Atlanta, GA (CBS46) Imagine expecting a paycheck that never comes. That is what is happening to student veterans and service members who rely on the Forever GI Bill for funding and housing allowances.
Thursday, veterans were told they won't be paid the benefits they are owed. On Friday, they were told they will receive the payments starting in December 2019.
The delays and confusion stem from IT problems and backlogs at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
"This is a housing allowance," said Jarrad Turner, an Army veteran and the director of warrior engagement at the Warrior Alliance. "People are concerned. Can I make my mortgage? Can I make my rent?," Turner said.
Turner and the team at The Warrior Alliance in Sandy Springs have been working to find money for student veterans. He says local colleges like Gwinnett Technical College, Kennesaw State University and Georgia State University have been able to use other funds to help with housing and academic needs.
"People are in school or they are working and going to school. They're not expecting that they are going to have to worry about am I going to lose my house," Turner said. "This was definitely causing a lot of stress to a lot of different people. When you serve in the military, you don't want to be thinking hey I am not going to be able to take care of my family," he continued.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is working to enhance the Forever GI Bill, but has struggled to make the technical changes.
Turner says the changes will help veterans access more opportunities and programs in academics funded by the VA. He says he wants the VA to follow through on its promises.
Turner says while veterans wait on their benefits, they should document everything, keep mortgage and rent statements, keep a written tally of benefits you're receiving from the VA and keep address and residency changes in writing.
"We are hoping that these computer glitches are going to be worked out, but the reality is we don't know, so you've got to start budgeting now," Turner said.
The Warrior Alliance is a community integration program that connects veterans in the metro area with veteran resources.
You can check you GI Bill benefits status on the VA website.
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