Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs (DAMA) approved Congresswoman Julia Brownley’s (D-Westlake Village) bill, the Protect Veterans from Financial Fraud Act (H.R. 105).
“I am pleased to see my bill advance to the full committee to protect our veterans and their benefits from fraud and abuse. There are hundreds of cases each year where veterans have their benefits stolen by a fiduciary. My bill would better allow the VA to make these veterans whole and recover the benefits that they have earned, deserve, and rely on to make ends meet.”
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. Specifically, it would protect veterans from financial fraud by ending the “10 or more rule” that restricts the VA from reissuing stolen benefits to a veteran unless the VA-appointed fiduciary manages VA benefits for ten or more veterans.
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 own financial affairs by appointing a fiduciary to assist with managing their benefit payments. In 2016, the Fiduciary Program served more than 230,000 veterans, survivors, and dependents.