You may think that it is a horrible idea to allow the VA to unilaterally suspend VA disability payments to a servicemember without a prior opportunity for a hearing. Yet this is precisely what a new rule that went into effect earlier this month does. The rule amends U.S. law and allows, in certain circumstances, the VA the ability to suspend disability payments on its own. 

At first blush, this seems like a terrible development. However, for the group of servicemembers this rule will affect, this new rule is a blessing. It will prevent affected servicemembers from being in the unenviable position of paying back disability payments that should not have been paid to them. 

va suspend payments

The Problem Faced By Servicemembers Returning to Active Duty 

The group that is affected by this rule change are veterans who are receiving VA disability payments but who then decide to return to active duty or training. You are not permitted to receive both active duty pay and VA disability pay at the same time. Instead, you can only receive one form of compensation at a time. 

Before the recent rule change, it was incumbent on you, the servicemember, to notify the VA that you were returning to active duty and to suspend your disability payments. Otherwise, the VA could only suspend your disability payments after first giving you notice of its intent to do so and then waiting 60 days. During these 60 days, you would still receive your disability pay. 

After 60 days, the VA would be permitted to suspend your disability pay provided it had evidence you had returned to active duty. However, by this time, you could owe the VA hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. 

How the New Rule Operates and Helps Servicemembers 

Under the new rule, once the VA receives notification from the Defense Department that you have returned to active duty and are receiving pay, the VA can immediately suspend your disability payments. The burden is therefore placed on the VA to suspend your disability payments, and not on you, the servicemember. 

You would still have the same right to object to the suspension of your benefits if the VA made a mistake. And once the Defense Department notifies the VA that you are no longer receiving active duty pay, the VA can then resume paying you your disability benefits. 

Ohio Veterans Can Seek Help from Veterans Law Attorneys 

Veterans Law Attorneys and our experienced legal team are here for you. Whether you are in Cincinnati, elsewhere in Ohio, or anywhere in the country, we can help answer questions you may have about your VA disability benefits and actions taken by the VA that affect them. If the VA has not awarded you benefits but has instead denied your claim, we are available to help you appeal the denial and get what you deserve. 

Call Veterans Law Attorneys today at (866) 894-9773. You can also reach out to us online.  

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