VA Debt

If you make enrollment changes after you have been certified for the term, this may cause a debt with VA and/or SMU. To make sure you receive your full benefit and do not receive a debt, please review the requirements for full-time status. VA will contact you directly with how much you owe and how to repay the debt. We recommend paying this debt as quickly as possible or making other arrangements with the Debt Management Center to insure that your future benefits are not impacted. If your plans change and you no longer wish to be certified for a specific term, you must contact us so we can cancel your certification. Any charges associated with a cancelled certification must also be repaid to VA and/or SMU.

Mitigating Circumstances

Mitigating circumstances are circumstances beyond the student’s control that prevent the student from continuing in school or that cause the student to reduce credits. VA will reduce benefits effective the first day of the term unless mitigating circumstances are found. You must provide documentation to our office in order for us to report mitigating circumstances to VA.

Examples are:

  • An illness or death in the student’s immediate family.
  • An illness or injury afflicting the student during the enrollment period.
  • An unavoidable change in the student’s conditions of employment.
  • An unavoidable geographical transfer resulting from the student’s employment.
  • Immediate family or financial obligations beyond the control of the claimant that require him or her to suspend pursuit of the program of education to obtain employment.
  • Discontinuance of the course by the school.
  • Unanticipated active military service, including active duty for training.
  • Unanticipated difficulties with childcare arrangements the student has made for the period during which he or she is attending classes.

If mitigating circumstances are needed and adequate evidence of mitigating circumstances isn’t received, VA will not pay for the course(s) in question.

Contact VA Debt Management Center

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Debt Management Center
P.O. Box 11930
St. Paul, MN 55111
Phone: 1-800-827-0648
Email: dmc.ops@va.gov