Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Department of Veterans Affairs.

I submitted my application (through VONAPP) for Post 9/11 benefits in May. I heard nothing for eight weeks. I figured everything was backed up and I had time before school started, so I decided to wait a few more weeks before calling. It's now the end of July and still nothing. I call and call and call...I get hung up on, "All operators are busy at this time." I picked up my phone at around six o'clock one night and was finally ablt to get through. A sweet southern voice was at the other end..."We just got your application two weeks ago." What? I told her I submitted my information in May, log onto VONAPP and look for yourself. She insisted I sent it in two weeks ago and seemed annoyed I was calling. It's now late August (August 27) and I get a letter in the mail..Congratulations you're entitled to receive 60% of the benefits payable under the Post 9/11 GI Bill program. Great! Now tell me why the hell when I go to verify my school attendance I can't and my benefit status is still REAP, Chapter 1607? Side note, it took the Department of VA a YEAR to give me my Chapter 1607 benefits. So thank you Dept. of VA, it now looks like I'll be turning tricks on campus for school supplies.

6 Comments:

Blogger Snead said...

Kate, you're not the only one getting fucked (no pun intended) this semester. Hang in there and please be sure to contact your Senators and Representative. Although I'm still waiting after a week to hear back from mine, they can't accuse us of not being proactive if we bitch long and loud about this.

9/16/2009 01:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Tai Nguyen said...

Another veteran still waiting here also... Luckily, my school isn't expensive.

Didn't they have half a year to get ready for this? sheesh.

9/16/2009 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger HopeSpringsATurtle said...

Kate...sorry to hear of your troubles.

Snead...I don't think congress will help at all, not to mention they are slower than molasses.

Best think I have found to do is bitch to the VA. Call them often. Put them on speaker phone during the long waits. Also, sign up for your VA medical benefits, and you voc rehab bennies if you've been injured.

I have a service-connected knee that I had to fight for in spite of being injured on an F-16, on an AF base, on duty. They denied me at first, made me get records, etc., then gave me a 10% disability. I'm pretty much topped out now at 50% now, 7 surgeries and 1 total knee replacement later, but I am handled. Because I bitch and stand up for myself.

I've been in the system for years and it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. I'm no whiner but I do stick up for myself, for what's right and the underdog. Those of us that have served during this terrible time of war, deserve EVERYTHING we can get.

Squeak loud wheels of the military machine. Let them not ignore you.

9/18/2009 12:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Some Iraq Veteran said...

I just received my certificate of eligibility. I didn't gamble that I would receive it even this semester, so I didn't register for classes this term. Too late now, but at least I'm set for next semester - albeit my carefully crafted schedule for when I would take certain classes is now skewed.

-Dacker

9/22/2009 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Hi everyone...
De-lurking here :) I'm non-military (but my brother is Army). I received an email today from the Warrior Legacy Foundation regarding the GI Bill. Not sure if you know about WLF but David Bellavia (author of "House to House") and Jim Hanson (of Blackfive) head it up. Could be a possible resource?

Here's the email:

The Warrior Legacy Foundation (WLF) is working with the White House and the VA to assist veterans who have been experiencing delays in GI Bill payments. Recently a number of veterans have not received payment for college expenses they are due in a timely fashion. This has caused financial hardship in an already difficult economy. This is unacceptable and WLF is committed to helping fix the problem.

Our leaders have been in contact with veterans officials at both the White House and VA and they agree this is a priority that must be addressed. They have dedicated resources and we will be working with them to expedite these payments and to ensure that systemic problems are addressed. We will provide assistance to veterans affected by this and connect them with the proper authorities to get them the benefits they earned. We appreciate the attention and help from both the White House and VA in rectifying this.

Veterans who have not received payment can contact us at info@warriorlegacyfoundation.org with GI Bill in the subject line.

9/24/2009 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Oh - and meant to add - thank you all so much for your service. Kate, it's been inspiring, educational and humbling to read through your blog.

~ Katherine

9/24/2009 01:16:00 PM  

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