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VA COVID-19 debt relief options for Veterans and dependents

On April 1, 2020, we paused collection on all new VA benefit debt. We also offered a pause on collection for debts created before April 1, 2020, and are offering repayment plans.

We've now extended this debt relief through September 30, 2021. Our goal is to do to all we can to help Veterans and their families get through this COVID-19 pandemic. Keep reading to learn about your debt relief options during this time.

What this collection pause means for you

Yes.

We can help you set up a repayment plan that works for your situation. This will allow you to repay the debt in smaller monthly amounts over time.

Or if you choose, you can pay the debt in full.

Learn more about how to pay and manage your VA debt

 COVID-19 debt relief options for VA benefit debts include:

  • An automatic pause on debt collection for new VA benefit debts issued after April 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021. This means you don't have to make payments until after September 30, 2021. And we won't add late fees or interest—or take other collection actions—during this time. 
  • Repayment plan. You can request a repayment plan. This will allow you to repay the debt in smaller monthly amounts over time.
  • Compromise offer. If you don't think you can repay the full debt even over time, you can request a compromise offer. This means you offer a lesser one-time lump sum amount as full payment of the debt. If we accept your offer, you'll have to pay the one-time amount within 30 days.
  • Waiver. If you don't think you can repay the debt, you can request a debt waiver. This means you ask us to forgive (or "waive") all or part of the debt. If we accept your request, you won’t have to pay the amount waived. 

We can help you set up a repayment plan or adjust your current repayment plan. We'll work with you to develop a plan that works for your situation.

No. We've stopped adding late fees and interest while debt collection is paused.

Contact our Debt Management Center by phone, online, or by mail. We'll help you set up a plan that works for your situation.

Contact us in 1 of these 3 ways:

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Debt Management Center
P.O. Box 11930
St. Paul, MN 55111

We’re canceling copayments for all medical care and pharmacy services received April 6, 2020, through September 30, 2021. We'll refund the payments that Veterans have already made during this period.

If you need help with debt related to VA medical care and pharmacy services, call our Health Resource Center at 866-400-1238 (TTY: 711). We're here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.

Call our VA benefits hotline at 800-827-1000. Ask the representative to connect you with your regional office. We're here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET. We'll work with you to discuss your options.

If you have hearing loss, call TTY: 711.

We've paused collection on new benefit debts created from April 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021.

The Treasury Offset Program (TOP) will not offset your debt while collection is paused through September 30, 2021. This means they won't keep part or all of your federal or state payments or benefits to collect on the debt during this time.

Note: If your debt has been referred only to TOP and not to the Treasury Department's Cross-Servicing Program (CS), we may be able to accept your payments at VA.

The Cross-Servicing Program (CS) will pause collection on your debt through September 30, 2021.

If you have an existing payment arrangement with this program, that arrangement will automatically continue. If you want to change your arrangement, call the Cross-Servicing Program call center at 888-826-3127. Agents are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET.

If you have hearing loss, call 800-877-8339 to reach a communications assistant.

Explanation of notices you may get from VA

Debts created after April 1, 2020, are automatically paused.  We're also pausing all Debt Management Center collection letters until at least October 2021

During this time, Veterans will receive informational letters from the Debt Management Center. These letters will show the Veteran's current debt amount and available options. 

Because we've paused collection on all new debts created after April 1, 2020, you don't need to do anything at this time.

Even though we've paused collection, we still want to keep you informed about your debt and relief options. 

We'll continue to send you information about the following:

  • Your current debt balances
  • Confirmation that we've paused collection on your debt through September 30, 2021
  • Available debt relief options, such as a repayment plan, compromise offer, or waiver 
  • How to contact us

First, please know that you don't need to take any action on this letter.  We won't add late fees or interest—or take other collection actions—while collection is paused through September 30, 2021.

We send informational letters to keep you informed and give you options. You don't need to wait until September 30, 2021, to take advantage of debt relief options, such as a repayment plan, compromise, or waiver.

If you want to request a debt relief option now, call our Debt Management Center at 800-827-0648 (or 1-612-713-6415 from overseas). We’re here Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET.

If you have hearing loss, call TTY: 711.

We send informational letters to keep you informed and give you options. You don't need to wait until September 30, 2021, to take advantage of debt relief options, such as a repayment plan, compromise, or waiver.

If you want to request a debt relief option now, call our Debt Management Center at 800-827-0648 (or 1-612-713-6415 from overseas). We’re here Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET.

If you have hearing loss, call TTY: 711.

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