Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) is calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to quickly address issues plaguing implementation of the Forever GI Bill.
On Wednesday, NBC News reported that VA officials privately told congressional staffers that they would not retroactively pay veterans based on the Forever GI bill rates. After a day of pressure from members of Congress, the Department of Veterans Affairs reversed course on Thursday and announced that it would pay veterans the full amount of benefits they are due under the Forever GI Bill.
Congressman Higgins issued the following statement:
“As a veteran and a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, my office has been involved with pushing the Forever GI Bill from the beginning. I personally received several calls from veterans describing complications with their benefits. These personal calls were confirmed by media reports. Reports that the VA would deny student veterans their education benefits are deeply troubling. America made a promise to our veterans, and it must be kept. My office intends to hold the VA accountable and work with administrators to uphold that commitment.
“I’m encouraged that Secretary Wilkie has been very clear about his intent to fully reimburse student veterans whose benefits were underpaid, and I know that he is working to resolve problems within the VA’s massive bureaucracy. I also want to thank Chairman Roe of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee for his leadership in addressing these challenges. We’re going to continue working with the VA and the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee to ensure that these issues are addressed in a timely manner.”