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Who Is Responsible to Pay Back an Overpayment?

Author Ron Kness is no longer in the service.

Q: My son is receiving DEA benefits. Due to a hardship with his family, he has to drop out and move back to Maine. If the VA says he was overpaid, who is responsible for repaying the VA, me or my son? He’s eligible through me, as I am the veteran.

A: Chapter 35, the Survivors’ and Dependent’s Education Assistance Program application is in his name, so he will be the responsible party. Whether he ends up in an overpayment situation or not will depend on a couple of things. First, the VA authorizes a one-time drop of up to six credits without getting into an overpayment situation regardless of the reason. Second, if the VA rules the reason he had to drop out of school as mitigating circumstances (circumstances beyond his control), then they may not try to get repaid back from him anyway. However, if they decide the reasons were non-mitigating, then he most likely would have to pay back for the number of credits he was taking minus the six for the one-time drop.

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