VA extends debt relief for Veterans


shadow

VA is extending debt relief for Veterans through September 30, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. VA will suspend collection of all Veteran benefit overpayments incurred between April 6, 2020, and September 30, 2021. No adverse actions or collection attempts will occur during this suspension period. Additionally, all copayments for medical care and pharmacy services incurred from April 6, 2020, through September 30, 2021, will be cancelled, along with any fees or interest. Any payments for this time period will be refunded.

VA is committed to keeping Veterans informed about their debt and the expansive relief options available.

What will happen next

With regard to benefit overpayments, Veterans will receive a letter from the VA Debt Management Center (DMC) showing current debt amount as well as available options. Subsequent letters will be sent showing updates to Veterans’ accounts.

What Veterans can do now

For benefit overpayments, no action is required through September 30, 2021. That said, if Veterans would like to resolve debts sooner, there are options they can exercise now. VA can work with Veterans to determine what option is best. Options include:

  • Making a payment
  • Establishing a repayment plan
  • Submitting a compromise offer
  • Disputing the debt
  • Requesting a waiver

For benefit debt, information is available online at https://www.va.gov/manage-va-debt/, or by calling the DMC at 800-827-0648, or via IRIS at https://iris.custhelp.va.gov/app/ask/.

Your VA health care continues

There will be no change in the quality and availability of VA health care during this time. You can schedule appointments and communicate with your providers in the same manner you have been.

If you are concerned about copayments you owe for health care and pharmacy provided prior to April 6, 2020, you an apply for a debt relief program. For more information on financial relief, Veterans can visit https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/revenue_ops/Financial_Hardship.asp or call the Health Resource Center at 866-400-1238, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

Charges for medical care and prescriptions incurred from April 6, 2020, through September 30, 2021, will be cancelled. VA will refund payments that Veterans have already made.

For medical care copayment questions, please review the information found on the following website: https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/revenue_ops/Financial_Hardship.asp#Relief or call the Health Resource Center (866-400-1238).

VA will work with all Veterans who apply for debt relief to determine the best possible solution.

Contact information

  • For questions about VA benefit debt, including information on how to make voluntary repayment arrangements, or for information about how to request a waiver, how to dispute a debt, or how to submit a compromise offer, call the DMC (800-827-0648) from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday. Visit https://iris.custhelp.va.gov/app/ask/ to submit your request online.
  • For medical care copayment questions, please contact the Health Resource Center at (866-400-1238) from 7:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.
  • If a Veteran’s debt was referred to the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury), the debt is suspended through September 30, 2021. For questions on debts referred to Treasury, contact the Treasury Cross-Servicing Program (888-826-3127) or the Treasury Offset Program (800-304-3107).

VA is here to help Veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please follow national and local guidelines to stay healthy and safe.

*This post was updated 3/25/21 with additional medical care and pharmacy services information.


The VA Debt Management Center (DMC) provides Veterans and beneficiaries with compassionate counseling on their VA benefit debts. DMC manages the debt collection process and provides assistance with debt resolution options, such as payment plans and waivers.

The VHA Office of Community Care – Revenue Operations contributed to VHA medical and pharmacy services information.

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Troy A Eisenhour    

    I have been out of the military since 1984, I hurt my back in the service and I have been trying to get my disability raised to 100%, I yet to get anything except for denial over and over. I have proof I hurt my back along with a picture of the accident along with a Dr’s note of restricted duty. Now I have to get my back operated on because of a bulging disc, and a vertebrae that slipped forward, pinching a nerve off. Now I have my right knee that is numb 99% of the time and unbearable pain 100% of the time. It has taken over a year just to get to see a Dr.

  2. Tim Wheeler    

    The VA Debt Management Center will reach out to you today to explain financial relief options available to you.

  3. Steven Lynch    

    When will we get the copay and pharmacy service refunds? I read that all payments made since April 06 2020 will be refunded?

  4. Joseph Lorenzro Livingston    

    I lost my VA HOME LOAN when I entered into a short sale of my home. Since then, I have filed my taxes and the “income” of the unpaid portion was forgiven. When can I get back my VA home loan?

  5. James Grimes    

    This is total bullsht.
    I’m a 100% service-connected disabled veteran.
    The VA sent me a letter saying I owe them $29,996 because they overpaid me for nearly 20 years. By the time I received the letter, I had eight days left to send in my waiver request, so I gathered as much documentation as I could and sent it back to them. About two weeks later, they sent a letter saying my appeal was denied, but they admitted the mistake was entirely their fault! Then, in August, 2020, they just decided to stop paying me, and kept my ENTIRE check, and all subsequent checks since September, 2020. They also tried to hijack the balance in my checking account, but my bank prevented that. I’ve been living on borrowed money since September, with NO help or relief of ANY KIND from the VA. I eat one sandwich per day, either peanut butter or plain bologna, my homeowners insurance and car insurance is due next month, and I have no idea how I’m going to pay either of them.
    Fortunately, I kept copies of everything I sent to them, and now Senator Mike Braun is looking into the situation.
    The VA talks a good game, but what they actually do behind the scenes is another story.

    1. Bob Melendy    

      They should be taking those funds out of the paycheck of the employee who made the mathematical error. That is NOT right at all. Similar errors occurred with both of my daughters at different times. My older daughter was underpaid when they took my granddaughter off as a dependent by error for a year. They have yet to compensate her, they sent some BS letter with a couple pages of numbers which are supposed to mean something, but trying to figure out what they mean only makes my head hurt. Finance needs to get their shit together and figure things out. The employees should be held accountable, NOT the Veteran.

  6. Keith Rose    

    Will there be any extensions on VA Home Loan deferments as well?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
29 − 27 =