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My daughter denied her Chapter 35 benefit



My daughter owes the VA education department 2500. She has made 50.00 payments per VA for 10 months down to 2055. She started school July 5 2023. VA never said they would hold her Chapter 35 benefit. She has not been paid for 2 months. She just got a letter today from the VA stating they are holding her benefits until debt has been paid. No one said anything about this. She just certified her attendance yesterday. Need help, ty

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Welcome to hadit. 

You can file an appeal to any VA decision denial.  And, I would recommend doing just that.  However, sometimes I tell people "what they dont want to hear" even if its the painful truth.  I dont know your daughter's circumstances of why/how she owed money, but here is how it went down with my son.  

  My son got Ch. 35, enrolled, skipped most of his classes, and never bothered to inform VA he was no longer taking classess.  He thought he knew more than the teachers, so why attend classes? 


  When he tried to go back, he had to finally get a fafsa. (and pay back the money he collected for skipping school)  He learned that bad behaviour has consequences.  It took quite a while for him to right his irresponsible behaviour.  

I am not sure why your daughter owes them money, but, I doubt it can be resolved except by paying the debt.  As I explained, he had to pay VA back before he could get it again.  

Unfortunately, the VA "does not" and will not tell us of all the regulations, but they are public knowledge and you may be able to look this up.  

She may have to work for a while, earn/save money, then pay off debt, and go back to school and use the Ch. 35.    

All this said, I once got a waiver for an overpayment that va paid me.  What happened was, I was getting pension, then got married.  I informed VA that I was likely no longer eligible for pension, because my wife earned too much.  

The VA ignored my letter and sent me regular pension for 18 months.  Finally, they removed the pension and said I owed them $6000 for an overpayment.  

I appealed the overpayment with the instruction in the overpayment letter. My reasoning was that, I promptly reported the change, and, its not my fault VA took 18 months to process this. Further, I reasoned that since I properly informed VA, the money they sent me was mine to keep.  Slow processing by VA is not my responsibity.  I also showed where it would be a hardship for me to pay it back.  (a requirement for overpayment waiver, that is, what I referred to as an "appeal").  

A few months later, my "waiver of overpayment" was granted.  

You have to cross all the t's and dot all the i's...doing it the VA way.  While the VA does not always follow its own rules, they will hold you responsible if you dont follow them, such as not timely appealing the overpayment (that is,  apply for a waiver of overpayment).  

In my son's case..it was his own fault.  

Now, "if" you have a good reason to drop out of school, then you need to inform VA.  They may even let you keep money already paid, if you ask nice and if you get a nice VA employee handling your paperwork.  (2 big "if's).  Remember, tho, you only get so many months with Ch. 35, and it wont be extended because you dropped out.  I think its still 48 months, max.  So, if you drop out and they paid you 3 months, you wont get the last 3 months.  

There is a program to skip classes, or at least there was.  I think it was called "Clep", but it may be another name now.  It allows you to "test out" of some college classes. 

A great friend of mine "tested out" of 2 years of college while in the military.  He was allowed to take just one course's test per day.  Most of the other students took them all at once, and you are testing pretty much all day long.  Fatigue sets in, and you get tired of taking tests.  But, when my friend did one class at a time, he was "fresh" for the next test, and passed them all with flying colors.

To reiterate, I suggest appealing the denial, but, also your daughter needs to continue to pay the money back, even if it means dropping out of classes for a while, getting a job, and work on repayment.  The VA loves to see "good faith" things like informing VA if you have to drop out of classes, and why, and, start repaying the overpayment.  

Make sure you understand:  Im not calling your daughter irresponsible.  Not at all.  I have no idea why she owes VA money, it could easily be the VA's fault.  But, she would need to file for a waiver of the overpayment and it may be past the deadline for her to do this, but I dont know that either.  It should have stated that she can apply for an overpayment waiver in the letter.  The VA has to inform us that we can appeal, a decision.  

In fact, at least once, I read some time ago, the court "did not consider" the decision final, "until" VA sends the Veteran a notice of how he can appeal a denied decision.  

Many people just dont read the letters VA sends us, but that is often a mistake.  




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So here's what I know from working at an HBCU. (My last Job.) There are several ways to get a heard of the game. broncovet stated one of them CLEP exam. There is DINATS if I am typing the name right. Both have study guides and suggested reading list to pass their exams. Some schools will give you credit for life experience and work study experience.


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