Because of the extensive job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last April the Department of Veterans Affairs put a hold on billing veterans for medical debts. However, in mid-December the VA announced that it would start collecting again starting this month. In a letter to those affected by this change, the department said [veterans] will have to pay "new copay charges for medical care and prescriptions they received from April 6, 2020, through December 31, 2020." The letter further stated that the bills could also include unpaid balances for care received before April.
Veterans With Lower Disability Ratings May Face Copays
For most veterans with a disability caused by their military service which is rated at 50% or higher medical treatment at a VA facility is free, but veterans with a lower disability rating may be obligated for some copayments for medical care. Most veterans with little or no income are not liable for copays.
Will a Push From Congress Lead to an Extension?
Both Republican and Democratic members of Congress called on the the VA to extend the nine-month pause on billing veterans for medical debts. Responding to the lawmakers, VA Press Secretary Christina Noel said in a letter, "VA feels it is in the veterans' best interest to notify them of a potential debt. If they are unable to repay the debt or if doing so would cause a financial hardship, VA can work with individuals to provide relief based upon their unique circumstance."
Questions About VA Disability Benefits in Nebraska?
If you have questions regarding the VA billing veterans for medical debts or would like to learn more about qualifying for VA disability benefits in Nebraska, contact our team online or give us a call to schedule consultation today.
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