Veterans Services

Government Shutdown & Your VA Educational Benefits--UPDATED

Shinseki with vets

"'There currently are funds available to make sure claims processing and payments in the compensation, pension, education, and vocational rehabilitation programs will continue through late October', VA spokeswoman Victoria Dillon said Monday.

All VA medical facilities and clinics will remain open and fully operational, providing inpatient and outpatient care, surgeries, prescriptions, dental treatments, extended care, mental health care, veterans' centers, nursing home care and special health care services for women vets.

The VA also says it will continue to provide military sexual trauma counseling, home loan processing, vocational rehabilitation payment processing; compensation and pension claims processing, application processing for headstones, markers and medallions, notification of death benefit actions, and fulfilling orders for prosthetics.

But the shutdown will mean suspension of the Veterans Benefits Administration Education Call Center; the VA Inspector General hotline; VA Consumer Affairs email, web and phone contacts; congressional liaison veterans’ queries; and VA job application functions. Recruiting and hiring will cease, the department said."

Read more here.

Download the VA Veterans Field Guide to a Government Shutdown here.

"Congress has not passed either a budget or a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. Tuition Assistance (TA) for classes starting on or after 1 October 2013 have been suspended until further notice. Effective 1 October, all Soldier accounts in GoArmyEd have been placed on hold and they will not be able to process any new TA requests.

The Antideficiency Act prohibits federal agencies from obligating or expending federal funds in advance of or in excess of an appropriation by Congress. As such, the Army will not be able to honor all of the FY14 TA requests that have been requested in GoArmyEd prior to 1 October 2013 with a class start date of 1 October or after. GoArmyEd will reject all approved and pending TA requests for classes scheduled to start on or after 1 October 2013 until either a budget or a CR is approved by Congress and signed by the President.

Soldiers should be aware of the potential debt they may incur with their school should they attend classes that are rejected as a result of this budgetary crisis and are encouraged to monitor GoArmyEd for updates. When this issue is resolved, the holds will be removed and Soldiers will once again be able to request TA through GoArmyEd. However, Soldiers will not be able to request TA for classes with a start date during the suspension period. In the interim, Soldiers can use GI Bill benefits, if applicable -- either the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) or the Post 9/11 GI Bill, or use another funding source. We regret having to take this action and hope that this is resolved in a timely manner."

From GoArmyEd; read here.