VB 01503.001 Suspensions, Stop Payments and Benefit Reductions
SSA's objective is to pay Special Veterans Benefits (SVB) accurately and when due. To achieve this objective, SSA has a responsibility to process changes that affect an individual's ongoing SVB qualification, entitlement and/or payment. These changes may result in an adverse SVB adjustment such as a suspension, stop payment or benefit reduction. This subchapter describes the various SVB post-qualification and postentitlement events that can result in an adverse action and provides instructions on processing these events.
A suspension is a loss of benefits for months in which an SVB recipient no longer meets all SVB qualification or entitlement requirements. An individual generally has 12 consecutive calendar months after the effective date of a suspension to regain eligibility and have benefits reinstated without having to file a new SVB application. If benefits are not reinstated during this 12-month period, SVB entitlement terminates the first day of the 13th consecutive month after the effective date of the suspension (as explained in VB 01505.005).
2. Stop Payment
A stop payment is an interruption in SVB payments. Stop-payment actions do not result in a termination of SVB after 12 consecutive months of nonpayment. Generally, SVB payments may be reinstated regardless of the duration of nonpayment status. In addition, SVB payments withheld during the stop-payment period can generally be paid to the beneficiary if he/she continued to meet all SVB qualification and entitlement requirements in the month(s) payments were withheld.
Certain events preclude an individual from qualifying for SVB. (See VB 00102.005 for SVB disqualifiers.) Disqualifiers existing prior to an individual's SVB determination of qualification will result in the denial of the SVB claim as explained in VB 00901.011. A disqualifying event occurring after the issuance of the SVB determination of qualification will not preclude an individual's SVB eligibility; however, it will affect ongoing SVB entitlement and/or payments.
4. Benefit Reduction
A decrease in one or more monthly SVB amounts resulting from an adjustment in a beneficiary's other benefit income (as defined in VB 00205.100).
A reinstatement is the resumption of SVB benefits after a period of suspension (not exceeding 12 consecutive months) or stop payment. It is effective the first calendar month that an individual again meets all SVB qualification and entitlement requirements. A reinstatement does not require the filing of a new SVB application.
A termination occurs when an SVB individual dies or requests a voluntary termination. SVB entitlement also terminates effective with the first day of the 13th month after 12 consecutive months of SVB suspension. SVB termination events are discussed in VB 01505.000.