Applications or requests for waiver of debts or claims asserted by the Department of Veterans Affairs in connection with the medical program generally will be denied by the facility Fiscal activity on the basis there is no legal authority to waive debts, unless the question of waiver should be referred as follows:
(a) Of charges for medical services.
If the debt represents charges made under § 17.102, the application or request for waiver should be referred for disposition under § 1.900
et seq. of this chapter to the field facility Committee on Waivers and Compromises which shall take final action, or
(b) Of claims against third persons and other claims.
If the debt is of a type contemplated in § 17.103(b), the waiver question should be referred in accordance with the same referral procedures for compromise offers in such categories of claims, or
(c) Of charges for copayments.
If the debt represents charges for outpatient medical care, inpatient hospital care, medication or extended care services copayments made under §§ 17.108, 17.110 or 17.111 of this chapter, the claimant must request a waiver by submitting VA Form 5655 (Financial Status Report) to a Fiscal Officer at a VA medical facility where all or part of the debt was incurred. The claimant must submit this form within the time period provided in § 1.963(b) of this chapter and may request a hearing under § 1.966(a) of this chapter. The Fiscal Officer may extend the time period for submitting a claim if the Chairperson of the Committee on Waivers and Compromises could do so under § 1.963(b) of this chapter. The Fiscal Officer will apply the standard “equity and good conscience” in accordance with §§ 1.965 and 1.966(a) of this chapter, and may waive all or part of the claimant's debts. A decision by the Fiscal Officer under this provision is final (except that the decision may be reversed or modified based on new and material evidence, fraud, a change in law or interpretation of law, or clear and unmistakable error shown by the evidence in the file at the time of the prior decision as provided in § 1.969 of this chapter) and may be appealed in accordance with 38 CFR parts 19 and 20.
(d) Other debts.
If the debt represents any claim or charges other than those contemplated in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, and is a debt for which waiver has been specifically provided for by law or under the terms of a contract, initial action shall be taken at the station level for referral of the request for waiver through channels for action by the appropriate designated official. If, however, the question of waiver may also involve a concurrent opportunity to negotiate a compromise settlement, the application shall be referred to the Committee on Waivers and Compromises.
(The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control number 2900-0165)
38 U.S.C. 501, 1721, 1722A, 1724
[39 FR 26403, July 19, 1974. Redesignated and amended at 61 FR 21966, 21967, May 13, 1996; 69 FR 62204, Oct. 25, 2004]