House Passes Cartwright’s Bipartisan Bill to Protect Veterans
Washington, DC – This week, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill introduced by U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-17) to protect older, low-income veterans from financial scams. The bipartisan Veterans Care Financial Protection Act (H.R. 3122) would direct the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to work with other federal agencies and states to develop and implement standards that protect veterans from predatory practices.
“Scam artists are turning well-deserved benefits into a financial nightmare for those who can least afford it. This bipartisan, commonsense proposal will help protect veterans from financial scams. We owe this to our nation’s heroes,” said Rep. Cartwright. “I’d like to thank Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-05) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for their hard work on this bill. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to encourage them to act quickly on passage.”
The VA offers an Aid & Attendance (A&A) benefit for veterans who qualify for a VA pension and need financial help with in-home care or assisted living. The A&A application is free, but scam artists have targeted veterans and charged them to obtain these benefits. With this information, scammers can take ahold of the veteran’s assets, and may even move them into an irrevocable trust or an annuity. This movement of assets may also disqualify the veteran from other assistance, such as Medicaid.
“We have a duty to protect our most vulnerable veterans from being victims of financial scams. I thank Rep. Cartwright for his leadership on this bill that would crack down on scam artists taking advantage of veterans receiving benefits for in-home care,” said Rep. Phil Roe, Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee.
“Any person who profits off of scamming vulnerable veterans out of their hard earned benefits should be ashamed of themselves. More must be done to protect these veterans from exploitation by bad actors and that is why I offer my unequivocal support to H.R. 3122, Veterans Care Financial Protection Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill that will expand commonsense protections for veterans against financial predators,” said Rep. Tim Walz, Ranking Member of the Veterans Affairs Committee.