Jun 01 2023
The legislation would also protect individuals from fraudsters by ensuring that criminals face penalties for taking advantage of veterans.
“The government should not stand in the way of veterans’ ability to get the most out of their VA benefits. The PLUS for Veterans Act would protect veterans’ access to private organizations that help them file claims and impose criminal penalties on fraudsters,” said Kennedy.
Data shows that private VA claim consulting services are generally more effective in resolving VA claims than public Veteran Service Organizations are. The bill also establishes safeguards to make veterans aware of other options to get help filing claims and to prevent conflicts of interest.
The PLUS for Veterans Act would:
- Impose criminal penalties or fines on unaccredited individuals or businesses for directly or indirectly soliciting, contracting for, charging or receiving any fee or compensation with respect to the preparation, presentation or prosecution of any claim for VA benefits.
- Cap legislative fees that private providers can collect.
- Allow private groups to charge fees only when a claim is successful.
- Create medical protections to ensure private actors do not benefit inappropriately from relationships with medical providers.
Reps. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.) and Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) are leading the legislation in the House of Representatives.
Full text of the PLUS for Veterans Act is available here.