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Va Debt Collection


SonnyBurnett

Question

Received a collection letter dated 12 may, it was postmarked 16 may, and I received it on 20 may. I have 30 days to reply and ask for a waiver or setup payments or do nothing. The amount is for $2899. The letter stated I recently received a letter explaining why (I never got any letter), and there has been a change in my benefits thus resulting in an overpayment.

I called the VA Collection center to find out why. The have no record of a reason why, they just collect money, I called the 800-827-1000 number, and of course they have no idea and according to their records no letter was sent to me, only the collection letter. They said no change has been made to my rating (or even pending). They put in an inquiry to find out, but I was told that could take 10+ business day. The representative suggested I call the US Treasury and gave me a number to call, that was only a recording, that hung up on me with no information concerning my situation.

I have to file a waiver that includes all financial information, a letter explaining my reasons, and I will also send a letter requesting an audit of my situation.

Disgusting is one of the word that come to my mind about this. Nobody cares how Veterans are being screwed on a daily basis. It makes me sick to my stomach every time some politician or celebrity/athlete proclaims to support our Veterans. All they do is talk. I would like to see our President go under cover as a recently discharged vet with medical/phsyc. issues and apply for benefits. Maybe then things will change.....

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  • Moderator

Of course, this is your quandry:

The VA has no time limits on anything, ever. They can take 10 years for your claim, and do, often enough they had an EAP (Extroridary Awards Procedure) for claims with retro over 10 years worth.

The EAP was struck down as illegal. But they stilll do it. http://thomasandrewslaw.blogspot.com/2010/08/macklem-eap-equals-cue.html

However, you have strict deadlines...this one is likely 30 days.

Send your appeal in!

Explain you have inquired and no one seems to know what this is for, AND also explain how it would be a burden for you financially. Send in an appeal to Philadelphia, I think it is. The address should be on the letter.

Do it timely, or expect it to be rejected. They will collect it from future benefits, even if it is in error, if you dont appeal it. The letter should say how to request a waiver (appeal).

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  • HadIt.com Elder

That's a fair amount of change. The request for audit is likely your best bet. I was told some time ago that

the waver was needed as well. Turns out that the waver form is written such that it applies only to financial hardship, not VA mistakes.

I was also told "if you don't like it, file an NOD".

Once 100%P&T was on the books, the financial people helped straighten out some problems I had with getting

co-pay refunds, etc. At one point, the VA was trying to charge interest and a service charge for money

that was refunded to me. ????

One of the more interesting and frustrating things that came out had to do with "presumptive".

The law basically says that the VA has very little options to deny a presumptive claim.

Yet, they will often start or continue charging co-pay for drugs used to treat a presumptive condition.

One thing I never found out was if there was a statute of limitations that applied to recovery of co-pay and drug costs

for drugs and possibly treatment obtained outside or unavailable via the VA.

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Chuck

If my memory serves me correctly, the VA, will refund your co pays for a now SC condition back 2 years, but only if you apply. I think I got a 500 dollar check as a refund on prescription co pays about 2 months after I applied (after my award).

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The Milwaukee VARO is the place you need to send your letter. They handle all VA collections.

You don't have a lot of time, but I would do exactly what you stated, request an audit and that you be provided a copy of that audit when completed. Ask, that no money be taken from your account until the audit has been accomplished. Send that in ASAP.

They should of sent you a waiver to fill out when they notified you. If not ask them to send you a waiver.

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  • Moderator

Sorry Broncovet, The VA goes back the date if the awarding of a 50 percent rating. (Pri Group 1)

There is no time limit.

If awarded Champ VA for dependents, then you have 18 months to file for your dependents co payments both medicine and medical.

One other thing. If the VA has made a mistake and are pressuring or harrassing you to pay something you do not owe, Contact an attorney. If you paid anything and you didnt have to then that is what legally is called harm. You may have a Tort claim against the office that is harrassing you.

Now contact finance at your VAMC and ask for the following.

Reconciliation of all copayments for medical treatment and a copy to you.

Reconciliation of all medicine co pays and a copy to you.

All non service connected charges to your insurance company. A lot of us dont have this info but we need to get it to check if the VA is extorting or stealing money from insurance companies by charging them for service connected conditions.

If enough of us can prove that then the big insurance companies will go after them. They have the money and attorneys to do so and these folks dont care. Consider it fallout for bad claims processing practice.

J

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I've called, emailed and was about to send in a waiver request and audit request as to why the VA say's I was overpaid. Today The circle jerk grows. I received a deposit in my bank account in the amount of $2889. I have no idea what the deposit is for, but this is probably the money they said I was overpaid.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Save that money since you don't know if they will ask for it back next week. I was overpaid by the VA for months back in the 1970's. I called them, visited them, wrote them and the VA said "Aw, just spend it". One day the money stopped and I went back to my original payment with no explanation.

When I owed the VA $200 bucks for G.I. Bill overpayment they hounded me for years until my congressman Sam Gibbons got them off my back. There is always some sorrt of appea for these things. I complained that the VA was charging my private insurance for SC conditions. The VA denied it but gradually stopped doing it. I was P&T vet and the VA had the gall to charge my insurance for a C&P exam for AO condition.

I would send it that waiver request anyway. You have to protect yourself in a timely manner. Don't give them money back until you have something signed that relieves you of any debts. I trust the VA not at all.

John

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Good luck it would seem that if they can't give you some sort of explanation that you should be able to stop this with an appeal of their decision and the attempt at collection. In the appeal I would request a hearing and any information that shows how the over payment was made. From the amount I suspect that it has something to do with a payment they made to you that was miscalculated. Sounds like a month of 100%

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  • Moderator

Thanks Basser. It sounds like you are more up on this than I am. I bet it was 18 months and probably dependents...

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I think Pete's idea about asking for a hearing is a benefit vets hardly ever use. You are supposed to be able to ask for a hearing for any compensation issue and lots of other issues as well.

John

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Just put the money in the bank and wait! Don't spend it or send it back yet. If the VA calls you and wants it back ask for a receipt that clears the accounts.

John

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I found out the payment is for back pay on a2nd clothing allowance, I was denied for a 2nd clothing allowance because it was over 12 month since I got a new brace. I looked through the regs and found nothing that states if you don't get a new one every year, you will be denied. It seem that they are making up the rules as they go along. I will challenge this.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Chuck

If my memory serves me correctly, the VA, will refund your co pays for a now SC condition back 2 years, but only if you apply. I think I got a 500 dollar check as a refund on prescription co pays about 2 months after I applied (after my award).

Getting the VA "co-pay" back was a bit of hassle. Getting co-pay, etc. back for private insurance covered treatment of SC'd conditions that had a retroactive EDD seems to be a real problem.

Not to mention the insurance companies payments to the VA and other providers.

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