VA still has not publicly stated how it will implement the change or predicted when it will be able to provide the back pay, leaving many once again suspicious of the agency’s ability to deliver on its promises.
- VA officials told Congress in mid-November that they refused to say when they would implement the GI Bill changes.
- Less than two weeks later, they took a firm position and announced the changes would be delayed until Dec. 1, 2019.
- Within hours of the announced delay, VA officials privately told congressional staffers on a briefing call that they did not intend to go back through education claims to discover whether they owed any veterans additional funds.
- A little more than 12 hours after NBC News published an article reporting the private discussion, Paul Lawrence, who oversees the Veterans Benefits Administration, claimed before a congressional hearing that the report was misleading, stating “nothing could be further from the truth.”
- After members of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee questioned him further, however, Lawrence admitted that VA was unsure whether it was worth the effort to audit past education claims and ensure that students veterans were paid all the money they were owed.
- Hours later, Wilkie released a statement overriding Lawrence and appearing to promise that all student veterans would be fully paid in accordance with the law — eventually.
Read the full story here