The recently passed, soon to be signed, Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvement Act of 2010 has something for everybody. But, not all of it is good.
The most obvious example of this is the pending changes to the BAH based monthly housing stipend. Online students will finally get a housing stipend, but it appears it will at the expense of the classroom students, who will see their housing stipend become prorated. In addition, students will no longer get "break pay" when their school goes on winter and spring breaks.
But in general nearly everyone using the Post-9/11 GI Bill will be adversely affected by the delays and false payments that are likely to occur.
Here's why: The changes to the housing stipend calculation will mean that before making payments, the VA must calculate each students payment based on three factors — their eligibility tier, rate of pursuit, and BAH locality rate. Rumor has it that it will take the VA at least 18 months to update their automated claims processes. This will surely cause a slow down in GI Bill processing time.
Just like the original Post-9/11 GI Bill, the VA will not be given enough time to properly respond and make the changes needed in time for the August 1 deadline. Some at the VA are predicting an administrative nightmare next fall – you can count on it.