Monday, January 31, 2011

VA Automating Educational Benefits under Post-9/11 GI Bill



January 31, 2011

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has successfully deployed a new automated system that is delivering faster, more accurate payments to Veterans attending school under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

“VA is relying upon the latest technology to provide a high-tech solution for administering the most generous educational benefits since the original GI Bill in 1944,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.

The technology relies upon information from Veterans and specialized rules-based software to streamline the process for calculating Veterans’ benefits.

“The new GI Bill is the first example of VA’s use of an agile approach to software development,” said Roger W. Baker, VA’s assistant secretary for information and technology. “Our success on this project is already being leveraged to ensure the success of other large software projects within VA.”

The new processes and software available to VA’s claims personnel replace the interim tools in use since August 2009, when the Post 9/11 GI Bill became effective.

VA has issued more than $8 billion in Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit payments to nearly 440,000 students and their educational institutions.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill pays schools directly for the tuition and fees incurred by eligible Veterans and active-duty personnel. Those payments are based upon the maximum rate in each state for tuition and fees at the in-state level for undergraduates. A monthly housing allowance is also provided.

Also included is a maximum $1,000 annual stipend for books and supplies, and a one-time payment of $500 for students who reside in specific rural areas. Further information about the Post-9/11 GI Bill is available on the Internet at www.gibill.va.gov.

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