The United States Department of Veteran Affairs offers many benefits to veterans (although most would say not enough). Those benefits include a direct deposit into one’s bank account, but what do you do if you need to change your payments?
How long does it take to change a VA Direct Deposit? It takes around 16 hours to change a VA direct deposit. The VA has an automated system that will allow you to make the change within minutes. However, there may be a delay of up to 16 hours before the change is processed by the VA.
If you need to change your Veterans Affairs direct deposit for any reason, the easiest way is to access your VA.gov profile and edit your direct deposit information.
After that, your information will usually be updated within 16 hours, and the new amount will be reflected on your next payment.
Why Would You Need to Change a VA Direct Deposit?
But why would you need to change your VA direct deposit in the first place? The most obvious reason is that you just realized you needed government funds.
In that case, the first step is to create an account on va.gov. You may need some documents to verify your identity.
Making a new account should take about 10 minutes. After that, you can change your VA direct deposit information if you qualify for certain benefits. These include:
- Crisis management
- PTSD support
- Compensation and pension
- Homelessness support
- Educational benefits
- Home loans
- Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
- Dependent and survivor support
- Family caregivers
Because many veterans have needs that change over time, some may need to change their compensation requirements (e.g., if a veteran becomes disabled, or develops conditions with age). Most changes concern disability, pension, or educational benefits. Your next direct deposit should reflect whatever changes you have made.
How Often Will I Get a VA Direct Deposit?
VA payments almost always come in on the first business day of the following month. For example, if you made a change towards the end of July, the changes you made should be on the direct deposit on the first of August.
But what if the first business day of the next month happens to be on a holiday, as can happen with Labor Day in the United States? If that happens, the payment is made on the last business day of the previous month instead. If September 1 was a Saturday, and Labor Day was the following Monday, the direct deposit would be made on August 31st instead.
What If the Site is Down/I Can’t Log In?
If you want to change your VA direct deposit information, but can’t log in to the website for any reason, don’t panic. The U.S. government has other options to make sure you get the benefits you need. Let’s break them down one at a time.
One option is to call the Veteran Affairs office instead of using their website. There are two numbers dedicated to updating VA direct deposits:
|Regular direct deposit updates
|International direct deposit updates
The office is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
Another option is to go to your nearest VA regional office in person. The official VA.gov website has a location finder here so that you can find the VA regional office closest to you. Note that many of them have limited hours or have closed; the site should be up-to-date on these changes.
If all else fails, you can try snail mail to change the status of your VA direct deposit. You can download the Direct Deposit Sign-Up Form (VA Form SF-1199a) and fill it out by hand. The instructions and mailing address are on the form.
What If I Don’t Have a Bank Account?
Some military personnel may not have a bank account set up to receive direct deposits. While the obvious thing to say is “set one up,” there are several reasons why someone might not have a banking account. This section is for those people.
The first thing to do if you qualify for the VA program and do not have a bank account is to check this site about the Veterans Benefits Banking Program. The VBBP site is designed to help veterans find friendly banks and credit unions. The VA program does not issue debit cards.
In the worst-case scenario, a veteran may not be able to open a checking account at all. This is usually a SNAFU with the banking system and/or the person’s credit. It is not a problem with the government, but if you are a veteran, they are likely to help you fix whatever the issue is.
Whether you need to change your benefits or are a new applicant, the official government website is the fastest way to get your VA benefits updated. The changes should be visible on the website within 16 hours and will be reflected on your next payment.
If the website is not working, there are other ways for you to change the information on your VA direct deposit. There are support phone numbers whether you’re at home or abroad, and if need be, you can try snail mail. Finally, if there is a VA office near you, it may help to talk to someone in-person.
And if you do not have a bank account, the government offers veterans support for making one. VA direct deposits do not come in the form of debit cards. If things get messy with a particular bank, the government may have to intervene on a veteran’s behalf, just to be sure they get their direct deposit.