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Early separation from the military due to anxiety and panic disorder. Now I have a large debt from DOD. Can anything be done?

Plano, TX |

I joined the Navy January of 2008 with a five year contract. After completing one year of training, we signed another contract that extended us another year, making 6 in total. After two years in, which was all in training commands I was sent to a ship. About 6 months after being aboard the ship I decided to reelinst for an additional two years making my total service being 8 years. During the time I had been in, I had been dealing with anxiety and panic disorder off and on. I was able to get counseling and therapy and that seemed to work. Due to my job, we were not allowed to take any drugs or we would be disqualified. I ended up having to go on medication while on deployment and then immediately got disqualified. I am now out and I now have a large debt to the DOD. Can anything be done?

Since I have been out, I have been attending school for one year. I am concerned that this debt will eventually have an effect on my benefits and school will no longer be paid for. I have tried to talk to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service about what I can do, but they are not will to work with me outside of what they offer. Which I cannot do. I have tried to explain my situation and see if they would settle for a lesser amount, but still no. I just don't know what to do right now. If you don't know the answer to my question, can someone please point me in the right direction? I live in the Dallas area.

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

What's the debt for?
If it is a recoupment, then you would have been provided information at the time of notification about a repayment plan or seeking a waiver of indebtedness.

www.court-martial.com; www.court-martial.us.com; mljucmj@gmail.com 703-298-9562, 800-401-1583. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Asker

Posted

The debt is for recoupment. They provided a payment plan, but it was more that what I could do. I also tried to tell them that I was attending school and if they could wait until I was finished, I would be in a much better situation to pay the debt off.

Posted

How much of a debt? You want to think about a second mortgage or equity line, both of which are right around prime (2.99%)...which makes for a easier monthly payment. Is the anxiety service-related?

Asker

Posted

The debt started out right around $40,000 when I received the first notice. It is now up to $44,401.57. I received a notice today that said the debt has been referred to the US Department of the Treasury and the total balance is now $56,834.01. I cannot even think why they would charge fees like this when transferring. I have not even had this debt a year. The anxiety is definitely service related. I've been somewhat of a nervous person my whole life, but never had panic attacks before the navy. Never sought counseling or therapy either. When I decided to go on medication, I was having several panic attacks a day. Since the navy, I have had continued anxiety, but nothing near to what I was experiencing. I have actually gotten "adequate" help and advice. Being out over a year now, the anxiety is at the lowest level I have had in several years.

Posted

Most debts established through the military are "federal debts" which can be recouped in a number of very intrusive manners (ie withholding tax returns, etc). Without more information, the military attorneys on this website will have trouble giving you an idea of whether you can fight the debt. It's also important to consult about the potential for VA benefits if your anxiety is service related. In the end, you may be able to offset debt with a monthly VA check. Myself and the gentlemen above all have experience handling situations like yours or can refer you to others with more specialized experience in VA work.
www.BestMilitaryDefense.com

Andrew Cherkasky of Cherkasky Law, LLC is an Illinois attorney focused on military & criminal defense. The advice given does not form an attorney-client relationship. The advice above is intended to educate on general legal principles and theories and should not be considered state specific advice. Please call anytime, day or night, to discuss further, 703-314-6475.

Asker

Posted

I'm not sure what other information you would need to determine what I can do. Please let me know what other info I need to provide you.

Andrew David Cherkasky

Andrew David Cherkasky

Posted

The reasons and details behind your discharge are important. Assuming there was some adverse action against you, I'd recommend not posting it online... Give me, or one of the other military law attorneys a call for your free consult. It's also important to know about what steps you have taken to try to get VA disability for your service connected disability. Call whenever if you'd like to talk. 703-314-6475

Posted

Your story has bits in it that do not make sense. Recommend you repost with the correct version and ALL the facts. Your reenlistments and added years did not happen as you described. Neither did the reason you left, or the debt. We're here to help, but you can't give us BS.

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I am providing educational instruction only--not legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

Asker

Posted

I'm not trying to give anyone BS. This is my problem and I am asking for help. If something doesn't make sense ask me. I may leave parts out because I know the whole story.

Asker

Posted

Also, there was only one reenlistment. The first year added was to go up one pay grade after completing A-school. Everyone did it. I was a nuke if you are at all familiar. I've never heard of anyone not doing it. I don't know what other holes you may see, but please let me know.

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

I was Auxo on Enterprise- I understand Nuke. What is the debt for?

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

How were you separated?

Posted

You should review the terms of your contact/re-enlistment/or any bonuses you received. Your contract will detail the terms of waiver of any debt you would have or under what grounds you would have to repay it back. If you are having issues, recommend you contact a military law attorney.

This information is intended for public use only, it does not form an attorney-client relationship and it does not constitute legal advice. If you seek legal advice on military law issues, contact an military law attorney. My contact information is novalegalservices@live.com or 804-955-9867.