Improvements to the system used to process veteran benefits will soon ensure that recently transitioned veterans and eligible spouses will have access to money for continuing education. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded a contract that will advance the reliability of their Chapter 33 (CH33) system to Systems Made Simple, a Lockheed Martin company.
CH33 was established after the GI Bill was updated in June 2008 when the United States Congress passed the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act. This program gave educational assistance for members of the armed forces who served on or after September 11, 2001.
“Having supported CH33 for more than five years, our organization has a strong awareness of the requirements and stakeholder needs of this program,” said Horace Blackman, vice president, Health & Life Sciences at Lockheed Martin. “Lockheed Martin is proud to be able to continue our partnership with the VA and provide our nation’s veterans the services they deserve in the most timely, efficient way possible.”
Since the program’s inception, the VA has delivered more than $41 billion in benefits for 1.2 million beneficiaries to advance education and career readiness using IT developed and supported by the Office of Information & Technology. Congress continually adds or adjusts CH33 benefits, requiring changes to the IT systems used to process payments.
Using existing technology to automate processes, Systems Made Simple will work with the VA to improve identification, integration, selection and processing of beneficiaries as well as increase the VA’s ability to monitor and report on education outcomes and experiences, advance data entry efficiency and modernize interfaces to improve data quality and consistency. Additionally, the company will work on sustainment of the program to improve and mature the system while development is taking place, further facilitating seamless extension of benefits to veterans and their beneficiaries.
Administered by the VA, and supported by Systems Made Simple, CH33 provides educational benefits that can be applied to college undergraduate and graduate level degree programs, vocational training, technical and professional certification courses and one-time certification examinations. The benefit may also be transferred from the qualifying service member to a qualifying dependent.
Due to the latest adjustments made in the Choice Act of August 2014, the CH33 project will enhance, re-design and support the systems that facilitate administering benefits.