WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) wrote Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to suggest ways to improve the processing of the post-9/11 GI Bill.
“Men and women at VA are working hard and working overtime to reduce the backlog of new GI Bill claims. This is a huge transition, and I hope our suggestions will help the Department speed up the process,” said Akaka. “I want Secretary Shinseki to know that I am committed to helping him do whatever needs to be done – whether that be in resources or legislation.”
The letter outlines potential improvements, including:
• Utilizing staggered work hours at the Education Call Center so West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii veterans have ample opportunities to contact VA;
• Working to generate award letters automatically, which currently take a significant amount of time for VA staff to process manually; and
• Establishing a centralized website for educational institutions to reduce confusion and improve communication.
The letter is available here: LINK
November 9, 2009