The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has suspended the collection of pension debts from nearly 40,000 low-income veterans and their survivors after uncovering a system error that led to overpayments. These errors, which date back to 2011, occurred due to discrepancies in data matching, which prevented the verification of actual incomes for pension recipients. The VA has put a hold on debt collections and establishment of new debts while they investigate the situation further, acknowledging the financial hardship it could cause.
- The VA has identified about 9,900 beneficiaries who have been overpaid due to inaccurate self-reported income, with the issue persisting for years.
- An additional 30,000 beneficiaries may also have pension debts due to the same issue; the VA is currently reviewing these cases.
- The pension payments in question can vary significantly, with some recipients receiving only a few hundred dollars while others receive more than $5,000 monthly.
- VA officials have committed to contacting affected individuals to explain the issue and are exploring ways to provide debt relief.
- The discovery follows recent issues with the VA’s disability claims system, where 90,000 cases faced delays due to technical glitches, some dating back as far as 2011.