Incarcerated Veterans Benefits
Scroll down to learn more about how incarceration may affect payment of veterans benefits as well as criteria for loss of payments.
Loss of Payments
The beneficiary is incarcerated
The incarceration must be in a federal, state or local penal institution
Penal institution ran by a private entity under contract with the federal, state, or local government
The incarceration must be in excess of 60 days
And the incarceration must be as a result of a conviction of a felony (see penal code of felony conviction)
Incarceration of a service connected veteran does not void his or her service connected percentage
Only the amount of payment to the veteran changes
The complete rating payment may be resumed upon release from prison
Payments to family members will also be reduced
Any percentage paid to a veteran will be reduced to the 10% rate. The family may be apportioned that 10% payment.
It is very important that the VA be notified promptly of the commencement of incarceration and of any desire for the family to request an apportionment of the beneficiary’s benefits. Once the Veteran is released, the veteran or family member may request a reinstatement of the benefits.
If an overpayment was created, the VA will need to retain payment until all money owed is paid.
Request for Waiver of Overpayment
A waiver of overpayment may be requested. There is no deadline to dispute a debt; however there is a 180 day limit to request a waiver.
When a debt is created, VA (Pension Management Center) will send out a notice. The amount of the benefit will not be changed if the waiver is requested within 30 days of the notice. After the 30 days has lapsed, the beneficiary may still request a waiver but their benefit may then be affected while the request is made.
A waiver is considered when requested within 30 days of receiving the notice of overpayment.
Waiver of Overpayment
The alleged debtor may:
Dispute the existence or amount of the debt
Request waiver of collection of the debt
Request a hearing on the waiver requested
Appeal the decision
It is important to know that although Pension Management Center is the department that issues the debt notice, it is the Debt Management Center department in charge of taking payments or reimbursing any monies owed to beneficiary. These two departments rarely talk to each other.
Therefore, it is important to send the request to both departments.