Fox News Report: Late VA Work Study Pay Cripples Veterans

Another news report is out about the VA and it is not good. According to Fox News, the VA is lagging behind in paying veterans in its’ work study program. It is reported that it is taking two to four weeks for veterans to get paid for their work and it is causing financial issues for students in the program.

We would like to know…If you are in the program, are you having issues getting paid on time?


Exasperated veterans who work part-time for the Veterans Administration while attending college say their paychecks are sometimes weeks late, leaving them in trouble with bill collectors or having to borrow money to avoid eviction.

The two-week paycheck is typically about $360, and can be vital to veterans raising families and juggling expenses.

“It’s absolutely crucial,” said Neal Boyd, an Army veteran who has two children, attends Danville Area Community College in Illinois and works for the VA in the school’s career services office to help other veterans.

The VA work-study program lets them work an average of up to 25 hours a week on the VA payroll if they are full-time or three-quarter-time college students.

The program is separate from other GI Bill benefits such as tuition and textbook assistance and a housing allowance that varies by location. But veterans said those benefits don’t cover all their expenses, and they need a job to make ends meet.

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  1. I’m in Colorado, working VA WorkStudy. I’ll have reached 200 hours on Tuesday and I haven’t been paid yet. Supposedly they say they’ll pay me at the beginning of next month, June. The university wants their tuition and fees right away, but those benefits won’t be paid in full until August. I don’t have enough credit to carry me through.

  2. The work study program pays the you the Veteran after you have worked 50 hours, I have not been paid in over 150 hours. After 3 unanswered email they ask you to do when you call and 2 phone calls where I was on hold for over 50 minutes was suddenly disconnected. On the three phone call a lady answered and she told me that my paper work was being processed. I asked her how long before I would receive my pay said soon. I then asked her what I should tell the electric company, her response was “call 211”. So after the phone call I searched the web for 211, it’s a new local hotline for people that need assistance. So yet again after 20 years of service I have to call and ask for a hand out.

  3. My experience was in 1999-2001, three semesters, just prior to 9/11 and the problem(s) were going on then and am actually glad this is finally being brought to daylight. Firstly, anyone that is familiar with how Federal Financial Aid works, you usually got your cash for books, etc. via check almost religiously half-way into first week of classes starting. The college would only allow one to register for classes once tuition was paid. The VA Student Liason each of those three semesters had to arrange for me and others to have a provisional exception (or something like that wording) because the college’s registrar had not yet received my paid tuition, which meant there was not the “extra” in form of check to even purchase $300-400. in books. Two of the three semesters, the college’s system automatically disenrolled me from all my classes and trust me, I filled out my FAFSA online and always did everything early dealing with New G.I. Bill, et al. Now, imagine trying to find opennings in any classes other than auditorium-seating 101/201 type staples, yet I had tested out alot of those type classes so I was really screwed each time.
    More on-topic: I always checked the box on FAFSA (Federal Application For Student Aid) for work-study as well. I filled-out the FAFSA because of Pell Grants, etc. Yes, the VA was hopelessly behind on paying Work-Study as well, so much in fact, I decided this was not helping my health; quite the contrary, making me decide to not even bother with using my educational benefits rather, and started taking out Federal Subsidized Student Loans and also rec’vd a pretty good partial scholarship for writing an essay, plus being an older student (non-traditional, as they called it), I also was elected president of my student assembly and with that came a Federal Work-Study job as a Student Advising/Registering some of my fellow students for classes, and simply circumnavigated using my VA educational benefits because I was told that for YEARS it was same deal with the VA educational benefits and work-study payments ALWAYS slow. I wish this was science-fiction but it was literally a definition of insanity from a philosophical view in repeating to slam my head against a brick wall each semester and expect that different outcome of the wall not hurting my head! My particular experience was at Cleveland State University.
    Having ALOT more insight with my Federal Work-Study job as Student Advisor, I learned the VA was even worse in paying tuition and work-study on time in where colleges were in quarters rather than semesters, as Cleveland State had just switched to semesters. Other Veterans I would see in my advisor capacity that had transfered from another college or community college had very same stress-induced procedures. So much in-fact as aformentioned, they had provisional resgistration/enrollment “system over-rides” to work around the financial red tape. Now, understand I did not have the resources nor family that I could use as Plan B as many others that were right out of high school. In the end, I did not finish B.A. of five years because was doing a double Major/double Minor. Flash-forward to end of ’06 health issues became so that I again got over the pride thing and applied for SSDI by urging of private Dr.s’ and if it had not been for a VA Stand Down Event, I would not have even known I could file for VA Service Connected Disability. Well, as of late Winter this year, my student loans which were consolidated were forgiven by Dept. of Education as met all qualifiers of being 100% S/C, P&T, and IU.
    Sorry so long but this actually served as a “virtual therapy session exercise” by mentally spilling my brains of the VA and College financial red tape. What made things even more ridiculous was fact when I lived up in Cleveland in that period post enlistments, that’s where the VA Regional Office is as well as another Veteran Affairs ten story paper shuffling type office/admn. building, which made this seem even more insane!! Thanks for posting this story Ben, and hope this sheds light on the VA’s “molasses on a cold Winter day” in paying tuition, let alone Federal Work-Study. Please DO understand I LOVE our USA; not so much love for the VA’s only consistancy in disservice TO Veterans! I guess they have been consistant, but in absolutely polar opposite where they should be!

    1. This is happening here in California and it is crippling. My husband is still waiting for a check to show up, many of his fellow work studies are constantly complaining about the length of time it takes to get paid by the VA. People have bills and responsibilities. Why is it that the VA can take weeks, even months sometimes to pay their employees without consequence?

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