definitively say what is going to happen.

 

Our office will continue to be open and to do what we can but without anyone in the Muskogee Regional Office to phone or email, our ability to assist students will be minimal.

 

If someone didn’t get paid, I can’t help them right now.  There is no one to call in Muskogee.  I called this afternoon and they answered the phone but the computer system was shut down so they couldn’t answer my question.

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