VA is extending debt relief for veterans through September 30, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. VA will suspend collection of all veteran benefit overpayments incurred between April 6, 2020, and September 30, 2021. No adverse actions or collection attempts will occur during this suspension period. Additionally, all copayments for medical care and pharmacy services incurred from April 6, 2020, through September 30, 2021, will be cancelled, along with any fees or interest. Any payments for this time period will be refunded.
VA is committed to keeping veterans informed about their debt and the expansive relief options available.
What Will Happen Next
With regard to benefit overpayments, veterans will receive a letter from the VA Debt Management Center (DMC) showing current debt amount as well as available options. Subsequent letters will be sent showing updates to veterans’ accounts.
What Veterans Can Do Now
For benefit overpayments, no action is required through September 30, 2021. That said, if veterans would like to resolve debts sooner, there are options they can exercise now. VA can work with veterans to determine what option is best. Options include:
- Making a payment
- Establishing a repayment plan
- Submitting a compromise offer
- Disputing the debt
- Requesting a waiver
For benefit debt, information is available online at https://www.va.gov/manage-va-debt/, or by calling the DMC at 800-827-0648, or via IRIS at https://iris.custhelp.va.gov/app/ask/.
Your VA Health Care Continues
There will be no change in the quality and availability of VA health care during this time. You can schedule appointments and communicate with your providers in the same manner you have been.
If you are concerned about copayments you owe for health care and pharmacy provided prior to April 6, 2020, you can apply for a debt relief program. For more information on financial relief, veterans can visit https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/revenue_ops/Financial_Hardship.asp or call the Health Resource Center at 866-400-1238, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Charges for medical care and prescriptions incurred from April 6, 2020, through September 30, 2021, will be cancelled. VA will refund payments that veterans have already made.
For medical care copayment questions, please review the information found on the following website: https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/revenue_ops/Financial_Hardship.asp#Relief, or call the Health Resource Center at 866-400-1238.
VA will work with all veterans who apply for debt relief to determine the best possible solution.
- For questions about VA benefit debt, including information on how to make voluntary repayment arrangements, or for information about how to request a waiver, how to dispute a debt, or how to submit a compromise offer, call the DMC at 800-827-0648 from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday. Visit https://iris.custhelp.va.gov/app/ask/ to submit your request online.
- For medical care copayment questions, please contact the Health Resource Center at 866-400-1238 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday.
- If a veteran’s debt was referred to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the debt is suspended through September 30, 2021. For questions on debts referred to Treasury, contact the Treasury Cross-Servicing Program at 888-826-3127 or the Treasury Offset Program at 800-304-3107.
VA is here to help veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please follow national and local guidelines to stay healthy and safe.
Co-Payments for Blinded Veterans
Confusion arose for some blinded veterans in late December. After VHA had, early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, suspended all billing for medical services regardless of the eligibility of the veterans enrolled, the VA billing office sent out millions of notices of co-payments. Such co-payments are now being cancelled and veterans’ accounts cleared of these payments. Even if these co-payments had not been cancelled, BVA’s successful advocacy nearly 11 years ago resulted in the placement of all nonservice-connected blinded veterans in Category IV “Catastrophically Disabled” from that time forward. Service-connected blinded veterans were already in an appropriate category. The Catastrophically Disabled designation makes BVA members exempt always from co-payments for any inpatient or outpatient medical care. No BVA members should receive any VA co-payment billing. For additional information or assistance, please contact BVA’s Veterans Service Program at email@example.com or by calling 844-250-5180.