VA’s Debt Management Center has suspended collections on debts for individuals located in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s recently declared hurricane disaster areas
Veterans, as well as their survivors and dependents, with an address of record in any of the disaster areas, will not be subjected to active collection efforts.
“There are millions of Veterans impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, said Financial Program administrator Joe Schmitt of the Debt Management Center. The Debt Management Center partnered closely with the Veterans Benefits Administration, the Veterans Health Administration and the Treasury Department to work out a process to suspend collections for Veterans in the regions listed within the FEMA disaster areas.
“Those Veterans who have been displaced and can’t return home, need to know they must update their contact information with us or the post office,” Schmitt said.
VA also partnered with the U.S. Department of the Treasury to have collections suspended on Veteran benefit debts that have been referred to Treasury for collection within the same disaster areas. Veterans can find out if they are in a FEMA declared disaster area by visiting FEMA’s disasters page by clicking here.
Veteran benefit debts typically include over payments of benefits for VA’s compensation, pension, and education programs. The suspension of these collections is slated to remain in effect through March 2018.
Veterans in the declared disaster areas, should notify the U.S. Postal Service of any updated address or contact Debt Management Center directly to provide their new contact information. The Veterans Experience Division at the center can be reached toll-free at 1-800-827-0648 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the latest on VA’s response and inspiring stories of service to Veterans impacted by the hurricanes, read more on the blog.