What is the impact of re-setting implementation of Section 107 of the Colmery act?
VA will continue to pay students based on the location of the institution’s main campus. Without an IT solution, VA is unable to determine the number of affected students. VA will not require schools to re-submit enrollments for terms that started prior to the IT solution. Students can expect payments to be in line with normal processing times.
What is the impact of delaying implementation of Section 501 of the Colmery act?
VA will install the current academic year uncapped DoD BAH rate. VA made this decision because it allows VA to update the housing rates, and is in line with what most students should be receiving each month. VA will not inconvenience any student by collecting any overpayments.
Why didn’t VA update the rates in August?
Initially, VA scheduled the annual updates for release at the same time as the IT solution for the Sections 107 and 501 of the Colmery Act. Since the deployment did not occur, VA did not update the rates in August.
What is the difference between the 2017 and 2018 housing rates?
On average, approximately one percent.
How did the housing rates change?
Prior to the passage of the Colmery Act, Post-9/11 GI Bill MHA payments were based on the DoD BAH for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the main campus of the school. DoD assesses BAH rates every January 1, and reports their rate to VA; VA then calculates the VA rate (typically about one percent higher than the DoD rates effective August 1 of the same year).
Section 501 of the Colmery Act removes the exemption and aligns MHA with DoD’s BAH. However, VA is delaying implementation of this provision until Spring 2020.
What types of claims are affected?
Any Post-9/11 GI Bill claims associated with a housing allowance will be impacted by these changes.
What is VA doing to avoid/mitigate the peak enrollment delays that occurred in Fall 2018?
For the Fall 2018 term, VA asked schools to hold enrollments that would have been affected by the implementation of Section 107. When VA asked schools to submit those enrollments in July, it caused a significant increase in the pending workload and took approximately eight weeks to return to typical processing times.
VA is asking schools to submit enrollments as soon as possible for the Spring 2019 term. The anticipated workload for the Spring is normal, and VA is positioned to complete the work within its timeliness standards.
What can students do to help avoid delays?
Students can benefit from planning ahead of time, enrolling early, staying in contact with their School Certifying Officials, and avoiding changes in their schedules once enrolled. If they do drop/add hours, they should immediately contact their School Certifying Official to mitigate potential overpayment.
What can schools do to help avoid delays?
School Certifying Officials can submit enrollment documents as early as 6-months in advance.
Will VA provide me with any assistance if I have a hardship?
If a student experiences financial hardship due to a delay in payment, we ask that they contact the Education Call Center at 888-442-4551 between 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Central Time, Monday-Friday. VA will expedite any hardship request.