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Repayment Of Overpayment By Va Due To Va's Mistake



A question came to mind while reading another post today where the VA was proposing to reduce a veteran's rating due to an error in the rating decision made by the VA. The VA was proposing to reduce the overall rating from 70% to 50%, a reduction of approximately $500.00 per month or more. If the VA prevails in the reduction, it appears the error made by the VA has resulted in the overpayment of thousands of dollars to the veteran. No mention of fraud by the beneficiary in this case.

QUESTION: In a situation where the VA determines it has overpaid disability compensation to a veteran as a result of an error by the VA and no fault or fraud by the veteran, can the VA require the veteran to repay the overpayment?

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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

If the VA proposes a rating reduction, they have to notify the Veteran in writing of when the reduction is proposed to occur, and give them time to contest the reduction. They did this to me and claimed I didn't respond, but I fought it via NOD/DRO and won retro. The DRO even admitted finding my letter in my C-file and said the person who did it made a stupid mistake. They did not just up and say we are reducing you and you owe us back pay. They have to give the Veteran a chance to contest the decision.

Some reductions make sense. For example, if a Veteran is SC for liver failure, has transplant surgery, and then recovers, the SC rating for the liver will be reduced from 100% to whatever is appropriate according to the rating tables. Another example is asthma ratings, where the criteria for 60% includes certain number of special medication treatments over a year. If the treatments no longer occur and all of the other criteria matches up, they assume the condition improved and propose to reduce the rating.

I am not sure about this, but assume that If repayment can cause a proven financial hardship (they have special rules for proving hardship), it would be worth asking the VA if they could forgive the debt.

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From what Ive seen over the years....when the va over pays because of their own mistake they dont ask for the money back. My opinion based on what Ive seen. Dont know if Im right or not

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  • HadIt.com Elder

If the VA made the error, they generally don't try to recover the loss. In a case where the claimant had the correct rating(by them), originally, he doesn't owe anything, unless they fail to reduce the payment, when they stated they would, and he continued to receive an overpayment and "knew" it was an overpayment. His duty would be to notify the VA of the error. Anytime the VA overpays, a claimant can request a hardship waiver.


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I was approved permanent and total back in April of 2014.  I didn't receive the notice until the end of July.  My children were approved chapter 35 benefits which they retroactively paid to my daughter dating back to April 2014.  She requested they start her benefits in August 2014 but they still paid back to April regardless of her request.  Prior to that I received benefits for her since she was in college and I was at 100%.  I was told she would immediately be dropped from my benefits since she would be receiving chapter 35 benefits.  I also sent in a request to remove her from my benefits at the same time.  The VA has taken their sweet time removing her and processing the request.  I received a letter yesterday stating that an inquiry was done on my account and they discovered I was being paid for her at the same time she is receiving chapter 35.  Since April of 2014 I have contacted he VA on numerous occasions to see if they had processed the request to remove her and each time was told they typically take up to 6 months.  As of this month it has been 18 months since I sent in the request.  My family has had several hardships since then and we rely heavily on my disability to pay our bills.  My husband has a decent income but his contract is up with his job and he will be let go sometime between now and the end of the year and to boot he has injured his neck.  His income mostly covers his child support and IRS payments at the moment along with money for food and medical.  My income covers the bulk of our bills.  In addition my daughters car (the college student) threw a rod and then the car we purchased so she could continue school was totaled last week when she hit a tree.  Now she is using my car until we can afford to regroup and get her another car.  Could I possibly get a waiver due to the VA not processing the request to remove my daughter and me advising them that I was being overpaid and them paying her for additional months of school despite her asking to not start her pay until August 2014?  Does anyone have a sample hardship letter?  Please help!  I am desperate to find a solution and can't afford to lose my entire check much less a portion at the moment!  TIA!

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I have no real answers for you, but this, I will be praying for you for financial blessings and permanent protection against future financial folly from the VA.

Semper Fi.


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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

Welcome to Hadit!

You might find better luck at getting answers to your question if you created a new topic. This one is a bit old.

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