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Department of Veterans Affairs Admits $1 Million in VET TEC Overpayments

A VA program called VET TEC offers financial assistance to qualifying GI Bill beneficiaries who want to pursue a technology-based career in various high-tech fields. However, the program may be in trouble due to a problem with housing stipend payments.

What Is VET TEC?

The description of the Department of Veterans Affairs VET TEC pilot program is enticing.

On the VA official site, we learn that veterans who want “computer experience to start or advance your career in the high-technology industry” may be eligible for the VA Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) program, designed to pair veterans with “a leading training provider to help you develop high-tech skills.”

VET TEC was created as a pilot program scheduled to end in April 2024 unless steps are taken to make it a permanent program.

The controversy mentioned above related to VET TEC housing stipend payments threatens to disrupt any plans to keep VET TEC going beyond the expiration date in April 2024.

Related: Benefits Guide for Retired Military and Veterans

VET TEC Overpayments

Military.com reports a loophole in VET TEC guidelines allowed some veterans to get two VA housing stipend benefits for education simultaneously. The practice of “double-dipping” is prohibited in general within VA programs.

In this case, overpayments happened because there was no regulation to prevent it. More than 200 veterans enrolled in VET TEC received “double housing allowance payments” from 2019 to 2023.

An Inspector General report notes the overpayments totaled over a million dollars. It wasn’t done in violation of existing guidelines, rather they were the result of a lack of regulations to prevent the situation from occurring at all.

Will The VA Try To Recoup?

VA officials have gone on the record saying that (at press time) there are no plans to claw back the money overpaid to veterans through the VET TEC program.

But those overpayments and the notion of continuing VET TEC, in general, are being scrutinized. Could the payment problem become a deal breaker for those in Washington responsible for passing legislation to keep the program running?

Some sources report that the IG issued a warning that the overpayment issue could “set a precedent” with Congress actively deciding the program’s fate in general and what to do about the overpayments in particular.

Related: Benefits Guide for Retired Military and Veterans

What To Know About VET TEC

The Department of Veterans Affairs started VET TEC in 2019 to provide qualifying veterans an alternative to using the GI Bill to pay for training in software, programming, and related technology disciplines.

It’s offered to those who qualify for GI Bill benefits and still have entitlement remaining. VET TEC is under review in 2024; one piece of legislation called The VET TEC Authorization Act would, if passed, widen access to the program to include some six thousand more students. At press time the fate of VET TEC has not been decided, this is an ongoing story.

Who Qualifies For VET TEC?

According to VA.gov, the following must be true to qualify for VET TEC benefits: you are not serving on active duty or are within 180 days of separating from active duty, and:

  • You qualify for VA education assistance under the GI Bill.
  • You have at least one day of unexpired GI Bill benefits remaining.
  • You have been accepted into an approved program.
  • Those using VET TEC won’t be charged for any GI Bill entitlement.

Related: Benefits Guide for Retired Military and Veterans

About the author


Editor-in-Chief Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.