A few weeks ago NBC News reported that U.S. veterans attending school under the GI Bill weren’t getting the benefits promised to them because a small change to how student housing claims were calculated had the side effect of breaking the entire system. The ancient technology relied upon by the Veterans Benefits Association could not handle the required change in zip code processing, creating a backlog of more than 100,000 unprocessed claims. Some veterans have ended up getting incorrect amounts, but others haven’t gotten their benefits at all, leading to dire financial stress as students struggled to suddenly come up with money that the Veterans Administration suddenly wasn’t sending them.
Now we’re learning that veterans who didn’t get their full payments cannot expect the VA to make good on the rest of the money. They’re out of luck. NBC reports that congressional staffers have been told by the department that the veterans who were underpaid can expect to be stiffed for the rest of their claims because the department can’t audit those past underpayments without even worse delays to current payments, due to the same system frailties.
So they’ll just pretend it didn’t happen.
“They are essentially going to ignore the law and say that that change only goes forward from December 2019,” one aide told NBC News.
So there you go. Once again, America is screwing its veterans out of the benefits they were promised, and doing so entirely because the nation can’t be bothered to produce a competent technical infrastructure for even keeping track of what benefits they should be getting. Don’t worry, though: Trump will still insist that our soldiers stage a big parade in his honor, which should make up for everything.