Dear MS HOIT: You have been awarded education benefits.
Everyday for the past two months, I have checked the VA website for a sign that my paperwork was being processed…nothing. However, a few days ago I noticed that I had no pending documents. This was the sign I had been looking for…my paperwork was finally on the move! I checked my benefit status but I was still listed as Chapter 1607. Today, I received a thick envelope from the Buffalo Regional Processing Office. I am entitled to 60% of the benefits available under the Post-9/11 GI Bill…apparently that’s what 424 days gets me. I flipped the page and read, “Your school certified that you are enrolled in 16 credit hours. We sent you a payment of $400.03 for books and supplies.” Really? When? And an FYI: $400 for books and supplies bought me one and a half books…thanks. I checked my bank account and there it was! My $400 was sitting next to another payment from the VA. I’m not sure where the other mysterious payment came from but I’ll take it. I’m grateful that I received some of my money but I know many veterans who have not.
Here is what I’ll never understand when it comes to the VA: you send thousands of soldiers to war, put together the best GI Bill that has ever been offered, then fuck it all up with horrible planning and not enough employees to process claims. It’s the same old bullshit and it’s getting really old. It took months for the VA to realize they needed help. The VA sat back and waited until veterans practically knocked down the doors of their regional processing offices to do something. Then we got $3,000 in emergency money; which seemed to appear out of thin air. If it’s as simple as getting online, filling out a page of personal information, then receiving a check in the mail, or driving a few hours to a regional office then why does it take MONTHS to even get a lettered stating they received your application? Do the people who run the VA not have any common sense? It’s shit like this that makes us lose faith in the VA and the military for that matter. So, congratulations for stressing out thousands of veterans, making them take out loans to pay for school, and maxing out their credit cards. What’s even more disturbing is that all of this could’ve been avoided. Get some contractors in there and unfuck this situation.
I'm not the only one who is pissed off.Read: Rucksack to Backpack.