Question: What happens to my VA disability or pension benefits when I have an open felony warrant?
Answer: If there is a valid felony warrant for a veteran, no benefits will be paid to that person and overpayments are calculated from the date the warrant was issued—regardless of whether or not the person is aware of the warrant. The VA considers anyone with a valid felony warrant to be a “fugitive felon” who is not eligible for benefits.
Solution 1: If you receive an overpayment notice from the VA and you were not aware of the underlying warrant, contact the original court where the warrant was issued to find out how to resolve the warrant. This usually involves appearing before a judge and paying and fines due. You may also file a motion in the original court to quash the warrant back to the date that it was issued once the warrant is resolved. You can then send the judge’s order to quash to the VA and the overpayment will be eliminated.
Solution 2: If the warrant is valid, surrender and benefits will be paid while you are incarcerated until the 61st day after a conviction.
Question: What happens if I receive an overpayment because my VA benefits continued to be paid to me after I was convicted and spent 61 days or more in jail or prison?
Answer: You can request a waiver of the overpayment within 180 days of receiving the overpayment notice. However, you cannot dispute the validity of the debt because VA does not allow full VA benefits to be paid to veterans convicted and incarcerated 61 days or more.
Solution 1: If you receive benefits and are convicted and sentenced to 61 days or more of incarceration in jail or prison, it is your responsibility to notify the VA of your conviction and ask them to reduce your benefits or assign them to a spouse or child during your incarceration.
Solution 2: Check with your attorney to see if you are eligible for Veterans Treatment Court, work release, or other options that do not involve jail or prison time post-conviction. As long as you are not incarcerated, your VA benefits will continue unchanged.