VA Consolidates Procedures for Processing Return Payments
January 3, 2012
In response to concerns raised by NACUBO and other stakeholders, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is simplifying the process of returning Post-9/11 GI Bill payments. Beginning January 1, institutions are required to submit return payments to the VA's Debt Management Center (DMC) in Minnesota. At the same time, the Regional Processing Office in Muskogee, Oklahoma will take on all responsibility for applying amounts returned to the correct accounts. Previously, institutions returned payments to their Regional Processing Office and many experienced repeated problems with inaccurate and slow processing of payments.
In a December 28 letter, the VA explained that under the previous method, institutions often had to contact multiple VA offices before finding correct information regarding returned payments. The hope is that by consolidating all returned payments to one office, those returns will be processed more quickly and accurately.
The letter describes how an institution should submit return payments through various channels. Regardless of the method of return, institutions should not submit a return until after receiving a collection letter from DMC. Institutions should then include the information contained in the letter, either by entering it into the PayVA system for online payments, or by including the tear-off payment stub for returns submitted through the mail.
Several years ago, NACUBO convened a workgroup consisting of bursars, student financial services directors, and campus VA certifying officials that has met regularly with VA staff to discuss issues with implementation of the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Act. Additionally, NACUBO has created a VA Processes eGroup, similar to a listserv, for members to share questions, issues, concerns, and success stories related to administering VA programs.
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