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You've earned the right to a higher education through your service in the U.S. Armed Forces. But how do you use your GI Bill benefits? Which version is right for you? The Legion can help answer questions about state and/or federal education benefits, who can use them, and how long.

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VA to automate GI Bill claims processing

VA to automate GI Bill claims processing
The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic is developing claims-processing software that will help VA accommodate 115,000 student veterans this semester.

To help clean up the claims backlog left over from first-semester Post-9/11 GI Bill users, VA is hoping to enhance the way it processes claims. VA's Information Technology Department will release new software throughout the year that will automate the organization's current claims processing system.

The rules-based software will be enacted in four stages on four different dates: March 31, June 30, Sept. 30 and Dec. 31. The first version will allow officials to manage simple, non-complex claims, incorporating core features necessary to process tuition payments, housing allowances, re-enlistment incentives, books and fees. The system, however, won't accommodate veterans who add and drop classes. The initial release will be issued to a limited number of claims examiners in March.

The second version will expand the capabilities of the earlier release by enabling veterans claims examiners (VCEs) to amend awards and process Transfer of Entitlement claims. Release 3.0 will improve claims processing efficiency by automating the complex Chapter 33 financial transaction and authorization process required to permit payment for claims.

The final version of the software will provide some user-end clarity. It will create a Veteran Self-Service Interface, which will allow applicants to view the status of their claims online. The feature should prove useful to student veterans, especially those who have dealt with the many uncertainties and bureaucracies that have accompanied the Post-9/11 GI Bill's insertion into law.

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