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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
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I am a 62 yr old vet and I am getting the screws by the VA

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I am a 62 yr old vet and I am getting the screws by the VA hosp. I have had no income since 2008 at which time I filled out VA financial status report which told I had no income. I was never ask to fill out another since until the last 3 months I have been ask to fill out 3 of them. A month before my SS was to begin I was sent a notice from SS that another Federal agency may attach my check because of a debt and gave me a phone #. I called to discover it was the VA hosp who claimed that I owed $531 in copay for 2008 and 2009. I said that had to be a mistake because I had no income for those years. I was told that I had not filed a financial status report in those yrs. so I had been assigned a copay. I have never been told of this at all. I have never been sent a bill. I can't even find out what the copays are for. The first man I spoke with said it was really no problem that I only had to call the means dept and they would help me straighten it out but in the mean time I had to set up a payment plan of a min. of $50 a mon. or my SS could be attached for the full amount owed so I set it up. I got my 3rd SS check yesterday and they had taken out $173 for the VA after I have already sent in $50 twice. So I talked to the means dept. and was told that Because I didn't fill out the forms in 2009 or 2010 I owed the copay and nothing could change that. I went ahead and paid off my bill of $450 but my refund of my $173 will not get back to me for 6 to 8 weeks and by then they will take out another 173 because the Va can't get the message to the SS office for 6 to 8 weeks that the bill is paid. Also I recieved another bill from the va that says I owe $1595 for copays and it is to be offset from my SS. I called the # XXXXX was given to find out nothing. So now my life is left in limbo because the VA can't keep up with their records. I have been on the verge of sueing the VA for a while now because I have been waiting for 19 months for an app with pain management for severe back, neck, and arm pain that has me disabled. Now they are pulling this on me. Please tell me if I have any recourse on either of these issues. Thanks Dave
You do have recourse in the form of filing your appeal through the VA. Before you can go to court against them, you have to exhaust all administrative remedies under the federal rules, so this means filing an appeal through the VA Board of Veterans Appeals. If you provide proof of no income in the years you did not file, then the chances are more likely than not that the Appeals Board will reverse the decision and refund your money. I am afraid though you will have to file your appeal with the board of appeals before you can file any suits. See Board of Veterans Appeals.

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Law Educator, Esq. and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks so much, you gave me what I needed to know.

Thank you and Happy New Year.
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