I am a retired veteran that has encountered an issue with the Department of Veteran Affairs education benefits. I am a retired veteran since March 31, 2013. Before I retired I transferred my education benefits to my spouse and other dependents. I initiated the process on January 28, 2012, through a website that required me to fill an digital application and wait for approval. It was approved and my account reflected such and my wife received a notification in the mail stating that she was eligible to use the education benefits. My wife has been using the benefits since October 2012, attending Saint Leo University. Every month since she has started school, she has been receiving the stipend that she is qualified to receive from the VA. October 7, 2013 she received a letter stating that all of the money had to be paid back because I did not fulfill my enlistment obligation. I served from May 1990 to March 2013. It is confusing because I completed 21 years and 4 months of active duty without a break in service and this letter is telling us, that I did not fulfill my obligation. So, I sit here today wondering if I miss any information that would disqualify me from transferring my education benefits. But this should not be the case, because if something was to disqualify me, how did my request get approved? I have applied for other education benefits and they were not approved and the reason was stated in the notification which was understandable. We now receive a letter after one whole year stating that we have to pay thousands of dollars back. I wanted to address this because other veterans could have or may have encountered this same issue and I think that it needs to be addressed. Is this a cause of the government shutting down or a huge mistake somebody has made? There indeed was a mistake made somewhere, because the only input I had to do when applying for the benefits was to apply and wait for approval. If this was a mistake how did this slip through the cracks? It is awful to receive this letter in the mail due to the fact my wife and I are not employed and the money she receives from school is what we live off of. It is not fair that we are being held accountable if a mistake was made by someone through the approval process. Any help in resolving this matter is gladly appreciated
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