Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) March 7, 2018 - Thousands of disabled student veterans suffered a delay in receiving their monthly benefits due to a technical glitch at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Around 11,000 former service members enrolled in the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program received their monthly stipends late. Payments that should have gone out on January 31 were not disbursed until February 6. The VA blamed the delay on a computer problem. The delay is likely to have caused the concerned veterans difficulty in making payments on time for rent and other urgent bills.
“This is not the first time the VA has struggled with technology-related problems,” commented Jim Fausone, a Michigan veterans attorney. “Such delays can have significant negative consequences for student veterans. Those who are juggling various responsibilities such as school, work, family life and bills are likely to face disruptions by delays in their regularly scheduled payments.”
The Washington Post first reported on the issue and cited an internal memo it acquired from the VA. The memo instructed department staff members to issue an apology to former service members affected by the technical error and to inform them that their payments had been dispatched.
The VR&E program helps disabled veterans by connecting them with job counseling. It also pays for college credit that allows them to pursue college degrees or learn technical skills. Along with receiving assistance with resumes and contacts, veterans are matched with employers and offered internships.
“Any large bureaucracy has their glitches, but any time veterans are not getting their benefits on time, especially when on a program like this, it’s a real hardship,” Garry J. Augustine, executive director of Disabled Veterans of America, told The Washington Post.
VA spokesman Curt Cashour apologized to veterans for the “inconvenience” caused by the glitch and assured them the problem would not “occur again in the future.” He released the statement in response to questions from The Washington Post.
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