You may request a hearing to contest the validity of your debt or the amount of your debt. If your debt will be collected by involuntary salary offset (other than pursuant to a Voluntary Repayment Agreement), you may request a hearing to contest the terms of the involuntary salary offset schedule. You may also request a hearing to appeal the denial of aVoluntary Repayment Agreement you propose.
Is a hearing always the first step? No. General questions about your debt may be answered by your Personnel Office or your Customer Service Representative. If you file a petition for a hearing, the DFAS Civilian Payroll Office will first perform an informal reexamination (“reconsideration”) of your pay records to validate the amount of debt you owe. DFAS will perform the reconsideration and issue written results to you. Reconsideration is an informal review performed to satisfy any doubts you may have regarding the amount or validity of your debt. A reconsideration is not a formal hearing before a hearing official. After reviewing the results of the reconsideration, you may decide not to proceed with the formal hearing process. To continue with a formal hearing, you must notify DFAS of your intent within the time limit stated in the written reconsideration results you receive.
What happens during the hearing process? If you file a petition for a hearing in a timely manner (30 days CONUS or 45 days OCONUS), a hearing official will make a written determination regarding the validity or the amount of your debt, or will make a ruling on the proposed involuntary repayment schedule. The hearing official will consider any written statements and/or documentary evidence you submit, as well as internal agency debt files. You are entitled to a “paper hearing” wherein the hearing official makes a determination based on a review of the documents only, without the parties present. Rarely is an oral hearing granted and only if DFAS determines that the matter cannot be resolved by a review of the documents alone. You will receive a written decision within 60 days after filing your petition, unless the hearing official grants a delay. Collection of your debt, and any interest and penalty charges, will be suspended until the hearing official issues a written decision.
Is there a time limit for requesting a hearing? You must file a petition for a hearing within 30 days from the date of the attached letter (extended to 45 days if OCONUS). Upon receipt of your petition, DFAS will perform a
reconsideration of your debt (as explained above) and if you wish to proceed with a formal hearing, you must notify DFAS of your intent within the time limit stated in the written reconsideration results you receive. If you requested records related to your debt, you must file a petition for a hearing within 45 days after the date the records are distributed to you. If you petition to appeal the denial of a proposed Voluntary Repayment Agreement, you must submit your petition by the date stated in the denial letter.
What must be included in a hearing petition? Your written hearing petition must contain the following information:
- Your name, daytime phone number, email address, mailing address and social security number.
- The reason for your hearing request, as outlined below:
- To Contest the Validity of Your Debt or the Amount of Your Debt: Provide a statement concerning why you believe the debt (or the amount of the debt) is erroneous. To support your argument, include a written summary of the facts of your case for the hearing official, include the date and manner in which you became aware of any overpayment. Include all documentary evidence you want the hearing official to review (such as Leave and Earning Statements (LES)). Include the written testimony of any witness you wish the hearing official to consider.
- To Contest the Proposed Schedule for Collection of Your Debt by Involuntary Salary Offset: Provide an alternate payment schedule and a statement explaining your financial status. Provide copies of records to be considered by the hearing official.
Sign and date your hearing petition and include your Social Security number. Identify your submission as a “HEARING PETITION”
Where do I file a hearing petition? Fax your signed hearing petition and documentary evidence to 1-866-401-5849. If your hearing petition is missing information, you will receive a request to submit additional information. If you do not submit the additoinal information within 30 days of notification, your hearing petition will be dismissed. Alternatively, you may mail your hearing request and documentary evidence to DFAS Civilian Pay-IN, Dept. 6200,8899 East 56th St., Indianapolis, IN 46249-1900.
Veterans Affairs employee must submit Hearing packets to the local VA Payroll office for review.
Last updated June 20, 2017