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Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital

 

Changes in Beneficiary Travel Payments

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Truman VA will begin processing beneficiary travel payments electronically, effective June 3. This payment method change will be implemented at facilities nationwide.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Truman VA will begin processing beneficiary travel payments electronically, effective June 3.  This payment method change will be implemented at facilities nationwide.   If you receive beneficiary travel, you will need to follow these four steps:

1. Sign up for direct deposit.
2. Sign your supplemental travel voucher once a year or when you move.
3. Let your clinic/inpatient clerk know you want travel pay after your appointment/stay.
4. Go home. With direct deposit, you’ll receive payment in 4-6 business days.

We encourage you to review the following frequently asked questions and help prepare for this change.

What is changing? Cash and check payments for beneficiary travel & compensated work therapy are changing to electronic funds transfer (EFT) by direct deposit to your bank or credit union account.

When will this change occur? Effective June 3.  If you are a Veteran who currently receives VBA benefits by direct deposit, you may have already been enrolled to receive your beneficiary travel and compensated work therapy payments by direct deposit through an automated process.  You can contact Finance at 573-814-6442 to determine if you are already enrolled in direct deposit.

Why is VA making this change? The U.S. Department of Treasury has directed that Federal non-tax payments, with few exceptions, will be made by EFT as a part of Government-wide cost reduction. It will also benefit Veterans from waiting in long lines for their travel pay.

What is the benefit of these changes to me? EFT provides a faster and more reliable method of reimbursement than paper checks through the mail, with reimbursements normally being credited to your account within 4-6 business days.  EFT payment processing is more efficient and accurate.  Waiting in long lines to receive payment is eliminated.

How do I sign up for electronic payments? Signing up for direct deposit is easy.  All you need to do is complete and submit the Direct Deposit Enrollment form.

What happens to the form after I fill it out and turn it in? The information you provide will be processed electronically by VA.  The information is used solely for the purposes of enrolling you for direct deposit payments.

What if I don’t have a bank or credit union account? You need to open an account in order to receive payment by direct deposit. 

Once my direct deposit is set up, what do I need to do to get my beneficiary travel reimbursement? You will request reimbursement for your travel with your clinic/inpatient clerk. The clerk will enter your name into the travel database and the travel office will process your voucher. In 4-6 business days, your money will be deposited to your account.

I need some cash in order to return home.  Will I still be able to receive some of my reimbursement in cash? Cash will remain available to Veterans who meet Treasury exemption guidelines and, on a limited basis, to Veterans in order to return home as we implement this payment process change.  However, you need to plan for this in the future and carry sufficient cash with you to return home.

What if I don’t want to receive my payment by direct deposit? If you decline receiving payment by direct deposit, you will be issued a Direct Express Debit MasterCard as soon as the debit card program is available at our facility later this year.

The Treasury Department will grant exceptions only in rare circumstances. Check recipients living in remote areas without sufficient banking infrastructure may apply for a waiver as well as check recipients for whom electronic payments would impose a hardship due to a mental impairment. Automatic waivers are granted to people born on or before May 1, 1921. People who qualify for this waiver do not need to submit an application.

To obtain a waiver based on these criteria, you must (1) Call the Department of Treasury (800-333-1795) and have a conversation about your eligibility for the waiver; (2) Fill out your waiver form; (3) have it notarized; and (4) send it in to the Department of Treasury.

If I have questions about this change in process, who should I contact. Questions regarding the beneficiary travel payment change can be directed to (573)814-6000 extension 53082 or 800-349-8262 extension 53082.

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