Local congressman angered by GI Bill payment issues

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WASHINGTON (KWTX) U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, whose district includes most of Fort Hood, is angered by delays in GI Bill college aid payments to thousands of veterans resulting from problems with the Department of Veterans Affairs IT system.

“Our veterans deserve the benefits they’re owed. Congress has championed education benefits offered by the VA, so this complete failure to provide what’s available and due to our veterans is unacceptable,” Carter said in a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.

In 2017 President Donald Trump signed off on the biggest increase in GI benefits in a decade, but the legislation did not include funds for the IT upgrades required to process the claims.

Data that the VA provided to The Associated Press show that as of this week about 56, 500 veterans were waiting for payments for housing and tuition and that about 825 of those claims have been pending for more than 60 days.

The VA says that until the IT issues are resolved, making timely payments could be difficult.

Carter, in his letter to Wilkie, is demanding a fast fix.

“As the VA Appropriations Chairman, I expect this issue to be swiftly resolved by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and I expect that they will take steps to ensure that it will not happen again. I will not stand for our veterans to lose out on their education or housing benefits, which can turn their lives upside down. I look forward to the concrete steps the department will take to fix this immediately,” he wrote.