Overpayment of Benefits

How overpayments happen and what to do about them

Veterans sometimes receive an overpayment of educational benefits they should not be getting. When this occurs, the funds must be returned to the Department of Veterans Affairs, so it’s best to avoid this situation if at all possible.

Overpayments happen for a variety of reasons:

  • Complete withdrawal from school after benefits are received
  • Withdrawal from one or more courses, which changes eligibility status
  • A non-punitive grade is received for a course. Non-punitive grades at CGCC are I (Incomplete), Z (No Credit), and W (Withdrawal)).
  • Change in dependency status
  • Taking courses that do not apply to the declared degree program

This list is not all-inclusive and other reasons may also cause an overpayment. If any of these events occur, promptly notify us at Veterans Services so that we can take the proper steps.

What happens next

In certain situations, the VA will allow you to keep some of the money, depending on what are called mitigating circumstances — circumstances beyond your control that prevent you from remaining in class. If you feel your situation warrants consideration of mitigating circumstances, you should notify the CGCC Veterans' Services Office or the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

If you receive an overpayment, the Muskogee Regional Processing Center will send you a notification letter explaining the debt. A few days later, VA Debt Management will send a separate letter containing contact information for their office, a payment remittance slip and a return envelope with tracking number. If you send payment to the VA, you should use this slip and envelope to make sure your payment is received.

Important: If the VA does not hear from you, the overpayment will be subtracted from future monthly benefits, possibly with interest charges added.

If you have any questions concerning the amount of an overpayment, you should contact the Department of Veterans Affairs at +1-888-442-4551.

Overpayment of Benefits

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government web site.