The Department of Veterans Affairs on Friday announced that it would authorize checks  of up to $3,000 for students who have applied for educational benefits but have not yet received their funds. The checks will be distributed to eligible students at VA regional benefits offices, starting October 2. "Students should be focusing on their studies, not worrying about financial difficulties,” said a statement from Eric Shinseki, secretary of veterans affairs. A list of the 57 benefits offices where checks may be obtained may be found here.  Officials at the VA said that they do not know how many students will request emergency funds, but that the agency has 25,000 claims pending that may result in payments to students. Since August, reports have been circulating  among some campus offices that help veterans that they were experiencing serious delays with benefits for students eligible for the greatly expanded Post-9/11 GI Bill. Officials at the American Council on Education welcomed the VA's decision to expedite the payments.