Post-9/11 GI Bill going smoothly, VA says

The Navy Times (6/26, Maze) reports, "Department of Veterans Affairs officials expressed confidence that the Aug. 1 launch of the Post-9/11 GI Bill will go smoothly, with the first benefits checks to be cut by the Treasury Department on Aug. 3. Testifying Thursday before" a House Veterans Affairs Committee panel, Keith Wilson, the VA's education service director, "said about 84,000 applications have been received, with 47,000 already processed and awaiting final certification of enrollment and calculation of tuition and fee payments." Wilson, "the VA official responsible for the program, is optimistic partly because a test of the accuracy in processing claims found 92 percent were done correctly, and most of the errors 'were fairly benign.'"

NextGov (6/26, Brewin) says that when Congress passed the Post-9/11 GI Bill, "veterans groups and critics worried" the VA "didn't have time to build a computer system to process the applications. But VA is processing claims faster than it receives them thanks to new information technology systems that partially automate the work, top department officials told" the House Veterans Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee on Thursday. NextGov adds, "Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense, said he appreciates 'the fact VA is re-doubling its efforts to make sure the new GI bill payment process works' and added that veterans and Congress need to be reassured that the agency is prepared to pay Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans their correct education benefit in a timely manner."