Thousands of veterans, who took the Emergency GI Bill Advance last fall, recently found that the Department of Veterans Affairs Debt Management Center (DMC) had mistakenly withheld their entire benefit payment for March. The VA acknowledged that there had been a glitch which incorrectly withheld more of their benefit than it was supposed to and that vets don’t need to do anything to get their refund payment.
According to the VA DMC the U.S. Treasury began mailing hard copy refund checks to veterans on April 6, and vets who are due a refund should expect to get their refund checks via snail-mail by April 13, 2010. But there is another snag…
While talking to the DMC rep I found out there is yet another ”snag” in the process; the checks being sent by Treasury are automatically defaulted to refund based on the default recoupment rate of $750 a month. This means the refund checks may not reflect the amount veterans requested to have withheld, or in other words many vets will get less refunded than they should.
For example, a veteran who is eligible for $2,000 a month in GI Bill benefits, who requested to have only $250 withheld from his or her benefits each month, will likely get a refund check of only $1250. This means that the vet is still short $500.
Any veterans who receive the incorrect refund must call the VA Debt Management Center at 1-800-827-0648 to get the proper refund amount.
Additional Insider Tips from DMC:
- If you have received notice from VA DMC that your payment plan was accepted, you do not need to call the VA DMC to “reset” your payment plan – it should be fine for your April payament (May 1).
- If you made arrangements with VA DMC and had your entire March benefit payment mistakenly withheld, and you do not get your refund check by April 13, 2010, you may want to call the DMC to have them verify your refund check is in process.
Stay tuned as this continues to play out…