Today Gov. John R. Kasich asked Ohio's institutions of higher learning to provide flexibility for their students currently on the Post-9/11 GI Bill while the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs works to eliminate a backlog of claims.
"In the GI Bill, Ohio's student veterans were made a promise by their nation.
Technical problems the federal government is currently facing puts these young men and women in the unenviable position where they don't know how they'll pay for college, buy books, or keep a roof over their heads. It's my hope that Ohio's colleges and universities show flexibility and patience so we can ensure the education of our student veterans isn't disrupted. In the meantime, I strongly recommend President Obama reallocate resources to properly manage this important program and eliminate the backlog as soon as possible," said Kasich.
Background: Following the drawdown of troops in theater overseas, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs underwent a surge in the number of enrolled veterans receiving Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. This led to a significant backlog in processing claims submitted by student veterans and affects their tuition, housing, and books & supplies stipend.
This problem was exacerbated in Ohio and West Virginia when the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs encountered a system problem while transferring electronic records between regional offices. This caused a temporary loss of a number of eligibility certifications for student veterans. These records pertained to pending enrollments received between July 24 and August 9.
While the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs issued a statement saying they expect to have the issue resolved at some point, it's yet to be determined when that will be. Ohio Department of Veterans Services Colonel Thomas Moe and Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro have asked Ohio's public and private colleges and universities to allow the affected student veterans to continue with their course schedules and regular enrollment despite the delay by the federal government in the issuance of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. At this point, the number of impacted students is not known.