Helping the Veterans?

Helping the Veterans......

So many have applied for the new post 9/11 GI Bill with high hopes but something has gone terribly wrong. No communication, and not enough workers to handle all the claims. The VA is supposed to help the veterans during this process, and I understand tensions are high but when a veteran calls the education number they shouldn't be met with attitude. So who's helping the Vets during all this confusion? It's a sad case of hurry up and wait, which so many of us are doing. I like so many others have applied for the new gi bill and received my letter of eligiblity in Aug. Pretty fast considering the circumstances. I thought 'Hey I'm one of the lucky ones.' Spoke too soon. When I applied for my second semester the VA made an overpayment of tuition to my school of $11,744. They sent my case to the VA debt department and I was offset. Everything was taken, my BAH as well as my book stipend for DEC. I figured if I could get the school to send back the overpayment then I would start to recive my money again and they would owe me. (at least that's what I was told.) My school sent the money back immediately and I called the VA to verify it. They claimed that it hadn't been received but my school has given me the check number and told me it had been cashed. A month later my accont had a zero balance and the VA rep told me that my payment had been released. I thought great now I'll receive my payment. The first of the month comes and guess what, still no money. When I called this time they said I still had a zero balance and they would have to send in an inquiry to the regional office. I waited some more, finally I got tired of waiting and I called the VA debt dept and they said that I now had an additional debt of $4,000. Ok lets do the math.

My school tuition is $5,872. The VA sent them double that for tuition $11,744 which they received back $5,872 (minus the semester tution). I was offset $3,964 with an additional offset of $4,000

The VA now has $13,836 paid to them. Does this make sense. I pretty much paid my own tution and more. I have sent in a Notice Of Disagreement (NOD) a month ago but haven't received word yet. I guess I'm in for some more waiting.

My main purpose for this blog was to help my fellow soldiers with some information I have picked up along the way.

VA Education number

1-888-442-4551 if you call this number you run the risk of not getting through or you may experience extremely long hold times. If you have long distance you're better off calling this number 1-918-781-5790. I get through the first time every time and the wait is shorter.

I decided to call the NY Regional Office directly but I'll be honest they really weren't much help either. She looked up my info and told me she will send it to the financial department but I'll list those numbers anyway maybe you'll have better luck.

716-857-3263, 716-857-3140, 716-857-3145

If you have a debt call 1-800-827-0648

VA Website:  www.va.gov

To contact the congressmen in your area click on the link below

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

I got this from facebook the post 9/11 GI Bill crisis center page. Follow the link to check them out. They have a draft letter you can use when writing your congressmen.

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=163420897206&topic=11266#!/group.php?gid=163420897206

If you need help writing an NOD I have placed a sample letter below,

DATE: (upper right hand corner of your letter)

Department Of Veterans Affairs

Place the address of where your VA regional office is located

Attention: (Place the department you wish to contact) in reference to Veteran – your name here

Social Security #

Address on record:

Branch of service:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing this letter regarding issues surrounding my (state your issue)

Please consider this my Notice of Disagreement. My first issue is (state issues clearly, if you have multiple issues make sure to list them as well. Make sure to be clear about what your problem is.)

If someone could review my file it would be greatly appreciated. I thank you in advance for your time with this matter.

Sincerely,

Your name

 

 

http://www.warms.vba.va.gov/admin21/m21_1/mr/part1/ch05/ch05_secb.doc This link provides you with processing time, time limits to file your NOD it is a pdf. (Apparently now you no longer have a year to file an NOD. )

If you would like more information on NOD or would like to know what other veterans are saying regarding the issue please follow this link

http://www.hadit.com/forums/index.php?s=7528b0aadb719fe2b4c17c4abd06878a&showtopic=33793&pid=183732&st=0&#entry183732

I will update you on my situation seeing as I sent out letters to my congressmen, I've sent out an NOD as well as phoned the VA numerous times. (Something has got to give)

If you have any relevant information please feel free to post it or if you have something you would like researched contact me ASAP and I will try my best to get it.

3/3/2010 Update

 OK here's the deal, after sending out all my letters about a month ago I received a call on Monday from the NYC mayors office. The woman I spoke to was very nice. She said she was calling me because of the email I had sent to Mayor Bloomberg (his message center for veterans can be found on his website) and that she was going to contact the VA to see what is going on with my benefits. Good news is that after all that time and all my benefits being taken the debt has been fully paid off and I received my BAH payment on the first of March. The VA officially owes me close to $5,000 in back pay for all the BAH they took but hopefully the woman I spoke to can help get all this situated. Contacting your government officials can help so don't hesitate.

6/22/2010 Update

Thankfully everything has been worked out and although I'm just begining to receive benefits on a regular basis I can't help but fear this problem may happen again. I spoke to a VA rep at my school and just so all the vets who are going through this know, if the VA does happen to overpay your school DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO SEND THE MONEY BACK. The VA rep told me that this could actually seriously delay processing. From my own experience I know this to be true, and they still take it from your BAH. I wish all of you good luck.

Checking In.......

Hello Everyone,

It's been awhile so I thought I'd check on everything and see how everyone is doing with the changes that occurred with the post 9/11 GI Bill. I'm still here if there is anything you need help with or any questions you may have, feel free to write a comment and I'll try to get it squared away as quickly as possible. Be safe everybody.

Hi everyone.....

I just wanted to check in and see how my fellow vets are doing. How are you handling the changes that were made? Do you think that the VA has managed to correct the frequency in which it makes overpayments to schools? I want to hear from you. Also if you're having trouble paying back a debt click the link below, it will take you directly to the VA website which will give you a list of options available to you. As always if you have any questions, concerns, or would just like to chat I'm here.

https://gibill.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1271/kw/1423/related/1

Comments 31 comments

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

I'm an old Vet but I thank you for putting this together!


Mike 6 years ago

Thanks for the post, very useful information. I am fighting the same battle with VA on my education benefits.Currently I am at the last step (congressional inquiry)unfortunately my representative wasn't as nice or concerned as yours.Keep up the good work!!


jaded777 profile image

jaded777 6 years ago Author

Thanks Mike for commenting, I'm sorry that you and many other vets have to go through this and I hope that the VA processes your claim quickly.


MikeGuest 6 years ago

I'm having the same problem of overpayment and I'm expecting $3,600 back from VA from my BAH.

I just don't understand when you said, "I spoke to a VA rep at my school and just so all the vets who are going through this know, if the VA does happen to overpay your school DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO SEND THE MONEY BACK."

Isn't it that the VA will still continue on deducting the overpayment debt to your BAH anyway? Isn't it that the first step is to have the school send the overpayment back ASAP? If VA don't have the funding back then why would you expect your deducted BAH to come back?


jaded777 profile image

jaded777 6 years ago Author

To MikeGuest:

Of course they will, this is what was done to me I had my school send the money back asap and for months they said that they did not receive it, even after I gave them the check number and poc's phone number. Mind you this overpayment happened in Dec of 2009 and I just started recieveing BAH again and the payment was sent back. Wouldn't it just be easier to have the school refund the money to you and you make arrangements to pay the VA debt department yourself seeing as the school only has the buffalo address and not the debt departments address and communication between the two departments can be very scarce. For example, I had put in a waiver request back in feb and they are just starting to work on it but the gi bill claims specialist are having a hard time locating the information. Whether they have received the money or not they are still going to hold your bah until the payment hits their system and that could take months. So my suggestion was only that you should take care of the issue personnaly rather than wait for the VA to process it. I hope I've cleared things up for you and good luck with this matter.


MikeGuest 6 years ago

I understand that this would be an EASIER route for me, if all goes like so. But, I just don't see any institution to hand me the $ that they received as overpayment from VA (even with all the explanations, prayers and tears)(Just like they won't give you cash refund for something you paid with a credit card). Schools are nice to vets but i don't see them messing with their accounting to fix what VA is doing wrong.

btw, talked to bursar and vet rep of school, and yeah, there is no way they will release overpayment funds to me, only to where they came from.

I like your post. It hits straight home. My vet rep said there are many vet who are in the same boat. I was told, she was told, there are some legal issues about the process of applying the returned funds to the vet's account. I'm a very patient guy (but man, this is really slow). Who ever thought VA should deduct the money (tuition) that the vet never saw at all FROM the vet's BAH should be fired. IMHO.


jaded777 profile image

jaded777 6 years ago Author

To MikeGuest:

I'm sorry to hear that you and so many other vets are having such a hard time with this especially with something that shouldn't be so hard. Trust me Mike no way is EASIER than the next, I've spent long stressful hours on the phone, countless emails, and a lot of headaches to get answers to the simplest questions but eventually it paid off. As you can see even after fighting so hard it took long but I believe that it could have taken longer if I didn't make my voice heard. As for the refund please all I ask is that you take it a step further and make absolutely sure, schools may differ in their refund policy's but I guarantee you that every school is given the same information regarding overpayments. I attached this link for you to check over, My only thought is that if regardless of whether or not a refund was issued to the student, the student is still held responsible for the overpayment and this causes a financial burden for some who have left work to go to school full time or who have part time jobs and go to school, it's a shame that this should happen.

Overpayment of Benefits (Cont’d)

Bottom Line: Tuition and Fees payments are paid

to the school on behalf of the student;

overpayments for Tuition and Fees will be charged

to the student

? In the event a student does not complete a

course, the student may (or may not) receive

a refund from the school

Bottom Line: If an overpayment is charged,

the student will make repayment

arrangements with VA’s Debt Management

Center (DMC) regardless of whether or not a

refund was received from the school

This is from a training slide for school officials please take a look at it and become familiar with your schools refund policy. Keep in mind many schools are just getting used to the new gi bill and many may not know what is or isn't.

Good Luck

Copy and paste into your web browser

http://www.gibill.va.gov/Training/Presentations/Po...


MikeGuest 6 years ago

The link says a lot. I will mention this to my rep next time we talk. Thanks.


Tippysock 6 years ago

How did you find out that they overpaid the school? I just opened a letter from the VA stating that we owe them 3500.00 in overpaid benefits, our previous letter said our benefits went up 3 dollars a month..haha, so where do they figure? My hubby has only been in school since mid May...he has the post 9/11 G.I bill, and is on the Yellow Ribbon program. Any help would be great here...I am miffed!! :/


jaded777 profile image

jaded777 6 years ago Author

Hello Tippysock,

Ok what I think your saying is that you and your spouse received a letter saying that you will receive an increase but than received a letter saying because of an overpayment you now owe 3,500 back. If I'm following you correctly than I would suggest you call a gi bill claims specialist which I'm sure you already did, I'm unsure of why they would increase benefits and I don't know what your percentage is but you should ask them if the percentage (60%, 70% etc.) is correct. Unless you're receiving 100%. You don't want to end up owing more because of additional errors on their part. As far as the debt, I also received a letter from the debt department, which I then took immediately to my school just to confirm. Let's face it, the VA leaves little room for trust. If this is a recent letter than I would immediately put in for a payment plan with the debt department. When I say immediatley I mean it, you may receive the letter saying you have 30 days to put this in but they will take those payments out the following 1st of the month. So contact them too. Their number is (800) 827-0648 They will ask you to fill out a financial status report. Please read the following information so you have a heads up on what to expect. Good luck and know that there are many who are behind you as well as with you in this.

Pay By Monthly Payments

If you are unable to pay your debt in full, we will work with you to establish an acceptable monthly payment plan. To take advantage of this option, please mail a letter indicating the amount you can pay on a monthly basis along with a completed Financial Status Report.

Mail your letter and a completed Financial Status Report to the address listed above. To expedite the processing, you may fax your letter and completed Financial Status Report to (612) 970-5688.

Please be sure to complete Block 24B on the Financial Status Report to indicate the amount you propose to pay monthly. You may also send a payment with the correspondence. We will contact you and let you know if the proposed monthly payment plan is acceptable.

Pay By Monthly Offsets

If you receive a monthly benefit check from the VA and we advised you that we plan to offset the entire check amount to apply to your debt, you can request a smaller offset amount.

If the offset amount you propose can liquidate the debt within a one-year timeframe or less, you do not need to complete a Financial Status Report.

If the timeframe exceeds one year, you need to follow the same procedures as specified in the Pay By Monthly Payments section listed above.

If you have any questions, please contact us via phone (800) 827-0648 or e-mail dmc.ops@va.gov


Tippysock 6 years ago

Yes, he recieves 100% benefits. I went through all my bankk statements and added up all the payments we received inculding the book stipend and this amount does not equal the 3500.00 they are claiming..I am guessing it is an overpayment to the school, but since wee received this letter on a Saturday, and all offices are closed, apparently even the school, I have received no answeres, And my hubby works 6a.m. to 6 p.m. with only two 15 min. breaks and one 1/2 hour break today, so I wish him luck getting through to the VA on those short breaks...haha! I am trying to understand, if this is an overpayment to the school as I suspect, why can't the school simply refund the overpayment to them and be done with this mess?! Why make us pay them back, the school still pays them back the overpayment...now the VA has MADE money and we are out $3500.00!!! Why even send the monthly benefits housing and book stipend if we are going to lose it anyway? Should I just keep it in a separate account knowing the VA will eventually screw everything up....lol! I feel horrible for those that work part time and truly depend on this money to pay all their bills to go to school, then get screwed by having to send it back...worthless!!! My state representatives, governors, etc...WILL get a mouthful from me about this! I just need the details about the process of what happens to the money, as I am about to find out unfortunately, after a veteran sets up a payment plan due to their mistake. Sorry I am all over the place with this post..as you can see, I am angry and frustrated...I have been a bussiness owner for 12 years and if I treated my customers like this..I would have been out of business in 3 months!! Thanks for your response! Have a great day! :)


jaded777 profile image

jaded777 6 years ago Author

Hello Tippysock,

Unfortunately that's the truth of it. Have you tried talking to the school regarding their refund policy? As I stated to Mike, every schools refund policy is different but I provided a link to the training presentation from the VA used by school officials in their training for the post 9/11 gi bill. Again I would contact the VA certifying official at the school and tell them NOT to send the money back. They may say they cannot at first but keep in mind some schools are just starting to accept the post 9/11 and are unfamiliar with the policy. The address they have is different then the address for the debt department so if the school sends it back it will take months (hopefully sooner) to get it back. It is sad that their mistake becomes our debt but it is what it is and staying on top of the matter is the way to see this through. If the school still refuses to give a refund to you than try to explain (once again) that this will bring unnecessary debt and if they will not refund YOUR money to you then maybe they can send it directly to the debt department instead of the processing center. To be honest though I think that they will say 'we have to send the money to the address we have on file'. If the overpayment becomes our debt than isn't only right that the money the school has be refunded to us, after all it is our money now and we should be able to pay for that debt without having to put ourselves in any further debt. As a business owner myself I sympathize with you, making plans with money that you cannot rely on is a tough one especially when it comes to bills. As far as the money goes try and keep vigilant on where they are with the process. If the school sent the money back make sure to get the check number and poc's name and number. Your going to be in for a wait. If they didn't send it back yet bring the presentation slide to them and make the arrangements for a refund. Well good luck and if you have any further questions please feel free to comment. :)


Terry 5 years ago

Thank you so much for the information. The VA just overpaid my school, and I immediately got suspicious when the finance department emailed me notifying me of a 'credit tuition balance'. I asked them to send me the refund directly, because I know the VA will come hunting me down for it.

Good save!


jaded777 profile image

jaded777 5 years ago Author

You're very welcome, glad that this info helped. Good Luck.


jaded777 profile image

jaded777 5 years ago Author

Hey everyone just wanted to touch base and post an update which was posted on the VA website on June 20th 2011 regarding any debt,

"If you decrease your training time (i.e. drop classes, leave school, etc.) and we have already processed a payment for tuition and fees, an overpayment will occur. When the School Certifying Official (SCO) notifies us of a change, a debt is created against your account. The school wil issue any refunds in accordance with their internal policy, which may not fully cover the debt with the VA. If the amount refunded by the school does not satisfy the debt, you are responsible for the remainder.

•If the school refunds money directly to the VA, we will credit your account any amount the school refunds.

•If they refund money directly to you, you must clear the debt with us.

A decrease in your credit hours could also result in changes to your housing allowance and books & supplies stipend. If VA has already issued you a payment for the term a debt will be created on your account.

You are responsible for keeping track of your tuition and fee account balance and payments. Vist your schools's financial office regularly to review your account, ensure the charges are correct and that payments and refunds are processed correctly, contact your SCO to ensure the certification information they send to us matches your schedule.

Please contact the Debt Management Center if you receive a debt notification from the VA. The Debt Management Center is the authoritative source of debt collection information. You can reach them at 800 827-0648 or e-mail them at dmc.ops@va.gov."

For more info or any other questions copy and paste the following link in your browser

http://www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/debt_info.html


Jenni Marie 4 years ago

Jaded777 could you send me an email? I'm going through the same thing and I'm just getting the run around =/ My State VA Rep sent out an NOD and Debt Management just took out a couple hundred dollars after the letter was received and I'm currently awaiting my appeal. Debt Management is telling me I just send a wavier and the NOD does not apply to them. Soooo lost !! Jennimarie11505@aol.com


jaded777 profile image

jaded777 4 years ago Author

Hello Jenni,

Sorry to hear about you getting the old run around. Take a breather and we'll find a way to work this. Ok so first, I'm a little confused about the state rep sending out your NOD this is the first I've heard of it being done. New info is always welcomed. Second are you still in school because if you call debt management asap they will set up a payment arrangement right then and there. I've had te pleasure of speaking with some veterans who have updated me on how the call lines are working and this is an improvement. You probably already have their number but I'll post it again ....800 827-0648. The NOD does not apply to them because they are only responsible for collecting the debt but as they are waiting for the waiver to go through they can work with you. Call them if you haven't done so already, even if your not enrolled in school they will set up a payment plan that will be comfortable for you monthly. Have you called the VA education number and verified that the letter was received? If it has than be patient because it's going to take some time. This is a ard time for most veterans going to school because often times they have no one to turn to and every where theyturn to for hep seem to tell them to hurry up and wait. You are not alone and know that this will be resolved, it's just going to take some time. I have sent an email to the address you have provided but if you could answer this post it would be greatly appreciated as your eperience can help others in the same position. Thanks Jenni hope to hear from you.


Mike 4 years ago

Same thing happen to me however I work so hard more than 15 hours a day, and have a wife who is from Philippines and I have been working her papers and have a daughter. Sir I am exhausted. I have bills out the wazoo and now I got a letter that I am in debt to the Treasury? What happens now I cannot pay 6,000 dollars back, do I go to jail?? Do they doc my pay like they say they will do. Man I feel like a sucker!!! I thought I payed for the GI Bill??? I was promised BAH but never got it. I am 3 months from completing my associates now I am paying for my school with Staford loan because the VA could not hang anymore for an unknown overpayment that I still cannot figure out because of like you said the math just does not calculate???? Bro I need help. I never been on here before but I got desperate, my family needs me, I gotta stay stable financially, that is why I go to school to better myself. My e-mail is mim_0715@hotmail.com let me know man I do not have time for run rounds any more.


Belinda 4 years ago

I am confused and upset. I am retired military attending UOP using my 911 GI Bill. I have talked to UOP VA and the Federal VA about this, but receive no truthful answer. The courses are 6 weeks long, but the UOP VA certifying official only certifies me for 5 weeks, which makes a difference in my housing allowance. I am being told that's just the way it is. Are there any other veterans out there that have similar issues with UOP. I also received a debt reference a VA overpayment to UOP and the VA debt department tells me that I have to retrieve the money from the school. Does that make sense, since I am not involved in the payments transaction between VA and UOP. I am ready to talk to my congressmen since I am not getting any clear answers and think this is a scam.


jaded777 profile image

jaded777 4 years ago Author

Hello Mike,

I apologize for taking so long to respond. First thanks for posting there is no shame in reaching out to others. So I'm a little concerned as to why you haven't received any bah considering how far you are in your studies. Just to make sure, did you opt out of the old Montgomery gi bill and sign up for the post 9/11? This question may seem off but it never hurts to ask. Let's not jump the gun on jail time, I would definitely suggest contacting the number on the letter you received and ask how you could work out an installment agreement. If it is the VA then call the number I listed previously and work that out ASAP. If it is for something like the IRS or something like that they will also work out a payment agreement. Call the education department and find out what they have to say about your bah and also contact the va administration in your area they may be able to help you with your other needs. Please post and let me know what happened so we can find new ways to maneuver if these don't work.


jaded777 profile image

jaded777 4 years ago Author

Hi Belinda,

Ok so when you say UOP VA I assume your talking about the University of Phoenix VA right? If that's the case then you have the opportunity to file a grievance because they are not certifying you for the correct number of weeks, the following link is to the grievance form you will fax this to 602-366-3404:

http://cdn.assets-phoenix.net/content/dam/altcloud...

As for the overpayment please follow what I have previously posted such as the NOD, calling the debt dept to work out a payment plan so that you won't lose that much because if you don't they will take it all. And no, collecting the money from your school is not uncommon. You can request a refund of the overpayment. I have posted some great info previously about that straight from the va training manual found in a comment posted to MikeGuest, you can print that up and show it to the UOP va rep. Sometimes they will give you a hassle either way prepare for a small fight and be patient. I know that may seem hard now but it will pay off. Also make sure to put the information that you filed a grievance against the UOP va for incorrect certification in your nod they may pay you back for it, this isn't a guarantee just a hopeful thought. Good luck and please post again.


Cori 4 years ago

Wow so much of this is hitting close to home. Here is a new one tho I handle all my daughters education issues good thing because the money she is using that her dad tranferred to her has turned into a nightmare. The first year 2010 not problems then all the changes went into effect October 2011, she was grandfathered in under the tuition fee cap because she attends a university here in Michigan, well apparently not everything grandfathered in. Now the VA only is payer of last resort and her school has been submitting amendments after amendments which I'm sure has everyone reviewing her case totally confused. Getting to the point, she just got a letter from the VA saying they overpaid her, the next day we got a CC letter that her University received that they the university owe the VA money the school already paid back the VA but now they say my daughter owes them money that they had to pay to the VA. This was an overpayment in 2011 apparently and its now October of 2012. We never saw a refund for the apparent over payment so trying to get some information as to how they can say she owes them the school the money that the VA said the school owed. Very confused and frustrated. Have spent the last two years learning this program and even having to educate the SCO at the school of all the recent changes. Any info would be great.


jaded777 profile image

jaded777 4 years ago Author

Hello Cori,

I apologize for the long wait, just getting over this "frankenstorm" As you know the changes made to the post 9/11 have brought about plenty of frustration and confusion. If your daughter does not receive 100% she of course was among the many who became affected by this change and to add to that if she recieves financial aid and state funding then the VA will def. become a last resort payment after all aid is paid. This is what many vets find disturbing. If these benefits were earned through service how can they change it so that instead of being the main source of tuition help it becomes the last resort? As for the debt well it's time to make some calls. First to the school, if they sent the money back they should have a transfer number or check number. Second, if you haven't already done so start that NOD. Be as detailed as possible. If she attended the whole quarter or semester depending on her school than she shouldn't owe the school at all. It's going to take some patience and yes a few four letter words (in private of course) :) But know that you are not alone and this will get straightened out. Good Luck and keep us posted.


Jona Welsh 3 years ago

I have a quick question for you... if you happen to know the answer.. I am attending a community college in california and was approved for the Board of Governors Fee waiver for the spring semester. However, they did not award the money to my school account. A couple weeks ago the administration at the school called me and let me know that I was being refunded $654, which is pretty much my entire tuition for the last semester. What I am worried about and would like to know is if this $654 is going to be sent back to the VA or if is going to be sent to me?

thanks!!


Veronica Webb 3 years ago

I am currently fighting with the VA to release my tax refund. I too was given my eligibility letter for Post 9/11 and I received benefits for almost a year, then they stopped suddenly. Apparently, it was an administrative error on their part. Well, supposedly they sent letters to me and I never received them so they offset my taxes with even a letter telling me they would do so. When I initially filed my NOD they said that it was late when I called, but when I called back a different rep told me that it was filed in time. Now I'm still short 7500$ and no way of knowing what's going on, and no one will tell me anything when I call Dept management center. Then to add insult to injury I don't even know if they will take next years refund either! Now I'm at a loss, a single mother and almost homeless. Thanks USA for treating veterans with such respect!


Mercedes. D 3 years ago

Wow, first of i want to thank you ( Jaded777) for helping out all vets with these unbelievable v.a issues. I just filed my claim for my post 9/11 and i i am hoping i don't have to go through all of these inconvenient circumstances and/or situations.


alti4 3 years ago

Ok people I have a doozy for you.

I received a letter in the mail from the DVA stating that my educational benefits could not be transferred to my wife and I had to pay a years worth of benefits back.When I elected to transfer my benefits in Dec 2011. I never received anything from the service rep stating that I had to submit retention paperwork to get approved because I was already on orders to retire. Instead my request was approved and forwarded to the DVA, whom also approved my request and sent my wife a certificate of eligibilty letter to use the benefits.She has received letters from the DVA from April 17, 2012 to present stating that she was eligible to use the benefits. My milconnect status has always said approved since 2011 up to about August 2011. I witnessed this due to the fact I was thinking about revolking some of the months from on of my dependents. Then when I got the letter from the DVA on September 27, 2013 I check again and it siad that my request was denied because I did not meet the service time requirment which is understandable after asking people more questions. I notice the status change was initiated on 26 Sept 2013 and I received another eligibilty letter dated for the same day and received one on the 24 September 2013. When I was clearing for retirement I originally ask an education rep before I signed up was I good to go to sign up for the transfer of my benefits and she told me yes. So I proceeded with the transfer process. From my understnading when I applied my request should have been rejected with the same reason that is states now. And I would have had to put in a extension paperwork need to reenlist or extend. Instead my request was approved and forwarded to the DVA where again they approved it. And the Va should have sent a letter as well.

See eamil Below from DVA September 26,2013:

The Buffalo VA Regional Office sent an email concerning your Post 9/11 GI

Bill transfer and the associated service obligation. When you elected to

transfer your Post 9/11 GI Bill to your eligible dependents, your Career

Counselor assigned you a service obligation of 20151215; however, after

reviewing your file it was determined your service obligation should have

been 20121214. You retired from the Army 20120331, which was prior to

fulfilling that entire obligation. Since you didn't fulfill the service

obligation, your Post 9/11 GI Bill transfer request has been rejected. Your

dependents are not eligible to use Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits and may be

subject to recoupment by the Department of Veterans Affairs if benefits have

already been paid. The Post 9/11 GI Bill is still yours to use; however,

your dependents are not eligible to use benefits since the service

obligation was not fulfilled.

She is stating that they sent a email, I suppose why I was denied my request in the past. But there is no way I received email because they approved it and sent a certificate of eligibilty. If you look at my certificate of eligibilty that I have attached it has my retirement date on it, clearly they knew I did not qualify and the request was processed. Nevertheless, my career counselor did not assign me an obligation date because I already had retirement orders, working dd214 and was clearing and my file probably was not reviewed by the DVA because they would have saw that I had a retirement date which is on the COE. I have sent her a email back asking her for the date and who sent me the email but I have not heard from her.From my understnading according to the army HRC website the Va is responsible for ensuring Service Members is fulfilling their service obligation for Post 9/11 GI Bill before awarding the dependent a va COE and benefits payments

This is a 25,000 dollar bill that was no fault of mine. So far I have sent emails to ARBA, DMDC( Service Rep), and the lady that told me that someone sent me a email. I wish I could find out who was the approving authority for my benefits at the time. So now I sit here while the government is shut down and wait for someone to respond. I have wrote my appeal letter to the VA and will get that out tommorow. Does anybody know where I can obtain the financial status report? That should be easy because My wife and I do not have income coming since the payments for school will stop. Oh yeah and what is crazy... When we received the disappointing letter the VA was still money in her account. someone clearly does not know what they are doing and it is causing Vets a lot of grief. If you look at the copy of the email buffalo sent me. she tells me that i should retired in 20151215, then she says 20121214. the 2012 date would still put me short. I found out now that I had to do 3 extra years, But it still is no excuse for my request to make that far without somebody catching. The good thing is. I hae every eligibility letter they sent to my house all the way up to the 26 September. I can clearly see just from the email somebody is trying to cover up a mistake. Hopefully they will realize that it was their fault and not mine or my wifes. any suggestions let me know Thanks... alti815@gmail.com


Tye 3 years ago

Please someone contact me ASAP. I do not have funds to repay the VA and I don't quite understand how they over paid my school. The letter simply lists the amounts of overpayment to total over $2,000, yet they do not list what I should have expected. Additionally, it starts off mentioning something about "changes" to my "Chapter 33 information," but what changes were made and why? Why didn't they inform me of this prior to making an "over payment" which they expect me to pay them? I'm confused and I don't know what to do. They already took forever just to approve my disability claim and even after seeing a board, they still are now rewarding me properly for my complications sustained. Then they denied me funds for my household goods; most of my items arrived broken and damaged, and some were missing. One of my tables was completely shattered and the replacement alone was $300 but I received well over $1,000 worth of damage to my personal property that they packed, stored, then delivered. All they gave me was about $350. Now here I go again fighting for what I earned as veteran, while inmates in the federal prisons are receiving free education and a whole lot of other incentives. This is absurd. Please someone HELP. My email is professional1_99@hotmail.com. Thank you in advance.


Natasha 19 months ago

I have been going through most of the same issues as these veterans. But after all these long phone calls, emails my waiver was approved. There was three different amounts applied to the waiver. Tuition and payments, MGIB kicker, Monthly housing allowance, and book stipend. Because I submitted the waiver after the 30 days (they were unable to locate the one submitted before the 30 day timeline) I had to make payment arrangements in the amount of $235 monthly after having 2 months of housing allowance withheld. My question is will I get any of the money I paid into this debt back? Thank you for all your help and assurance

NJ


jaded777 profile image

jaded777 19 months ago Author

Hi Natasha,

Thank you for reaching out and thank you for your service. It's a shame that even after 6 years there are still veterans having this same issue despite all the improvements the VA has made to the post 9/11. However, it is a very good thing that your waiver has been approved. The great thing is that you're no longer in debt and once the waiver is fully processed, you will get back everything you've paid in addition to what they withheld so long as the fault was their own. This was what happened with me so make sure to call and speak to a representative about any money you're due. I had to call several times to tell them I was due money and after it was fully processed it showed the balance due to me. But at bare minimu I do believe you are owed a least what you paid. Good luck and if you need any further assistance please don't hesitate to contact me.


AndreaKokinda profile image

AndreaKokinda 12 months ago from Augusta, GA

I don' t think the VA will ever have these issues completely fixed. Over the past 10 years they have made it so much more difficult to speak to someone who actually has any idea what is going on with your account. I have had some luck using the GI Bill Help section of the VA website: https://gibill.custhelp.com/app/utils/login_form/r... I wouldn't recommend this method if you need immediate assistance. My worry now is that University of Phoenix just informed me that their VA benefits processing has just changed and I am just a couple of months shy of my program completion. I can't even imagine the pain I'm going to have to endure with these new changes.

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