GI Bill Court Decision

Veterans entitled to both Montgomery GI Bill and Post-9/11 GI Bill were wrongly denied one year of entitlement according to a recent federal court decision.

The decision affects tens of thousands of veterans who may collectively be entitled to hundreds of millions of dollars in subsistence payments. Officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs have not yet decided to appeal the decision.

At the center of the dispute was the agency’s policy of forcing veterans to give up their Montgomery GI Bill eligibility to opt in for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The court concluded the practices was improper despite the agency’s argument that its practice was to prevent double dipping.

Court Conclusion

The court concluded the agency did not interpret the policy correctly.

In the 2-1 panel decision, the court concluded “someone may not receive assistance from more than one program during a single month, semester, or other applicable pay period, but may switch freely between programs.”

The decision means veterans can receive benefits from both programs, just not at the same time.

Implications Of Double Dipping

Veterans who served for at least three years on active duty after September 10, 2001 are eligible to receive the higher Post-9/11 GI Bill. Meanwhile, many of those same veterans paid into the Montgomery GI Bill. The former pays more.

Both benefits generally last 36 months. Federal regulations cap veterans’ education benefits at 48 months for any combination. VA refused to allow veterans to use 36 months under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and then 12 months of the Montgomery GI Bill.

More Veteran-Friendly?

The dissenting opinion came from Judge Margaret Bartley who argued the decision of the court allowing use of both benefits for entitlement veterans is not “more veteran-friendly”.

The agency has time to file an appeal in the coming weeks if it chooses to do so. Otherwise, they agency will be required to come up with the extra funds necessary to pay veterans entitled to both versions of the GI Bill.

Veterans frequently run into problems with double dipping when using a combination of benefits from VA Vocational Rehabilitation and the GI Bill. A lot of my readers run into this issue when they are not allowed to use their GI Bill benefits after using all 48 months of Vocational Rehabilitation benefits.

About Judge Bartley’s statement, I am not clear how anyone could conclude not being allowed to use both benefits would not be a “more veteran-friendly” approach to veterans’ benefits.

Wouldn’t it be more veteran-friendly to receive more benefits than less benefits? For veterans not qualified for Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment, using the Montgomery GI Bill and Post-9/11 GI Bill would certainly seem “veteran-friendly” to me.

What do you think?

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44 Comments

  1. *”The court concluded the agency did not interpret the policy correctly.”*
    How many times, since the VA was founded, has this “agency” NOT interpret policies correctly!
    From educational benefits to healthcare benefits, VA employees “interpret” the policies to their benefit – not to the veterans benefit!
    This is nothing new! Same shit, different day!

    • Benjamin, I have a question? The politicians do not want to follow the laws and do not follow the laws, the state and federal governments do not follow the laws and do not want to follow the laws, so for a precious creation of God and a law abiding American citizen, Benjamin, where is my sanctuary? Where is the sanctuary for all law abiding American citizens to include all law abiding veterans? What happened to individual rights and freedoms? We are one nation under God.

      • We are not a nation under a cruel and oppressive government-Tyranny; but, however, many people in leadership positions seemed to have forgotten that we are a FREE country. Where is the sanctuary for individual rights and freedoms of law abiding American citizens? 🗽🇺🇸

  2. 09/09/2019

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Need more information—how bad was the “double dipping”?

    Was this just sloppy and overreactive management?

    How much do we accredit this to our “professional” Secretary Wilkie?

    Or do we give our praise to the Attorneys that are running the show at the VA?

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  3. Trump signed a bill to forgive all Veterans GI bill college loans. He also made it so they cannot Garnish any of the monies Veterans or Active Duty Personel receives through the Government.

  4. My Opinons:
    One V.A.M.C.’s Dental Clinic is the worst!
    Guess which one it is ??
    *Pete,age 74*Houston, Texas *

  5. I think it’s interesting that the VA chooses to attempt double dipping whilst Washington DC is rife with people receiving military pension, government agency pensions, and social security. Trippple dipppers. Nice!

    • VA points the finger external to themselves. But they see themselves as never being the culprits. VA on hook for the money. The VA deserves a taste of their own medicine. Taxpayer funds for veterans to get on their feet. Not for the VA leadership to move for 5 years and then it cannot be traced. If IG looked hard enough, I am sure they can find where most of this money is going.

  6. So, Mr. Krause, are you or some colleagues going to file suit about the loss of benefits for those who go into VocRehab? It seems like this opinion would be applicable for the loss of the MGIB with VRE or Post-9/11 with VRE?

    • It should apply elsewhere but one never knows until they know. Denial of VEAP conversion to Montgomery GI Bill when the Department of Navy opened it up to the VEAP active duty contributors in 1996. Social Worker tried to help me with this claim back in 2008 but Muscokgee Veteran Benefits Administration denied my claim even with a VA Social Worker assisting me. Oh yes, this was when the VA had a program that was helping veterans in great efforts. This Social Worker left the VA as many others did as well during the Obama Administration. VA has left me in shit. Trying to correct it myself. I am in enrolled in a university but I am using a credit card. A low limit low interest credit card offers more grace than being tied up with the federal government with student loans. Career fairs coming up and I am applying for employment. Have some other friends interviewing as well. Though, they have been and are currently employed. They are not veterans. I have plenty of unpaid work experience. A lot of it has to do with consumer law. Having been locked in the VA in the more recent years stepped all over my efforts. A pile of crap.

      • Denials of Chapter 31 Vocational Rehab forever begin. They became so dysfunctional that I have not wanted to even fight them. I saw the situation as being more in my best interest just to get the hell away from them. Because they stand in the way of any real success. They muck everything up.

      • I meant the Muskogee (sp) VA system in Oklahoma who denied the Montgomery GI Bill Conversion from the VEAP in 2008 with VA Social Worker trying to assist me with this issue.

        In 1996 when they initially denied the conversion with pertaining to my individual conversion and then had soon opened it up to active duty and ??? military service members, I had asked for my refund because I needed the money to live on.
        At the same time, I had been transitioned to the TDRL with still being attached to the Navy while being followed at the Navy Hospital. I guess they must have thought that I would not live long enough to use the small amount of funds so why should they approve it. Who knows? Though early on, I was not stable enough and was not functioning at a high enough level that of which would have been necessary to generate success in the updated education and training as per the GI Bill or even as per Chapter 31 Voc Rehab. Even as recent as 2014, my speaking was not fluent. I had met with a University Professor in an informational interview as a potential applicant for a Health Professions PhD program. I could barely process my words. Even going back to 2010-2011, I had taken a couple of classes in pursuit of; but, completion was not feasible due to financial and life responsibilities / tasks. Reason for bringing this up is to illustrate that these classes required power point presentations. I physically could not speak well enough to complete the presentation before the class student audience. Although, I had a 4.0 GPA in the classes / University. The university professor issued me with an “A” grade in the class without the power point presentations. Exam scores were high enough to compensate for my non-speech delivery. My bringing all this up has to with VA having eligibility time cut off requirements. So anyone who improves due to great efforts by themselves and from others’ efforts who have guided him or her along the way, are SOL.

        Different current issue- the Coast Guard veteran showed great courage in pursuing the lawsuit against VA for the non-reimbursment of Non-VA emergency services . She stood up for what is right and by the laws. I praise her efforts. 🗽🇺🇸

      • Benjamin, you had reported on the Non-VA Emergency Denial of care on 20 August 2019 where NBC had picked up the story. Current issue but not with this current blog topic.
        Getting back to the VA, the only times they do what they are supposed to do is when they are called out and forced too. But, even then, they still may not adhere to. Sad.

  7. So Mr Krause

    Are you or some colleges going to file suit after receiving the name of s VR&E Chief who entered false statements into a veteran’s Voc Rehab record in which the information was used to deny the claim

    Rashid El Malik

  8. The dissenting opinion from Judge Margaret Bartley is crazy. The judge is on the wrong court, I think they were supposed to be on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (The Nutty 9th). Only an imbecile could conclude that getting 12 more months of benefits is not helpful to the veteran.
    On a separate note, I hope this applies to the few of us that had the terrible VEAP program and later used the GI Bill. They reduced my GI benefits by the number of months I used under VEAP. Paying out of pocket now since I ran out of money under the GI Bill.

    • I had that VEAP program back in the 80’s. You are right it was not much of a program. But the after serving in the 70’s they did not think much of us either.

    • Math from first grade education was based on 330 billion dollar’s divided by 1 million. Then added then add fees such a law council or what ever. Each disabeld Veteran deserves 500k at the minimum awarded to them now each year; Not some arse hat Director who gets millions per year with zero military experience on a genocide path.

  9. This is off topic but, I think it covers an issue of basic rights.
    A week or so ago someone posted about a decision that VHA will force the elimination of tobacco products and devices from their campuses effective Oct. 1st. Does anyone have knowledge of the exact wording of this decision? Are they planning to restrict possession of these fully legal products anywhere on campus or only their use on campus? Some patients, drivers, companions, and even some employees, will smoke to and from their destination. Are they supposed to bring just enough product to get to the campus and then buy product to get home? I know, that sounds absurd but, consider the source of the ruling! I can easily see huge abuse of power resulting from this. Are we to prepare for dog alerts if we happened to be near a smoker, or if the driver or companion possess product on their person or in their vehicle?

  10. Veterans entitled to 48 months, have been receiving a Maximum of only 36.
    Giving “those” veterans an additional 12 months is not “veteran friendly”.
    It’s simply living up to our original agreement. Which is rightfully owed to us @ 48 months…
    So… “not friendly”, just “appropriate”.

  11. Rashid was correct. False information placed in file and used to deny. I have gotten proof the RO placed incorrect information on VACOLS giving BVA illegal jurisdiction to rule. BVA ruled without a statement of case and Form 9 appeal in file knowing it did not have legal jurisdiction and denied. When are the promises gonna be kept for veterans, widows, and orphans? You can not get thru to Secretary Wilkie to stop for his employees keep from him their errors so they can get bonuses.

  12. How does a “forever” GI Bill skip over two generations of veterans? WTF? I guess my 22 on active duty were somehow weighted to not be as significant as others? Or my time wasn’t as important as others? That is what this tells me.
    Does this new court ruling help those of us hung out to dry by the fine print of the ” forever” GI Bill?

    • Getting answers from an agency that conducts Genocide. What else should we want to hear? This system as a nurse points to the only option of suicide. If the dentist didn’t complete the death, then the Lab reports may kill us. I’m VA free for 10 years almost. Best time ever in my life that I can remember. Close down all VA entities at 100% to see any results as a prior VA nurse close them all down 100. Wal-Mart HR office has 100% better working ethics than the VA. That’s Wal-Mart the worst place to work in America second to the VA hospitals. As nurse we had to buy our own gloves, needles, you name it. Medications stolen that the VA feeds patients sugar pills at the Temple Texas VA hospital. Stolen property too no food sometimes. Why would any Veteran step foot into an VA hospital? As a Veteran from combat in Iraq I don’t go looking for trouble with a trouble maker more armed than our entire squad! VA is our enemy as they killed 304 000 Veterans the past 20 years from CNN figures freely abused and neglected is all we see. Why do Veteran’s step a foot or ask for these benefits at all With out a Bar license and law degree is insane. I don’t go stepping into a bear trap with out medical insurance! With all the free hospitals around America and tax Grant’s at Hospitals for free care in every neighborhood in America are better choices even Medicare. Most Veterans 10% or over qualify freely. It’s amazing I had to use those free services rather than die at my local Dallas VA hospital. I don’t go shooting my foot on purpose then gripe over it. VA is immuned to us and any lawyer. At nearly 400 billion per year that means we should all get 500k dollars per year if there was zero VA entity. Each Veteran on average would get 1.3 million tax free per year! I can retire form that one year pay out that costs the VA per Veteran. Who here says Bank of America should handle our cases and pay? I do for 1% fee they will cook us breakfast for the rest of the Veterans life to have his 1.2 million dollar account each year. They will bend over back wards if Blue cross Blue shield Medical insurance company would suck our dick’$ every hour for that 200k account each year. What benefits the Veteran at 1.2 million dollar cost per Veteran in the tax payer to produce a genocide on our population on purpose is the end goal. They send at the minimum 1 million per Veteran to hire thug Lawyers for the VA to kill us easily. To hurt us each day on purpose, to make sure this genocide isn’t never ending. Al Queda has never killed this amount of Americans as the VA has to date by CNN figures of 304,000 dead Veterans waiting for care or neglected. Our grand kids will call this a genocide plain and simple to kill Veterans is the VA’s plan as prior VA nurse. Words from the horses mouth!

  13. Just the typical VA b.s. No matter what we did for our country, put our lives on the line, went too War, but thats not enough.
    We always get screwed in the end, if it ain’t Medical Care, its Dental, now more G.I. BILL drama.
    Where does it end

  14. I agree with comments concerning dental practices at DCVA. First denied access for care, stating I wasn’t eligible for care when I was. Lost all my teeth on the bottom from PTSD, causing severe dry mouth (zerostomia). Instead they tried to blame it on me claiming periodontal disease. Left 17 years with teeth that never fit right compounding my conditions I had.
    The higher echelon at VAMC needs to grant veterans which they are entitled to, and not worrying about the big bonuses they will get by denying the claims which are rightly deserving of.
    When is the VA going to pay bill’s that are to due to outside physicians. Then they wonder why these doctors don’t want to participate in Choice/Tri
    West.
    I commend Trump for trying to fix a broken system for years. The rest talked about taking care of out Veterans which amounted to a lip service.

  15. As prior VA nurse there is only one option. Close the VA down 100%. Open with a fresh system not from the DOD nor Congress, but from an actual Benefits counsel privately owned that distributes the funds equally. My first grade educational math patterns told me each Veteran receives 500,000 dollar’s tax free from the tax payer each year equally. Distortion now is calculating how much 0-100% are owed and some of our injured soldier’s bill is totaled this round 10 million dollar’s or more per 100% rated Veteran. Low ball average of around 1.2 million dollars is spent on average per Veteran each year. If there is no VA there’s no over head. Distortion is that each employee at the wants job security. As a nurse why should I fire myself if I ate doritos above my patients and my lunch while they died. Which law’s are better broken is the Critical thinking at the VA. How would a Six Flags theme park look if only 2 people manned it? Children would control the rides, and die. This is where the VA is today at 40-70% Vacancy meaning no one is at the drivers seat driving this bus off a cliff. There for no substance to a law suit, no respect, no responsibility to any party expect for those Veterans themselves who step into a VA hospital like it’s a bomb about to go off on them. Every VA center doesn’t consort with state laws. Meaning g you the are 100% liable for your safety on federal grounds we are the intruder. They should call the VA a butchers shop. It was intended to help itself since it’s conspectio the VA laws are made by the actual criminals themselves. Mafia style organization that hires only family or good fella friends who can a station that requires 10 nurses and yet there’s only 1. It’s a sinking ship I was told. Too many patients per nurse on purpose in my thinking. Each Veteran costs the employee cash and the director. Bonuses were given to those who didn’t quit. Each day was hell at my first job with the VA. No gloves, no masks, no food sometimes. That was at a long term care center for Veteran’s only. VA hospital in Temple Texas would turn away emergency car accident Veteran’s away if over 25% capacity due to no one manning the ship at the VA. Most Veterans I talk too day the VA seems to be a ghost ship. No help or their hiding under the desks. One case where I had to revert Veterans to private care 60% of the time. Costing them 100k visits to the Scott and White Hospital to save their lives. EMT Ambulance drivers face of shame when asked to revert a patient whom is about to die is shame in this country. Russo’s nor Iraq does this. Only in America I been around the world. Never seen doctors tell patients and ambulance drivers to get away from VA property or be arrested. I have no clue how many Veterans died be driven back home, or costing them millions of dollars in private care E.R. visits if their lucky take it. I couldn’t do 4 months working at the Temple Texas VA hospital/Butcher shop. Nurses tell you not to visit a butcher shop/hospital trust them. Many Veteran’s whom are happy with VA care whom have zero Health care setting experiences and think it’s normal to become abused or neglected. Biggest issue at the Temple VA wasn’t death’s nor lack of supplies but actual Veteran property stolen, food taken away, and meds stolen for profit. Every VA entity has to to shit down emergency today type of style. Have an out side benefits counsel take control non DOD or Tricare crazy admins there. Whom ever issues benefits at Google or Apple should handle the VA payouts at minimum 500k to each Veteran each year plus free healthcare at Blue cross Blue shield. Any 5 year old can solve this VA issue over night. Those who stand to loose money are the scum that fight to keep every VA center, open. Damn shame when five year old can solve this simple single simple stupid Genocide. Clear as day to any Veteran over 10% disablity rated by same authority who wants to save $$$$$ for bonus time. That this is clearly a GENOCIDE! Duh.

    • Math from first grade education was based on 330 billion dollar’s divided by 1 million. Then added then add fees such a law council or what ever. Each disabeld Veteran deserves 500k at the minimum awarded to them now each year; Not some arse hat Director who gets millions per year with zero military experience on a genocide path.

      • Genocide is genocide look it up! As a nurse, it’s clear as day for me and any other American that genocide is happening to our Veteran’s from the tax payers pockets.

  16. 09/10/2019

    Dear Chester Warren Southworth III,

    After working at the VA for some time your conclusion is Genocide.

    Genocide during War Time.

    The American Taxpayer has turned its’ mind away from the real crimes; Congress and the Press are making sure the Americans will not equate this into action.

    “Butcher Shop?”

    With 2,500 estimated dead at the Phoenix VAMC since 2014— What would you call it?

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

  17. I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET VA DIABILITY FOR YEARS NOW.

    I LOOK AT MY RECORD THEY SENT AND THEY WERE VERY INCOMPLETE. THE DID INCLUDE MY MEDICAL CALL AT FORT LENORWOOD WERE I FEEL FROM A ICY TELEPHONE POLL IN 10 DEGREE WEATHER. WHEN I FELL TO THE BOTTOM I HAD SPLITTERS INSIDE MY THEIGHS THE SIZE OF MY FINGERS.

    NOT IN MY RECORDS!!!!!!!!!!
    CAN SOMEONE HELP ME GET MY CLAIM PROCESS?????????

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