VA Seeking Assistance of Nation’s Banks in Cashing Emergency Education Payments for Veteran-Students
So far the biggest glitch in the VA GI Bill Emergency Payment process is that several veterans are finding it hard to cash their GI Bill advance payment checks. In some cases it was a matter of bank policy to hold funds until the check clears. This is further complicated because the checks are handwritten US Bank checks which may have seemed odd to the banks.
At any rate the VA is asking banks to help. In addition the VA is offering a toll-free number for banks to verify the authenticity of the checks.
See the VA's official letter below:
From VA – The Department of Veterans Affairs is issuing advance educational benefit payments to Veteran-students in the form of US Bank business checks. These emergency checks are issued in amounts not to exceed $3,000 for Veteran-students who have applied for educational benefits and who have not yet received their VA payment. VA's 57 regional offices began issuing these checks to eligible Veteran-students across the country on Friday, October 2, 2009.
VA is soliciting the support of local and national banks to honor and cash these emergency checks written to our Nation's Veteran-students.
In many cases these checks are handwritten and could pose concerns of fraud from banks. Therefore, VA has established the following special customer service call-in numbers for banks to verify the validity of any US Bank check brought to them by a Veteran.
Banks calling these numbers will be connected directly to a VA employee who can access to all necessary information to verify who the check was issued to, the check number and dollar amount of the check, and whether the check was previously cashed or not.