In this article, we are assuming your VA debt is legitimate and not a mistake. We are also assuming you have sent in your request for waiver within 30 days from the date you received your first notice from the VA and it was not approved. The mission of this article is to now provide various steps and options in resolving that debt.
Once your account has an overpayment status, you should receive a letter from the Regional Processing Office (RPO) that processes your GI Bill payments. It will explain how the debt was created and how much you owe. It should also indicate that you will be receiving a letter from the VA Debt Management Center (DMC).
At this point it is important to note the RMC has also electronically transmitted the debt information to the DMC for collection. It normally takes about 30 days for the DMC to establish an account receivable on your account.
Options to Prevent a Delinquent GI Bill Account
Receiving the over-payment notice from the RPO triggers the letter you’ll receive from the DMC. Within 30 days from the date of the letter, you have three options to prevent the account receivable status from being attached to your account:
- Repay the entire debt in one payment.
- Establish a payment plan.
- Dispute the debt.
The 30-day timeframe is important because if they have not received a response from you within that time, they automatically begin to withhold money out of your GI Bill payments to start offsetting the debt, if you are still using your GI Bill.
If you have not contacted the DMC by the 90-day mark, debt information is sent both to the credit reporting agencies and Department of Treasury.
RPO and DMC Functions and Contact Information
Each of the two agencies have separate functions in this debt process. The RPO can help answer questions relating to the cause of the debt. They can be reached at 888-442-4551 or by email.
The DMC is the sole source of debt collection so they can answer questions and help set up payment plans to repay the debt. Their phone number is 800-827-0648 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the letter from the DMC will be a Notice of Rights and Obligations. In it are the options (and process) to dispute the debt, request a waiver or an oral hearing, if you think the debt is in error.
gi bill debt Payment Options
Debt payments can be made in four different ways:
- Using a debit or a credit card through their Online Payment Site or by phone. They accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover cards.
- Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) from your bank account
- Money sent through Western Union using the host code VADMC
- Sending a check by snail mail to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Debt Management Center, P.O. Box 11930, St Paul, MN 55111
how to make gi bill Payments
If unable to pay the full amount at once, the DMC is willing to work with you in setting up a monthly schedule. Mail them a letter (or fax to 1-612-970-5688) explaining how much you feel you can pay each month, along with a completed copy of the VA Form 5655 – Financial Status Report.
If the DMC advised you of an offset amount they plan to withhold each month from your GI Bill payment, you can request a smaller amount withheld. However, if the pay-off exceeds one year, also required is a copy of the same Financial Status Report as noted above to justify your smaller amount request.
The whole point is to take this issue seriously and proactively respond by contacting the RPO and DMC. It will be easier in the end to resolve the overpayment issue with the least amount of financial damage.