GI Bill glitch causes delay in payments for Nebraska students

Published: Dec. 3, 2018 at 5:51 PM CST
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The Department of Veterans Affairs says it will be more than a year before it will be able to calculate veterans housing allowance correctly under the Forever GI Bill.

This comes after computer problems prevented payment to thousands of students.

At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 250 active students using VA benefits awaited payments for months following a change to the GI Bill for housing allowance.

The Forever GI Bill has now been delayed following a series of IT issues, but some students are still feeling the effects of the late payments.

Thousands of dollars in bills, but no money to pay them.

Under the recently passed Forever GI Bill, the Department of Veterans Affairs tried to make sure students were getting credited appropriately, but didn't have the necessary technology in place.

"They all get processed though at the same time. So if there's a slow down due to that process with the zip code, then that's going to impact everybody and it really has,” said the Director of Nebraska Military & Veteran Success Center, Joe Brownell.

Brownell says this is something that impacted over half of the university's active students using VA benefits.

Most didn't receive payment for over 30 days.

For 50 of those students, it took over two months.

"Number one was they have a bill to pay,” said Brownell.

Brownell says the university took steps to help students living on campus.

But for students off campus, it created issues dealing with landlords.

"They've done everything they were supposed to do. And now they were expected to see that payment and it wasn't there,” said Brownell.

Brownell says he's heard from other universities around the state and they've seen the same issues.

"Part of that stress becomes there was no really, how soon they were going to get paid, it was just kind of open ended. We're working it, we're working it,” said Brownell.

Brownell says as of Monday, all students have been paid.

He hopes the process will be smoother going forward.