Below are the latest updates from the Office of Military and Veteran Services. In addition to the information below, you can find additional resources available at our COVID-19 Info and Resources Box folder, including information on academic, community, financial, food, health and wellness, homeschooling, military- and veteran-specific and technology resources. Please reach out to us at email@example.com with any questions.
Virtual Veterans Center: Join us for next week’s Virtual Veterans Center on April 14th, 15th and 16th. Drop in to connect and socialize with one another, ask questions to our staff, or leave Zoom running in the background while you’re accomplishing other work. Login information is provided in the attached document.
Virtual Happy Hour
Tuesday, April 14th
Thursday, April 16th
Virtual Lunch Hangout
Wednesday, April 15th
11 am – 1 pm
Reminder for Survey of Military-Connected Student Needs: Please take a moment to complete a brief Survey of Military-Connected Student Needs to provide feedback on how the Office of Military and Veteran Services can best support you during the COVID-19 emergency and beyond. This survey should take no more than 5 minutes to complete and we appreciate your participation in advance.
Summer and Fall Certification Requests: This is a reminder for students using VA educational benefits for the Summer and Fall terms to submit your certification request to your School Certifying Official once you’ve registered for classes. Certification is not an automatic process and requests must be submitted for each semester you would like to use your benefits.
VA MHA for Remote vs. Online Courses: With the university’s transition to remote courses for the Spring and Summer terms, it is important to take note of the impact that online courses have on your VA Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) benefits. Recent VA legislation protects MHA through the end of 2020 for residential (in-person/campus-based) courses that are traditionally delivered on campus but have transitioned to remote delivery; MHA for these courses will be the same rate as if you were attending in person and on campus. MHA for courses that are traditionally delivered online is subject to a reduced housing allowance rate.
As you register for classes, campus-based courses that have transitioned to remote learning will still reflect as campus-based courses in WebSTAC, listing a physical campus location or “TBA” as the location. Online courses subject to the reduced MHA will be listed as “Fully online” in WebSTAC. The GI Bill Comparison Tool for WashU is a useful tool to inform you on the MHA rates and can assist with your course planning and decision-making from a financial perspective. Please reach out to our office if you are unsure about whether your course selection will impact your MHA.
VA Debt Management Center Update: As of April 9, 2020, the VA Debt Management Center (DMC) is suspending all debt repayment actions on veteran debts under the jurisdiction of the Treasury Department for 60 days. DMC will evaluate extension of this timeline should the situation with COVID-19 warrant. If the suspension is extended, they will update their website to reflect the change and automatically extend suspensions for affected veterans. The DMC is also suspending collection action or extending repayment terms on preexisting VA debts for veterans, as the veteran prefers. Please contact the DMC at 1-800-827-0648 to request assistance.
CNAS State Veterans Benefits Finder: Finally, the Center for New American Security (CNAS) State Veterans Benefits Finder makes information about 1,871 identified state benefits easily searchable and allows users to filter state-level veteran benefits by type of benefit, beneficiary, and state to identify benefits for which they may be eligible, providing a unique and invaluable reference. Check out your state’s benefits to see what’s available and whether there is any COVID-19-specific assistance available.
Jennifer Goetz, M.Ed., MSW, LCSW | Veteran Student Services Advisor | Military and Veteran Services
Washington University in St. Louis | Umrath Hall, Room 121 | One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1175 | St. Louis, MO 63130
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Office: (314) 935-2609 | Website: https://veterans.wustl.edu
Schedule an appointment: https://meetme.so/milvet