Today, Congressman Hansen Clarke introduced a bill that would ensure prompt payment of educational benefits for veterans from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
According to the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs must not disburse tuition funds to veterans until other scholarships and grants have been received. Yet some of this outside funding may not arrive until after the tuition due date. Late arrival of tuition funds forces veterans to pay late fees and interest on the outstanding tuition balance. Veterans may also hesitate to apply for any outside grants and scholarships to ensure they receive their VA benefits on time.
The new legislation introduced by Rep. Clarke would require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to distribute benefits to veterans receiving assistance under the Post 9/11 Educational Assistance Program by the tuition due date of each term, even if outside funds have not been paid.
Rep. Clarke has reached across the aisle to gain support for this critical bill. Original co-sponsors of the bill include Michigan Republicans Rep. Dan Benishek (MI-1), Rep. Bill Huizenga (MI-2), and Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-7).
"Our veterans deserve our utmost respect and thanks. This bill demonstrates support for our veterans after they have returned from serving our country, and will make a significant difference in many of their lives," said Rep. Clarke.