Veterans May Be Forced To Repay Separation Money In Exchange For Benefits

Veterans are becoming dismayed by miscommunications about separation pay — which is essentially military severance pay — and receiving benefits later in life.

Stephen, a former Marine Corps staff sergeant who told Military Times he would like to be mentioned only by his first name, recently qualified for 80% VA disability, but will not be paid because he accepted $80,000 in separation pay when the military began making personnel cuts. Unless he pays back that money, he will not be granted disability checks until 2018. He is among thousands of troops potentially affected by the military’s “up-or-out” policy.

The VA was unable to comment on how many veterans may face repayment of voluntary or involuntary separation pay, but benefits payments will be withheld or offset until the full amount is repaid.