The VA has announced that it will no longer process GI Bill claims in its Atlanta office effective this December.
Currently, people using the GI Bill in Georgia, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have their GI Bill claims processed in the Atlanta office. The VA will be reassigning over 100 employees involved in the processing of GI Bill claims to other duties including the processing of Disability Compensation claims.
Those using the GI Bill in North Carolina and the U.S. Virgin Islands will have their records transferred to the Buffalo, NY office while those using the GI Bill in Georgia and Puerto Rico will see their records moved to the Muskogee, OK office.
An examination of the the most recent public data available from VA appears to support VA's claim that this reorganization is a good move for veterans:
- the Atlanta office takes nearly 20 days to process an original GI Bill claim and nearly 9 days to process reenrollments;
- the Buffalo, NY office averages 17 days for original claims and 7 days for reenrollments
- the Muskogee, OK office averages 12 days for original claims and less than 5 days to process reenrollment claims.
GI Bill recipients should see their payments processed and issued much faster then they were before the reorganization.
Shifting Atlanta Regional Processing Office employees to processing Disability Compensation claims should also help veterans whose claims are handled by that office. The Atlanta office is currently one of the poorest performing offices with over 27% of its disability claims pending for over 125 days, the 4th worst in the nation.
The VA says there will be no action necessary for GI Bill users in the affected states and they foresee no disruption of benefits for affected veterans.
All GI Bill telephone inquiries will still be handled by the GI Bill National Call Center in Muskogee, OK at 888-GI BILL 1 (888-442-4551) and all email inquiries via the GI Bill Q&A portal https://gibill.custhelp.com/ will be automatically routed to the office that processes an individual's claim.