The Department of Veterans Affairs, which recently announced an extension of home loan forbearance (delaying collections until June 30), has now added to the list of available financial help. Due to the pandemic, debt collection of VA benefits overpayments and medical copayments has been suspended until Sept. 30 for those debts incurred after April 1, 2020.

The VA will notify veterans of the status of their debt, as well as any options, but while you wait on that communication from the VA, the particulars can be found online. Go to www.va.gov/manage-va-debt/ and sign in with your DS Logon, My HealtheVet or ID.me accounts. If you don’t have an ID.me, you can create one right there on the page.

Once logged in, you’ll be able to check on debts for GI Bill or other education benefits, disability compensation or veteran pension. You’ll find information on the amount and status of the debt, what you can do about it and any letters the VA has sent you.

Once the payment suspension is lifted at the end of September, repayment will be made as painless as possible. You’ll have four choices: 1) monthly offsets (they hold back a certain amount of your benefits), 2) small monthly payments (if you don’t get benefits), 3) you make a compromise offer and pay a smaller amount, or 4) the debt is waived. For the last two, you’ll need to fill out a Financial Status Report (VA Form 5655).

When you visit the debt management page, be sure to click the plus (+) signs. They open up much more information under each question.

If you need help from the Debt Management Center, call them weekdays at 800-827-0648, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.

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