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President Donald Trump signed into law the Forever GI Bill fix that will force VA to make good on paying veterans the money owed due to an agency IT failure.

Congress required VA to implement an IT system that would process payments under the new law created by the Forever GI Bill. The new GI Bill expanded housing and tuition and housing benefits., but the rollout was a complete failure.

When VA hired a contractor to create the new system, many coordination and planning fails resulted in the IT system failing to process payments correctly. Veterans were shortchanged as a result because the new system did not work.

Called the Forever GI Bill Housing Payment Fulfillment Act of 2018, the new fix does two great things:

  1. It ensures veterans get paid what they are owed
  2. It forces VA to audit the system and report on the audit

The fix was required when, in November, it became clear VA would not do the right thing. When problems first surfaced, VBA Under Secretary Paul Lawrence said the agency would not repay veterans who were shortchanged.

RELATED: Official Responsible For GI Bill Boondoggle Moved To Houston RO

Congress became enraged, along with the public, resulting in Secretary Robert Wilkie being forced to walk back the claims of his subordinate. Wilkie then promised to make good on the debt but was light on details.

As a fix, Congress created the accountability law that will force an audit of the system to identify all veterans impacted by the failure.

The agency has 15 days to create a “Tiger Team” tasked solely with identifying those veterans affected by the IT failure. The Tiger Team will also create the plan to ensure those veterans are paid what they are owed. In the past, VA has created various Tiger Teams to process certain claims promptly based on legal mandates.

RELATED: Forever GI Bill A ‘Train Wreck’ Says Chairman Roe

VA promises to implement the IT fix by December 2019, and the audit is scheduled to report back to Congress every three months with a final report due in 2020.

It is worth noting that Trump also signed into law the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018 to protect veterans from blowback due to the agency’s problems.

This law will prevent schools from penalizing veterans due to VA’s ineptitude in paying the agency’s obligations to the schools in a timely manner. If the school breaks the law, they will not be eligible to receive GI Bill monies, which is substantial for many institutions.

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16 Comments

  1. Wow!
    This is the first positive move toward fixing a genuine VA wrong towards veterans I have seen in a very long time. I hope this works out to a satisfactory conclusion within the alloted time frame. Thank you Mr. President and also to those having had the fortitude to stand up for what is necessary to get the job done.

  2. Isn’t this a bit like not wiping one’s ass for any amount of time then a few weeks down deciding to adopt a policy of always purchasing toilet paper by writing reminder notes all around the house ON toilet paper and STILL ignoring the warnings of the inevitable stink-butt?

    These ingrates simply don’t care UNLESS it affects THEIR paychecks and will predict right now we will be right back here again when it happens again in some different nefarious way.
    Why?
    Because like a feral dog, they got that taste of Veteran sweat and tears of earned educational benefits and the welfare works program (AFGE) will likely go into withdrawals like ‘Audrey’ the carnivorous plant in ‘Little Shop Of Horrors”, -“FEED ME, Seymour”!

  3. A LAW to force the VA to do something that should have been done WITHOUT a law….

    How convenient!!!

    If this does anything, it PROVES and validates, the criminal and rogue deviancy echoing throughout the Veterans Administration, that the only way the VA will do what is right, is to force the taxpayer to appease them, the VA employee, to be viewed as significant and requiring laws to do what is already mandated by laws already on the books.

  4. I really hate to be a “na-sayer”, only how many laws has the VA violated in the past? They’re probably saying, “Oh, well, guess there’s another law we’re supposed to follow!”

  5. C’mon, lets get real. IT IS NOT MEANT TO WORK. Look at IRS, SSA, and other massive IT systems. Those are pretty much flawless. Hell, even the Obamacare Marketplace is functional. But it’s always the VA IT systems that are screwed up, and there’s always an excuse. The excuses belie the real reason. YOUR country does not want you to receive what you earned.

    Veterans benefits are parsed into discreet segments, e.g. recent vets GI Bill, versus older vets seeking health care, and a broader segment of veterans seeking disability benefits. While these segments in total may account for 15 to 20 million people, each of them as a stand-alone group may only amount to several million souls. It’s easier to screw a smaller group, especially when the majority of the public doesn’t have a horse in the race. Ever since the cessation of the draft, the public, that would otherwise monitor and drive the body politic, simply doesn’t give a shit.

    The tasks of creating and managing a functional IT system is child’s-play these days. Amazon, and Facebook are capable of pulling your DNA out of your boy-friend’s bung-hole, and we’re supposed to believe the technology hard to implement? There are no valid excuses, and only one reason rises to belief. It ain’t supposed to work.

  6. Now the VA is going to actually OBEY a law that is written to make them OBEY a law that they were ignoring in the first place because? Lets see if I get this. The congress just passed a law into the books to make the VA make a “gold panel” to investigate, and CORRECT their response to the last gold panel they IGNORED in all but name?
    When I went through college all those years ago this was called CIRCULAR LOGIC/REASONING.
    Start tossing some VA GM types in PRISON for CRIMINAL intent to defrauding to NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE then work down the ranks as needed and THEN some actual improvements MIGHT happen, or at least tax payers won’t be stuck for their bonuses for defrauding Veterans and retirement packages for killing us…

  7. Wilkie needs to go , just another puppet who could care less about Vetreans or their families . Everybody involved and who knew and was aware need to held accountable and terminated .

  8. Whoopty doo!!!

    Another law that won’t be enforced and/or followed up on – like the VA Accountability Act of 2017…

  9. Now, Now, now, you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar – However there is good reason we feel this is just another day in the life of veterans trying to get their due, to no avail. Buuuut what are you going to do?
    Say Thank you and keep your fingers crossed.

    Peace out

  10. 1.- It ensures veterans get paid what they are owed- GREAT!
    2.- It forces VA to audit the system and report on the audit-NOT SO GOOD
    I guess it’s a start having the VA “Audit and Report on themselves” but they always manage a way to ‘cook the books’ to make everything look great, Hell that’s probably why they’re in this mess in the first place because they ‘audit’ themselves. I bet they were ‘auditing’ themselves when that hospital went $1,000,000,000 over budget,- and then it’s ALWAYS- we need more $$$! They really need a separate agency to monitor the VA, the corruption and incompetence has just been going on too long, I mean decade after decade it’s like Rosanne-Roseanna-Dana would say- “It’s always something.”

  11. An old military saying comes to mind:

    One-Thousand Attaboys can be cancelled by One Aw Shit.

    While I believe in giving credit where/when credit is due, I am not so certain that One Attaboy can cancel One-Thousand Aw Shits.

  12. Ahhh yes just what we need in the police state or open air concentration camp full of the socially engineered and traitors called “Murica”… more laws, rules, whatever and no way to enforce them. Just like our big C rights, HIPPA violations, Dis Act of 1970, civil rights, human rights, no rights patient rights, ad infinitum cannot or will not be “enforced.” IMNSHO just more theater and circus. Plus how can we even begin to believe any more reports, audits, or info from our fearless leaders and agencies? Or from some stooge, agents, actors put out for public display claiming all is well and functional at the VA or elsewhere.

    All this stuff seems to do is make the evil ones hide better, dig in deeper, hide more, attack any questioners more than ever and circle their wagons. To ensure more censoring continues and more secretive attacks along with cover-ups intensify too. And restrict any more news or info about some issue. IE: “https://indianapublicmedia.org/news/indiana-veterans-agency-adopts-relief-fund-rules.php”

    Ha, our media and news has to pass muster and censoring thanks to the college cliques and another one of those sick symbiotic relationships between institutions, cliques, corrupt government, officials of every stripe etc. We won’t hear much more truth or reports about this. Maybe a couple as sacrificial goats for their empire and worship services.

    Love all that information (sic) and of insider corruption too from the failed “whistle-blower” protections and laws. What a hoot. Just another one of those laws that failed, with loop-holes found, with no pussy cat teeth to back much up with any so-called “laws.”

    “Tiger Team” my broad butt. Are they going to go back to un-do the many damages done to-date or bring many back to life? Who the hell makes these goofy names up anyway? Grrrrr…. no growl, no bark, no bite, just lip service. I’ll call them the “Pussy Cats for the establishments machinery.” Purrrr nice kitties… no heads will actually roll, no bite or scratch marks even.

    (They need “Tiger Teams” with teeth to combat censoring, attacks on vets, to enforce some laws on the books others refuse to do, or lawyers won’t touch.)

    Then on to “If the school breaks the law, they will not be eligible to receive GI Bill monies,…” LOL! Show me some proof. “Institutions” including those of higher learning, med schools, will not be touched or lose a dime. People think some agency fed or state is going to go after some university who totally controls towns, states, with very high connections, that controls about everything educational there is out there including what say, Ivy Tech and the like can teach or how they play with course credits or attack someone without any concerns of blow-back or legal actions against them??? Or force some vet to take some courses they don’t want and more. Those same colleges who are in some areas largest employers with their alumni filling about about every political office and many others you can think of including media types to the VA? Those above the laws and rules will remain the same so let the GRRRRRR and lip service go on. Hey, show them teeth and smile at the suicides, those of us under full scale attack, being censored like crazy and these clowns up there aren’t doing much for any major issues happening. Pretend to be “professionals” and caring. Guess people may be totally un-aware of the power of the “university.” The funds they have, the public relations firms behind them, the corruption, their battery, I mean batteries, of attorneys/media out there on their side too. (experienced that crap too) Along with fed and state officials? Just empty claims, warnings, no real enforcement like with other issues.

  13. 01/04/2019
    Dear Benjamin Krause,
    As you reported:
    “VA promises to implement the IT fix by December 2019, and the audit is scheduled to report back to Congress every three months with a final report due in 2020.”
    “It is worth noting that Trump also signed into law the Veterans Benefits and Transition Act of 2018 to protect veterans from blowback due to the agency’s problems.”
    “This law will prevent schools from penalizing veterans due to VA’s ineptitude in paying the agency’s obligations to the schools in a timely manner. If the school breaks the law, they will not be eligible to receive GI Bill monies, which is substantial for many institutions.”
    Over a year to get the fix [Forever GI Bill] right?
    And the Audits come every 3 months while unexpected events crash down on the Veterans and those who support them [remaining institutions on the edge—- like the University of Phoenix —which will take on the additional debt]. Even the Apollo Group will have a talk to the White House through Dan Quayle.
    No wonder why VA Secretary Robert Wilkie is a no show.
    Sincerely,
    Don Karg

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