How About a GI Bill Widget?

That’s one of the best suggestions to come out of Wednesday’s Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on the post 9/11 GI bill.

The suggestion came not from the Veterans Affairs Department, but from Marco Reininger, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan and now a student at Columbia University in New York. He said VA could make it easy for vets to track the progress of their claims by posting a widget on its GI bill website.

He said this would help soothe the frustration that veterans experience when trying to determine the status of their benefit payments.

"If I can never predict when VA [will make] a payment to my school, it is difficult to account for what individual checks are covering my tuition and fees," Reininger told lawmakers. "We need a mechanism that would allow me to track my GI bill claim from the moment I file to the day when it actually pays."

VA should model itself after, he said. "I can track a book from an warehouse to my apartment," he said. "Why can’t I get the same transparency from VA?"


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