For the last two months the phones at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Education Call Center have remained unanswered on Thursdays and Fridays. Those days are over and the call center is now open again five days a week.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki credits the call center employees for being able to bring the call center back up to five days of operation. According to Secretary Shinseki, because of the employee’s efforts, 30,000 student veterans were given their checks which allowed them to buy books and pay their rent and, most importantly, stay in school.
The VA was facing a backlog of claims dating from Mid-December to mid-February. In response to the consequences of this backlog, i.e., student veterans unable to remain in school, the VA closed the call center and reassigned all the call center employees to processing the pending Post-9/11 GI Bill claims. By doing this, the employees drastically reduced the overdue education claims.
Last August, the VA was processing about 2,000 Post-9/11 GI Bill claims a day. As of two weeks ago, they were processing approximately 7,000 a day. All Post-9/11 GI Bill participants that submitted enrollments by 18Jan10 have received payment. Because the processing of the education claims are squared away, the VA will no longer make advance payments to students awaiting money from their Post-9/11 GI Bill.
This is just one more completed goal in Secretary Shinseki’s vision to make sure all veterans are given everything they are entitled to receive. At this point, all education claims are being paid in a timely fashion and student veterans are in classes.
Learn more about the VA call center processing their back log of education claims and re-opening their phone lines full time.