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Education and Training

IHL Information About GI Bill Overpayments and Debts

Student Debt Information

IHL - Debt

How can my school identify the student for whom the payment is for?

Should your institution receive payments via ACH Direct Deposit; the payment will include an addenda record with the student's identifying information. Schools may request this addenda record from their Financial Institution. Financial Institutions are required to provide this information upon request according to rules set by the National Automated Clearing House Association. Please request that your Financial Institution provide this information in a readable format so that you will be able to match the payment with the student.

Should VA not have an active direct deposit payment address for your school, we will make payments to you by paper check. A stub containing the student's identifying information will be attached to each check.

Additionally, VA will also mail your School Certifying Official a weekly report known as the Vet Rep Listing Report. Payments made directly to the schools will be on a listing titled "Chapter 33 Tuition and Fees, and Yellow Ribbon Payments". If a school does not receive the weekly listing, or it is misplaced, the school may request a new copy be mailed to the School Certifying Official through their Education Liaison Representative.

My school is unable to retrieve the addenda record information from our Financial Institution, what should we do?

VA is paying schools for Chapter 33 Tuition and Fees and Yellow Ribbon payments using a CCD+ Payment Format. This format includes an 80-character addenda record where the student identifying information is passed. The National Automated Clearing House Association, (NACHA), General Operating Rules, article four states: "Upon the request of the Receiver, an RDFI (Receiving Depository Financial Institution) MUST provide to its receiver all Payment-Related Information contained within the Addenda Record transmitted with CCD, CIE, and CTX entries. The RDFI MUST provide this information to its Receiver by the opening business day on the second banking day following the Settlement Date of the entry." Meaning, a bank must be able to provide any addenda data that is sent with a payment within two business days of receiving an ACH deposit. Additionally, NACHA requires that all financial institutions must be able to identify these addenda records and react appropriately.

VA recommends that those having difficulties retrieving the information passed in the addenda record to contact a representative from the ACH department at your Financial Institution, as a customer service representative may not have the information needed.

How can my school enroll in ACH Direct Deposit, or change its ACH Direct Deposit Information?

Effective immediately, institutions that receive, or wish to receive, Post-9/11 GI Bill payments via direct deposit must submit a request, or any change in information, to VA on school letterhead.

The letter should be forwarded to the Education Liaison Representative (ELR) for the state in which the school resides. A listing of ELRs by state is available on School Resource Page of the GI Bill Website.

To process the request, the institution must provide the following information:

● Name of Institution
● Address of Institution (Street Number, City, State, Zip)
● Tax ID
● Facility Code(s)
● Address of Financial Institution
● Nine Digit Routing Number
● Account Number
● Type of Account (Checking or Savings)

The letter should be dated and signed by an official legally authorized to add or amend the account for which Post-9/11 GI payments will be issued. The title and telephone number of the signing official must be provided. No changes will be processed without a valid signature.

VA will no longer accept change requests submitted on VA Form 22-8794a (Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Information).

Public Law 104-134, also known as "The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996" requires all federal payments be made by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and there are no exceptions for Vendor payments. Chapter 33 payments made to schools on behalf of students are considered vendor payments and therefore are required to be made via EFT. If a school is currently receiving payment by paper check, that school is not in compliance with Public Law 104-134. To correct this matter, a school may enroll in ACH direct deposit by following the instructions stated above. If a school does not correct this problem, they may be contacted by the U.S. Department of Treasury Financial Management Service.

My school enrolled in direct deposit for Chapter 33 payments, why are we still receiving Paper Checks?

If your school enrolled in ACH direct deposit and is still receiving paper checks, it could be that VA did not receive your direct deposit information form, or the information provided on that form was incorrect. ACH Direct Deposit information will not be accepted over the phone. Should you wish to correct this matter, you may do so by completing VA Form 22-8794a and submitting it to your Education Liaison Representative. Please ensure the form is completed in full with account and routing numbers used for ACH deposits, not a wire transfer, as this may cause the payment to be returned.

When is my school responsible for refunding VA?

Schools are required to report, without delay, the enrollment, interruption, and termination of attendance for each person enrolled in an educational assistance program administered by VA.

In addition to reporting any changes in enrollment status, schools will be held responsible for refunding payments as appropriate. The following list explains when a school will be responsible for refunding VA:

  1. The student never attended classes for which he/she was certified (regardless of the reason for non-attendance).
  2. The student completely withdraws on or before the first day of the term. (If a student reduces, the debt shall be assessed to the student.)
  3. The school received a payment for the wrong student.
  4. The school received a duplicate payment.
  5. The school submitted an amended enrollment certification and reported reduced tuition and fee charges, reduced Yellow Ribbon amount, or both.
  6. The student died during the term, or before the start of the term.
  7. VA issued payment above the amount certified on the enrollment certification that was used to process the payment (VA data entry error).

All other overpayments will remain the responsibility of the student.

How may my school avoid liability? 

Ensure that notifications of enrollment and changes in enrollment are certified to VA in a timely manner.VA administers Compliance Surveys to ensure that schools and their approved courses are in compliance with all applicable provisions of the law. The purpose of these activities is to prevent deficiencies and to correct them when they are found. Compliance surveys are also a means to identify school negligence or fraud. Should a compliance survey result in a finding of potential school liability, it will be referred to a VA Regional Processing Office of jurisdiction, where the final determination of liability will be made.

VA may hold a school liable for an overpayment to a claimant if the overpayment was made as a result of:

  1. Willful or negligent failure of the school to report excessive absences from a course, discontinuance, or interruption of attendance; or
  2. Willful or negligent false certification.

VA will actively pursue collection on all cases where payment is due from the school.

Why is the Tuition and Fees or Yellow Ribbon payment less then the amount we certified for the student? 

Tuition and Fees or Yellow Ribbon payments paid directly to your facility may not be for the full amount that a student was certified for because of one or more of the following reasons:

1. The student is not eligible for benefits at the 100% benefit rate.
2. The tuition amount due is higher than the maximum allowance.
3. The student didn't have enough entitlement to receive payment for the entire term.

In any of these cases, a school should work out payment arrangements with the student for any remaining fees due.

How can my school refund VA?

Schools should wait to refund payments to VA until a collection notice from the VA Debt Management Center (DMC) is received. In those instances where schools are responsible for making a remittance to VA for excess Tuition, Fees, or Yellow Ribbon payments, schools may make a refund to VA in one of five options.

Note: If making a payment directly to VA (see options 1, 2, & 3 below).

1. Schools may send a check, payable to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, to the VA Debt Management Center. It is essential that schools include the student's name and VA file number when making a payment to VA. If you have received a collection notice from DMC, VA requests the tear off sheet from the collection notice be included with the payment. The address to the VA Debt Management Center is:

VA Debt Management Center
Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building
P.O. Box 11930
St Paul, MN 55111-0930

2. Schools may make a payment using a major credit card, debit card, or by electronic funds transfer from a checking or savings account. You may do this on-line by visiting the DMC website, or by calling the DMC toll free number at 800-827-0648 or for international calls 612-713-6415. Schools paying on-line or by phone will be required to provide details from the DMC collection notice.

3. Schools may also send a payment to VA from any Western Union Agent location, or by visiting The Western Union Agent or the website will require a host city code, which is "VADMC". You will need the code to complete the transaction.

4. Should the school receive payment in the form of a paper check, the school may return the uncashed Treasury check to:

U.S. Department of the Treasury
Financial Management Service
P.O. Box 51318
Philadelphia, PA 19115-6316.

5. Should the school receive payment via Electronic Funds Transfer, schools may refund VA electronically via Automated Clearing House (ACH). To do so, schools shall request their banks return the full payment amount using an R31 ACH return code. Each bank has its own procedures and time constraints for returning direct deposit payments. Please speak with your bank's representative to obtain specific instructions on this process.

What happens if a work-study student received "advance pay" and terminates prior to working 50 hours? 

VA will make every effort to allow the work-study student to work towards the advance pay obligation. If the student fails to meet this obligation, a debt will be created and processed in the same manner as any other education debt.