The Department of Veterans Affairs issued a solicitation Oct. 21 for temporary contractor support to assist in processing the increased volume of education claims received since implementing the new Post-9/11 GI Bill. "This contract will assist VA in delivering education benefits to our veterans as quickly as possible," said Under Secretary for Benefits Patrick W. Dunne. "Veterans are depending on VA to provide the benefits they earned through their service to our nation. We will do everything in our power to minimize delays for our veteran-students." The Post-9/11 GI Bill, which went into effect Aug. 1, has generated an unprecedented number of new applications. When combined with the standard high volume of school enrollment claims in August and September (the busiest months for education claims), the number of claims has exceeded anticipated levels. The contractor will provide its own work site and personnel to perform claims-processing tasks. Contract staff will validate enrollment information provided by schools and provide recommendations on claim status to VA personnel, who will finalize claims decisions and generate payments. All work will be reviewed and authorized by VA personnel. VA will provide training on security and claims processing procedures. The contract personnel will assist in handling the least complex cases, which allows for rapid implementation of this initiative. Information about the Post-9/11 GI Bill, as well as VA's other educational benefit programs, is available at VA's Web site, www.gibill.va.gov , or by calling (888) 442-4551.