You were just informed you have a debt, now what?

The first thing you need to do is to understand exactly why you are in debt. Questions regarding the debt, reason for the debt, and the validity of the debt should be addressed with your local finance / disbursing / payroll office.

Which do I request, a Remission or Waiver?

A waiver is an act of the government to intentionally relinquish its claim against an individual for a debt resulting from erroneous payments of pay or allowances.  To be eligible for waiver, the debt must be the result of an erroneous payment of pay or allowances. If you believe you are eligible for a waiver, fill out a DD Form 2789 and return it to DFAS. It takes 60 days to process a waiver once we receive your paperwork.

A remission is the cancellation of a debt or portion of a debt by the Secretary of a Military Department.  Remission is applicable for active duty military members or former military members who have incurred an active duty debt.  The laws governing remissions may consider financial or personal hardship, a member’s value to the service, compassion, justice and good faith. 

DFAS no longer processes remission requests.  See your service for application information.

Disputing the debt?

We cannot process your waiver request form if you dispute your debt.  Therefore, if you state in the DD Form 2789 that you dispute or are protesting the amount, validity or type of debt against your account we will return your application to you.

What does this mean to you?  To process your waiver request, you must understand how the debt came about, why you were placed in debt, and that the amount of the debt corresponds to the erroneous payments received during the debt period.  You do not have to agree that you should have to pay the debt back, but you must agree that the debt is valid against your pay account.  You cannot state you are disputing the debt, protesting the debt or that you believe the debt is invalid, if you include a statement like that on your waiver application it will be returned until you can agree with the validity of your debt.

Debts we cannot waive

DFAS cannot waive debts from the following agencies. Please contact the individual agency for applicable waiver procedures.
Department of Veterans Affairs Army and Air Force Exchange Service
DoD Education Activity Defense Intelligence Agency
Health and Human Services Environmental Protection Agency
United States Coast Guard  
Remissions and Waivers Branch always considers the gross debt amount in waiver determinations.  Taxes paid on your behalf to the IRS are considered part of any debt incurred; therefore, you must repay the entire debt including the taxes in order to clear your debt.  We cannot waive any taxportion of your debt.

Click the sidebar navigation button for your specific situation for further details regarding submission of waiver or remission forms.

Page updated February 14, 2013.