VA has launched a user-friendly online financial status report form for VBA debts. This comes on the heels of launching the online tool in 2021.
The tool provides Veterans the ability to access information about their VBA benefit debts. The debt portal is part of VA’s ongoing efforts to improve Veteran access to information. It enables Veterans to download VBA benefit debt notification letters from VA’s Debt Management Center (DMC) and access current and historical debt, debt balances and the current status of the debt. The portal also sends Veterans who have provided VA with an email address a notification when new information is added to their account (such as a new debt letter) alerting them to log in.
VA has enhanced its debt portal by adding a new online VA Form 5655 Financial Status Report (FSR) feature for VBA benefit debts. This new feature makes it easier for Veterans to manage their debt online through several available debt relief processes, such as requesting debt forgiveness through a waiver, offering to settle the debt for a lesser amount through a compromise offer, and supporting requests for extended repayment plans. The FSR assembles financial information to enable VA to form a picture of the Veteran’s financial status as requests for debt relief are reviewed.
Online FSR features to improve the Veterans’ experience include:
- “Wizard” tool to assist Veterans in determining if the form is needed or not
- Ability to select specific debts for which assistance is needed
- Automated mathematical calculations for income, expenses, etc.
- “Save as you go” functionality allows Veterans to step away if needed and pick up where they left off in filling out the form
This feature comes at an important time for Veterans with VBA benefit debts. VA resumed sending VBA benefit debt notification letters on October 1st, 2021, after letters had been paused since April 6th, 2020, for COVID-19 pandemic relief. You can read more about notification letters resuming and VA’s expansive debt relief options here. VA plans to continue enhancements to the debt portal over the next several years, to include adding balance due on medical and pharmacy services copayment debts, expanded use of online FSR for all debt types and viewable transaction history.
For questions on VBA benefit debt information in the portal, Veterans and beneficiaries can contact DMC at www.ask.va.gov or call 1-800-827-0648. Call volumes are lower Tuesday – Friday.
For questions about medical care and pharmacy services copayment debt, Veterans can contact the Health Resource Center at 1-866-400-1238, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET.