Sending Office: Brownley (CA), Julia
Co-sponsor the Protect Veterans from Financial Fraud Act
Supported by: The American Legion, Fleet Reserve Association
116th Congress Co-sponsors: Cole, Hill, Jones, Moore, Norton, Schakowsky, Wilson
115th Congress Co-sponsors: Coffman, DeSaulnier, Meng
I write to request your co-sponsorship of my bill the Protect Veterans from Financial Fraud Act (H.R.592), which will ensure that every veteran participating in VA’s Fiduciary Program can recover their benefits in cases of fiduciary misuse and fraud.
The VA’s Fiduciary Program was established to protect veterans and other beneficiaries who — due to injury, disease, or age — are unable to manage their financial affairs. Under this program, if VA determines a veteran is unable to manage his or her financial
affairs, the Department will appoint a fiduciary to assist the veteran in managing benefit payments. In 2016, the Fiduciary Program served more than 230,000 veterans, survivors, and dependents.
Unfortunately, not all veterans who have VA-appointed fiduciaries are treated equally under federal law. If a fiduciary misuses a veteran’s benefits, the VA will remove the fiduciary, but it can only re-issue stolen benefits to the veteran if the fiduciary
manages benefits for ten or more veterans. According to the VA however, 80% of beneficiaries have a one-on-one relationship with their fiduciary. The “10 or more” requirement leaves thousands of veterans unprotected and unable to recoup the benefits in cases
of fiduciary abuse or fraud, which was committed at no fault of the veteran. In 2016, the VA conducted nearly 1,500 misuse investigations of which 764 fiduciaries were removed based upon a finding of misuse of benefits. The Protect Veterans from Financial
Fraud Act addresses a longstanding loophole that leaves out many of the most vulnerable veterans participating in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Fiduciary Program from recovering their benefits in cases of fiduciary misuse and fraud.
VA has testified that the existing law is arbitrary because it forces VA to treat two beneficiaries, who have the same disability and the same inability to manage their financial affairs, differently. Furthermore, the law does not provide the same protections
to all veterans.
Veterans participating in the VA Fiduciary program should be fully protected from fraud and abuse. My bill, the Protecting Our Veterans from Financial Fraud Act, would correct this injustice and ensure that all veterans receive the benefits that they have
earned and deserve. I hope you will support this simple, common-sense legislation.
For more information or to become a cosponsor, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call x55811.
Member of Congress
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