38 CFR 1.945 - Authority to suspend or terminate collection action on certain benefit indebtedness; authority for refunds.

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§ 1.945 Authority to suspend or terminate collection action on certain benefit indebtedness; authority for refunds.
(a) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Secretary) may suspend or terminate collection action on all or any part of an indebtedness owed to VA by a member of the Armed Forces who dies while on active duty, if the Secretary determines that such suspension or termination of collection is appropriate and in the best interest of the United States.
(b) The Secretary may terminate collection action on all or any part of an amount owed to the United States for an indebtedness resulting from an individual's participation in a benefits program administered by the Secretary, other than a program as described in paragraph (h) of this section, if the Secretary determines that such termination of collection is in the best interest of the United States. For purposes of this paragraph, an individual is any member of the Armed Forces or veteran who dies as a result of an injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while serving in a theater of combat operations in a war or in combat against a hostile force during a period of hostilities on or after September 11, 2001.
(c) For purposes of this section:
(1) Theater of combat operations means the geographic area of operations where the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of Defense determines that combat occurred.
(2) Period of hostilities means an armed conflict in which members of the United States Armed Forces are subjected to danger comparable to danger to which members of the Armed Forces have been subjected in combat with enemy armed forces during a period of war, as determined by the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of Defense.
(d) The Secretary may refund amounts collected after the death of a member of the Armed Forces or veteran in accordance with this paragraph and paragraph (e) of this section.
(1) In any case where all or any part of a debt of a member of the Armed Forces, as described under paragraph (a) of this section, was collected, the Secretary may refund the amount collected if, in the Secretary's determination, the indebtedness would have been suspended or terminated under authority of 31 U.S.C. 3711(f). The member of the Armed Services must have been serving on active duty on or after September 11, 2001. In any case where all or any part of a debt of a covered member of the Armed Forces was collected, the Secretary may refund the amount collected, but only if the Secretary determines that, under the circumstances applicable with respect to the deceased member of the Armed Forces, it is appropriate to do so.
(2) In any case where all or any part of a debt of a covered member of the Armed Forces or veteran, as described under paragraph (b) of this section, was collected on or after September 11, 2001, the Secretary may refund the amount collected if, in the Secretary's determination, the indebtedness would have been terminated under authority of 38 U.S.C. 5302A. In addition, the Secretary may refund the amount only if he or she determines that the deceased individual is equitably entitled to the refund.
(e) Refunds under paragraph (d) of this section will be made to the estate of the decedent or, in its absence, to the decedent's next-of-kin in the order listed below.
(1) The decedent's spouse.
(2) The decedent's children (in equal shares).
(3) The decedent's parents (in equal shares).
(f) The authority exercised by the Secretary to suspend or terminate collection action and/or refund amounts collected on certain indebtedness is reserved to the Secretary and will not be delegated.
(g) Requests for a determination to suspend or terminate collection action and/or refund amounts previously collected as described in this section will be submitted to the Office of the Secretary through the Office of the General Counsel. Such requests for suspension or termination and/or refund may be initiated by the head of the VA administration having responsibility for the program that gave rise to the indebtedness, or any concerned staff office, or by the Chairman of the Board of Veterans' Appeals. When a recommendation for refund under this section is initiated by the head of a staff office, or by the Chairman, Board of Veterans' Appeals, the views of the head of the administration that administers the program that gave rise to the indebtedness will be obtained and transmitted with the recommendation of the initiating office.
(h) The provisions of this section concerning suspension or termination of collection actions and the refunding of moneys previously collected do not apply to any amounts owed the United States under any program carried out under 38 U.S.C. chapter 37.
[75 FR 53201, Aug. 31, 2010]

Title 38 published on 2014-07-01

no entries appear in the Federal Register after this date.

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

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United States Code
Presidential Documents

Executive Order ... 9865

Executive Order ... 10096

Title 38 published on 2014-07-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 38 CFR 1 after this date.

  • 2014-11-21; vol. 79 # 225 - Friday, November 21, 2014
    1. 79 FR 69379 - Animals on VA Property
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
      Proposed rule.
      Comments must be received by VA on or before January 20, 2015.
      38 CFR Part 1