GI Bill computer glitch has little impact on EWU students


Richard N. Clark IV

EWU ROTC member marching off the Inferno after national anthem.

By Kendall Koch, Reporter

Some Pre and Post-9/11 GI Bill recipients patiently waited for their housing payment from Veterans Affairs in early November, only to not receive it until later in the month. The system did not update correctly, and left many veterans without the benefits needed for the next month.

The glitch caused more than 82,000 recipients to have to wait for a delayed housing payment, which many students rely on to pay for rent, groceries and other necessities, according to NBC News.

Dave Millet, the Director of EWU’s Veterans Resource Center and U.S. Army veteran, says that the glitch was not only caused by an upgrade to the old computer system that the VA has been using for many years, but a backlog of information.

The GI Bill was created to help those who served time in the military, to receive benefits to cover the cost of education and family.

“There were new sections to the bill that ties housing lines to the zip codes,” Millet said. “The money will go to where the Veteran goes to school, not where he or she lives.”

Many students depend on the money distributed by the VA, as the money might affect whether someone is able to pay rent on time. The new Post-9/11 GI Bill is for those who were active 90 days after Sept. 10, which provides money for monthly housing allowance, a one time rural benefit payment, books and a supplies stipend.

Millet says that EWU has felt minimal effects of the glitch here in Cheney, but on the Bellevue campus there has been a hiccup.

“With the old VA system, the Bellevue campus would get the Cheney rate for housing, but since Cheney’s housing has a cheaper housing rate than on the west side of the state, many students are expecting larger amounts of money than what they have been receiving currently,” Millet said.

Students on the west side of Washington State that then transfer to EWU’s satellite campus in Bellevue need the larger check to make ends meet for housing.

“The tuition from the VA goes straight to Eastern, and the VA office will deposit the other money directly into the account for the student’s tuition; the housing check goes into the bank account of the student,” Millet said. “Veterans Affairs has been very forthcoming with information and doing everything they can do to help students that need to pay their tuition and bills.”

The VA will be back paying students within the next month and be accommodating to areas that may need more benefits than others.