The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced that they are resuming debt collections on benefit and medical copays, which was previously paused due to the pandemic.
Veterans who owe the VA money can expect to receive notifications from the VA this month, if they haven’t already.
The VA’s move to resume collections has left many veterans feeling frustrated, wishing for a longer extension.
The debt notification letters sent to affected veterans and beneficiaries will include options to request debt relief for those who continue to need financial relief from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And in an effort to give individuals time to prepare, the VA said they won’t start deducting the collections from monthly benefit payouts until January, 2022.
Approximately 600,000 veterans will be impacted by the move.
More details via Military Times:
VA officials said money owed to them totals about $1.13 billion. Debt collections were paused by the department as part of a series of changes that the department put in place to respond to the then new pandemic threat. Many of those office closings and program suspensions have been rolled back in recent months, as the number of staff and patients throughout the VA system have gotten vaccinated and returned to normal business operations. In a statement, VA leaders said they will “continue to provide relief options such as extending repayment plans, waivers and temporary hardship suspensions during these challenging times. It has been and will remain a priority of the department to work individually with each veteran.”
If you owe the VA money you do have some options. You can apply to defer the collection until September 30, 2022. You can also try to appeal to the VA to have your debts reduced or, in some cases, completely erased.
If you have any questions about debt collections you can call the VA Debt Management Center. Their number is 1-800-827-0648.