Earlier this week I wrote that the Department of Veterans Affairs may soon change their debt collecting practices in a way that could cause harm to veterans. Read ‘Policy May Hurt Vets’ for more details.
On April 19, Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Mark Begich (D-AK) sent a letter, similar to the one sent by the National Association of College and University Business Officers. In their letter Senators Tester and Begich ”strongly urged” Secretary Shinseki to reconsider the plan to return to the debt recoupment policy, which they belive would likely cause hardship for many veterans and force colleges to become debt collectors for the VA.
The letter also states that while the Senators understand the need to collect veteran’s debts, they don’t agree with the VA’s plan for doing so. “Withholding tuition benefits to recoup these debts would place veterans at undue risk or financial hardship and jeopardize their ability to gain the skills and education they need to compete in an increasingly competitive job market.”
As stated in the original article, Veterans should be aware of this proposal because the indebtedness process can cause delays in future benefit payments, block class enrollments, and result in insufficient benefits to cover the cost of their educations. In addition, the financial impact could force veterans to consider dropping out entirely.