Monday, February 22, 2010

VA Error Recoups more Trouble than Help

by 13 Stoploss

I knew this was going to happen, but I wasn’t left with much of a choice. Did I want the quick cash to buy groceries and pay bills, or would I wait for an indeterminate amount of time, unknown to everyone, for when the VA would finally kick start their BAH payment to me for the Post-9/11 GI Bill?

Of course I took the cash—I had bills to pay and mouths to feed.

And, of course the VA wants the money on their own terms—the terms that would pretty much screw me over. You see, with my $2152 per month, I’ve finally been able to get back on my feet. Bills are current, food is in the fridge, one car paid off, and most importantly, the credit card is a mere 1/5th of October’s balance. Yeah, we’ve skimped on some luxuries (though the stoploss backpay afforded me a few luxuries as recompense), but only because we had a plan.

What was the plan?

In paying off the credit card by April, we could save roughly $800 a month through the summer, which would allow us to renew our yearly car and home insurance, and other COBRA medical fees, while not depleting our very, very modest savings. This would save us hundreds of dollars a month. There’s more, but there’s also a very good reason why Mrs. 13 is the family CFO…

Anyway, the VA wants their money back. For very good reasons, I thought the VA had already taken it back. Instead of receiving money for September and October when I was in school, in November, I got one partial month’s worth of money. I thought this reflected the VA taking the money that was owed them—not the full $3000 since the VA owed me $1000 for books plus the money from partial September and full October.

According to news reports, VA is sending out a letter to those who took the money and ran. VA wants $750 a month for four months. I suppose I can shoulder that more than other places of the country where BAH is less than my $2152, but that pretty much leaves with me nothing, absolutely NOTHING after bills. Maybe I should be thankful that I can at least pay my bills, but I’m not. Instead, I want to know what happened to my $1000 for books? But I also have idea, too, since the VA is supposed to be willing to consider individual circumstances. And yes, this is a challenge, VA. You figure out what happened to my 2009-2010 $1000 for books, and then you can take the $1200 that was taken from my paycheck in the first twelve months of my enlistment for the Montgomery GI Bill. That should leave me with $800 remaining debt, a much more stomachable fee for your screwup…


KathyB said...

My college notebooks are full of song lyrics for a reason - a little Doors riff is appropriate here

My wild love went ridin'
She rode all the day
She wrote to the devil
And asked him to pay
The devil was wiser
It's time to repent
He asked her to give back
The money she spent

It won't be quick or easy but you will work it out. Static and fuzz.

Pattie Matheson said...

I like your solution a lot!