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VA Hands Out Emergency Checks

Audio

Aired 10/2/09

Hundreds of veterans lined up outside the regional office of the Veterans Administration in San Diego today. They were there to pick up an advance on their GI Bill checks.

Lily Fetzer, Director of the Veterans Administration in San Diego, speaking to veterans lined up to get their GI Bill checks.
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Above: Lily Fetzer, Director of the Veterans Administration in San Diego, speaking to veterans lined up to get their GI Bill checks.

Hundreds of veterans lined up outside the regional office of the Veterans Administration in San Diego today. They were there to pick up an advance on their GI Bill checks.

The VA is behind on processing about 30,000 applications for benefits under the new GI Bill. As a stop gap measure, the agency offered to issue emergency checks of up to $3,000 to vets who have already started college and need the money to cover rent and food.

Lily Fetzer, Director of the VA in San Diego, said she’s not sure how many veterans are waiting for checks in Southern California, but she found a line of veterans already waiting outside the office early this morning.

“So we decided to open our doors at 6:30 and start writing checks,” Fetzer says, “and we’ve been writing checks ever since. We have 16 check writing stations set up and the feedback I’m getting is a lot of happy folks here. They really needed that money.”

The new GI Bill is more generous than any GI bill since the original legislation was drafted after World War II.

Nearly 300,000 veterans around the country have applied and another 200,000 have inquired about their eligibility.

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