Urgent 5/5/20 Deadline & Other COVID-19 News for Veterans

During this unprecedented time, there are a lot of changes at the federal and state levels to help people manage their finances, work, and insurance.

This blog has important information for Veterans. Please note that this information is changing frequently, so please make sure to get the latest information directly from these resources.

Economic Impact Payments

If you receive VA disability or pension benefits, you’ll automatically receive a $1,200 stimulus check from the IRS, even if you don’t file tax returns. You don’t need to do anything to receive your check. See our previous blog on the economic impact payments. You can track your payment on IRS.gov.

But, if you have 1 or more dependent children under the age of 17 you may qualify for an extra $500 per child. 

Note: Be careful of scams. Unless you’ve asked to be contacted, the IRS will never contact you by email, phone, or text to ask for personal or financial information or to open an attachment or visit a website link.

Here are some other pieces of key information for Veterans, shared from the VA: 

Will my COVID-19 stimulus check lower my VA payments?

No. The VA won’t count any money received as part of the COVID-19 stimulus package as income for VA pension or parent Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) beneficiaries. This means your payments will stay the same.

What if I can’t pay my existing VA debt?

As of 4/3/20, the VA has taken action to stop collection on newly established Veteran debt and make it easier for Veterans to request extended repayment plans and address other needs during this time. Check back with the VA regularly for updates.

If you have VA debt that the VA has already transferred to the U.S. Department of the Treasury (DOT)

The DOT won’t take any more action on your debt during this time. This means they won’t add more fees or interest, reduce or withhold part of your federal or state payments or job wages to pay your debt, or refer your account to a private collection agency.

If you have VA debt being managed by VA

They will work with you to decide whether you’d prefer the VA to temporarily stop collection action, including stopping the addition of fees and interest, during this time or extend your repayment terms.

  • If you have debt related to VA benefits, contact the VA Debt Management Center at 800-827-0648 to make arrangements.
  • If you have debt related to VA health care, contact the Health Resource Center at 888-827-4817 to make arrangements. Be sure to have your account number ready.

What if I’m having trouble paying my VA-backed home loan during this time?

If you’re experiencing financial hardship directly or indirectly caused by COVID-19, you can request forbearance from your mortgage company. This allows you to delay payments on your loan for a period of time. To request forbearance, contact the mortgage company that collects your payments. Learn more about how the VA can help you avoid foreclosure.

Will I still have to pay my VA copays during the pandemic?

As of 4/6/20, the VA has stopped sending monthly copay billing statements for all Veterans. This means you won’t receive a bill for any copays during this time. Check with the VA regularly for updates.

If I’ve lost my job, can I get help with my VA copays over time?

Yes. If you're struggling because of life situations like losing your job, having a sudden decrease in income, or having an increase in out-of-pocket family health care expenses, the VA can help. You can request financial hardship assistance to manage your current VA copay debt or request an exemption from future copays. You can also call our Health Resource Center at 866-400-1238 to talk to someone about your options.

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Monica Bryant