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DVA finds errors in Post-9/11 GI Bill advanced payments

US Department of Veterans Affairs logo

(U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs logo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Recently, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs mistakenly made Post-9/11 GI Bill advanced payments of $3,000 to Airmen who are ineligible to receive the benefit due to their active-duty status.

The DVA is now cautioning Airmen not to apply for the benefit in order to avoid having to make repayment arrangements in the future.

"The reason Airmen are ineligible for the advanced payments is because they are already receiving housing and tuition assistance allowances from the government as active-duty members," said Lydia Beatty, a Vandenberg Education Services counselor. "Since Airmen are already receiving assistance from the government, they become ineligible to receive the advanced payment stipend from the Post- 9/11 GI Bill."

The DVA is now offering guidance for those active-duty Airmen who have received a Post-9/11 GI Bill advanced payment.

"Airmen who received payments over the last few months should not cash checks or deposit them in bank accounts," said Thomas Hawthorn, the Department of the Air Force Education Services and Benefits Programs chief. "Nor should they return the checks to the DVA at this time. The DVA will soon send letters to these Airmen and provide an address for returning the un-cashed checks."

Airmen who have already cashed or deposited the checks will also receive letters to expedite the repayment arrangement for Airmen under these circumstances.

As of now, the Vandenberg Education Center has witnessed no DVA advanced payment issues on the installation, but they are preparing to resolve any issues that may arise.

"Our role is to get the information out to the base about the current situation involving DVA's advanced payments by using numerous means and outlets to reach the entire Vandenberg populace," Ms. Beatty said. "In addition to the recent advanced payment issues, I encourage anyone who has applied for the GI Bill benefits at Vandenberg to make an appointment at the base education center to further go over all of the specifications."

To make an appointment with the Vandenberg Education Center, call Lydia Beatty at 605-5904. For information concerning DVA advanced payments, visit the Veterans Affairs Web site at www.va.gov, or call the DVA Call Center at 1-888-442-4551. Advance pay information is also available at www.gibill.va.gov/advpayqa.htm.