CCK recently represented an Army veteran who served from December 1968 until November 1970. In 2008, he had service connection for his back and for diabetes with a combined rating of 60 percent. In December 2008, he contacted VA to inform the agency that his divorce from his wife was finalized four days earlier. The Veteran contacted VA an additional five times in the following nine months to inform VA that his divorce was now complete and that VA needed to update his award to reflect that his wife was no longer a dependent for purposes of his compensation. It was not until May 2010 that VA removed the Veteran’s ex-wife from his award. VA informed him that it overpayed him over $2500 and sought to recoup that amount. The Board of Veterans’ Appeals held that the Veteran was partially at fault and that VA had the right to seek reimbursement of the award despite the Veteran’s contention that it was a financial hardship for him to repay this amount. On appeal, his attorneys argued that the Veteran had promptly informed VA that it was paying him incorrectly and repeatedly informed VA of the error but that VA did nothing about it until nearly a year-and-a-half after the first notice and over eight months after he informed VA of his divorce for the sixth time. VA agreed to waive the debt and to repay the Veteran for any amounts it withheld from his monthly compensation disbursement.
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