I am a female physician at the VA. When I was hired in 2010, as part of my compensation package, I was offered a base salary, (the lowest salaried physician at the entire VA), along with market pay, and the recruitment
incentive. (I am board-certified physician with years of experience). Essentially, verbally, I was told that my total compensation would not go down in the future. The incentive continued for years. Late, 2015, I am notified by HR, that my recruitment incentive had to stop and that I owed a debt, per DFAS
of about $50k due to recruitment incentive not stopping in 2012 as should have. I was not aware of any overpayment until I was notified late 2015. In my personeel file, I had signed a paper that states the recruitment incentive stops after 2 years. (However, due to what I had been discussed in my sign on interview, I understood that it continued indefinitely.) HR at my institution accepts responsibility saying that it was an error on their part that my incentive should have been stopped after 2 years. HR says they will help me request a waiver of the debt since it was their fault the incentive was not stopped and that I was overpaid. Incidentally, this also happened to 2 others at my institution. There was one other physician who has the exact same story as I do; but sadly, she passed away. I don't know the name of the other. Do I have any recourse? By the way, even with the incentive, after almost 6 years of service, I would guess, I am still the lowest paid physician at the VA. (My performance reviews have always been very good to excellent). Do I have any chance of getting a waiver of my debt? Can you suggest a lawyer to help me write the letter to DFAS requesting the waiver? HR is offering to help me, but I feel that with this amount of money on the line, I need profession help.