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This Is a Mess. How Do We Get the Post 9/11 GI Bill Payment Issue Straighten Out?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: So I transferred my Post 9/11 GI Bill to my son 21 and daughter 19, both of them receiving 18 months of benefits. My son used his benefits in 2009 thru 2011 and may have had a few days left after the end of the second year. My daughter started using her benefits in the fall 2011. Then my son decided to go back to school this Jan and we paid for his tuition for 12 hours, however, the daughter is also going to the same school taking 15 hours. She followed all the right procedures and filed her VA paperwork through the school rep.

My son just received a letter from the VA stating they paid part of his tuition and would be paying him for books and his prorated housing allowance from Jan 6 thru 27 based on his enrollment of 15 hours. So it looks like either the school or VA rep submitted a claim for my son based on my daughter’s actual enrollment. How can we get this fixed and get her actual benefit and tuition paid by VA and get my son’s benefit corrected?

A: This could get more confusing than amusing. I would say this is probably both a VA and school error. When your daughter enrolled in school, she submitted her Certificate of Eligibility (COE) that shows how many months of benefits she had left. The school had to send in a Certificate of Enrollment, along with a copy of her Certificate of Eligibility that tells the VA she is in fact enrolled in school as a Post 9/11 GI Bill student using transferred benefits. It sounds like the school submitted your daughter’s Certificate of Enrollment under your son’s name. And the VA apparently missed the difference in names between the two certificates, or it should have sent up a red flag when names didn’t match.

As far as how to get it fixed? First have your son and daughter both go and see the school’s VA Rep. Be sure your son brings along his VA letter and you daughter her COE. The school will have to straighten out the tuition mix-up with the VA because there is a difference of three credits.

The school VA Rep should call the VA and notify them of the mix-up right away. With your son right there at the time, he an answer any questions the VA Rep may have concerning his benefits (or lack thereof) and what he got paid. If they have already paid him his book stipend and housing allowance, then he will have to arrange to pay that back.

The next issue will be getting the school/VA to get your daughter’s tuition fees paid. They will either have credit his tuition to her school account or make an adjustment for the difference in credits, but that is between the school and the VA. Then, the VA will have to get her the housing allowance and book stipend that is due to her.

This is an unfortunate event for your daughter; expect it to be a long drawn out process as it normally takes the VA awhile to straighten out an error such as this. Good luck!

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