FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 16, 2018
Veterans Forced to Bear the Burden of Bureaucratic Failures
WASHINGTON – Today, The Washington Post ran a story highlighting the financial hardships many veterans are facing because the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is missing GI Bill payments due to antiquated computer systems and poor management. The report states that roughly 450,000 veterans have been affected and many were forced to take out loans and put expenses on credit cards and are being forced to take on financial burdens while also balancing their education with family.
“It is utterly unacceptable that the Department of Veterans Affairs is putting our veterans in financial peril by underpaying or not paying them entirely because of a broken and outdated computer system,” said Congressman Delaney. “This massive failure has forced many veterans to choose between going to school or putting food on the table. The most basic thing we can do for the men and women who answered our nation’s call to service is to make sure that they are receiving their checks on time. These are the kinds of bureaucratic failures that make people lose faith in government.
“Based on this report, it’s clear that our government is in desperate need of a technological overhaul and update. It is also clear that President Trump does not view this as a priority since he delegated this task to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to oversee in addition to his vast portfolio that includes Middle East peace, the opioid crisis, criminal justice reform, and being an unofficial global diplomat. On the campaign trail Donald Trump promised to fix the VA and went so far as to say that he ‘will pick up the phone and fix it myself’ – he failed and is letting our veterans down. The White House should immediately reach out the best technologists and data managers in the private sector and get someone in there immediately who can fix this. In the private sector, if you’re failing your clients, you stop everything and fix it.”
First signed into law in 1944 by President Roosevelt, the GI Bill has helped millions of veterans pay for college, graduate school, and training programs. Under this bill, qualifying veterans and their family members can get money to cover all or some of the costs for school or training.
Yesterday, Delaney introduced the Veteran Debt Fairness Act of 2018. This bipartisan legislation aims to ensure that the financial stability is protected from being harmed by accounting and processing errors made by the VA in the disbursement of earned monthly benefits.