Financial Hardship Letters

Writing A Hardship Letter To Veterans Affairs

Written by Frederick Schmitt

If you are a veteran, or surviving relative of a veteran, you may be receiving payments from Veterans Affairs. Unfortunately, they may at times commit some errors, such as overpaying you. It is all too common, in those situations, for recipients not to notice the overpayment and simply spend it, which could leave them in a situation of hardship when Veterans Affairs requests for the return of the said amount. If this has happened to you, then you may want to consider writing them a hardship letter.

Basic Rules for Writing the Hardship Letter

Your hardship letter should be a formal letter. This means that it should be presented properly, addressed to the right person in the right department, and free from grammar and spelling mistakes. It should also include your case number in the subject line, so that it is easy for Veterans Affairs to find your case.

Starting the Letter

Start by providing some personal identifying details such as your name and date of birth, which will allow the reader to check your file. Explain that, on a certain date, you received a letter from the office that stated you had received an overpayment and would now be charged for this. Make sure to include the dates and amounts, and that you attach copies of the letters that you have received. Make it very clear, at this point, what you are requesting, such as a full waiver of the amount, or some sort of payment arrangement. State that, if the amount will be charged, you will find yourself in a situation of extreme financial hardship.

Explaining Your Situation

You must then explain your side regarding the overpayment. For instance, you may have received an overpayment for several months and you have not have been aware of the mistake at all. If this is the case, include evidence to support this through statements from Veterans Affairs highlighting the payments. State that, as you believed the payments to be correct, you have spent the money on certain things, highlighting what those things are. Explain that if you have to repay the total amount that has been overpaid, it will cause you to undergo financial hardship.

Some Advice

With a hardship letter, what matters are the facts not feelings. Hence, avoid describing your emotions. Rather, stick to documented evidence such as receipts, payment stubs, bill payments, bank account statements, and more. These are the documents that will prove that you will suffer financial hardship if you are forced to pay immediately. Explain that the disparity that will be caused by not just a decrease in the payments because you will no longer receive the amount that you have been used to, having to pay back what was overpaid all at once, will be too much for you to handle.

Ending the Letter

End your letter by thanking the Veterans Affairs representative for giving you some time and consideration. Keep photocopies of everything that you have sent, and post the letter through recorded mail. If, after one week you have not received a reply, make sure to follow up.

Hardship Letter To Veterans Affairs Example

{Your Name}
{Your Address}
{Your Phone #}
{Your Loan #}

{Date}

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is {Name} and my case number is {number}. On {date}, I received a letter from Veterans Affairs notifying me that I had been overpaid and was being charged {monetary amount}. I would like to request a waiver based on extreme financial hardship.

I received the notice of overpayment and subsequent charges on {date}. However, the amount charged to me was paid as part of my benefits over the last {amount of time}. I have already spent the money on {necessary expenses}. If I am forced to pay back the amount, I will be forced to {consequences}.

I am attaching my payment stubs, receipts, {additional documentation of mortgage, medical bills, etc.} and bank account information to prove the full extent of my hardship. I will not be able to cope with a disparity this large in my finances.

Please consider the difficult situation that these circumstances have put me in when reviewing my case. Thank you for your consideration and understanding.

Sincerely,

{Sender Name}

About the author

Frederick Schmitt

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