Borne the Battle

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The director and director of operations for the VA's Debt Management Center break down how they are executing the president's directive to suspend or extend all VA Debt Collection due to COVID-19.

Show Notes

This week's Borne the Battle podcast breaks down how the VA Debt Management Center is executing the president's directive to suspend or extend all VA Debt Collection due to coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Joseph Schmitt is director of VA's Debt Management Center and Jason Hoge is director of operations. The recently answered questions virtually from the House Veterans Affairs Committee Disability and Mortuary Affairs Subcommittee. The focus was how Veterans are getting debt management relief from VA due to COVID-19. Much of the questions focused on how Veterans receive communication from VA.
VA announced April 3 a number of actions to provide Veterans with financial, benefits and claims help amid VA's COVID-19 response.

The financial relief actions include the following until further notice:
  • Suspending all actions on Veteran debts under the jurisdiction of the Treasury Department.
  • Suspending collection action or extending repayment terms on preexisting VA debts, as the Veteran prefers.
For benefit debts, Veterans can contact the VA Debt Management Center at 1-800-827-0648 to make arrangements.

For health care debts, Veterans can contact the Health Resource Center at 1-888-827-4817 to make arrangements.

The benefits and claims relief actions include giving Veterans the option to submit their paperwork late for the following actions:
  • perfecting claims
  • challenging adverse decisions
  • submitting Notices of Disagreement
  • submitting Substantive Appeals
  • responding to Supplemental Statements of the Case
Veterans requesting claim extensions can simply submit them with any late-filed paperwork and Veterans do not have to proactively request an extension in advance. For added convenience, VA will also accept typed/digital signatures instead of wet signatures on its forms. Those with questions can call 1-800-827-1000.

In Addition

For Veterans who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and need immediate action on their appeals, as opposed to a filing extension, the Board of Veterans' Appeals will Advance their appeal on Docket (AOD). Click here to find out how to file for AOD and what documentation is required.

Borne the Battle Veteran of the Week:

What is Borne the Battle?

Hosted by Marine Corps Veteran Tanner Iskra, Borne the Battle recognizes each battle, challenge, and sacrifice our Veterans endure during and after their service, as well as spotlighting important resources, offices, and benefits VA offers our Veterans.

The Department of Veterans Affairs does not endorse or officially sanction any entities that may be discussed in this podcast, nor any media, products or services they may provide.