Bill Would Reinstate Criminal Penalties For Charging Unauthorized Fees While Helping Veterans File Benefit Claims
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen announced she’s joined the bipartisan Governing Unaccredited Representatives Defrauding (GUARD) VA Benefits Act to protect veterans from predatory practices by reinstating criminal penalties for unaccredited claims representatives who charge unauthorized fees while helping veterans file claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Current law prohibits unaccredited individuals and businesses from charging a fee for assisting a veteran in filing a VA benefit claim. However, the VA and other federal agencies are limited in their ability to enforce the law because criminal penalties were eliminated nearly 20 years ago.
“Our veterans deserve to be protected from criminals seeking to prey on their benefits,” said Senator Rosen. “The bipartisan legislation I’m joining will help safeguard veterans’ benefits and protect them from abuse.”
Senator Rosen has been a champion for Nevada’s servicemembers, veterans, and military families. Recently, Senator Rosen introduced the Jax Act, which would amend the military records of women veterans who deployed alongside Special Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq to ensure they accurately reflect their service as members of Cultural Support Teams who served in combat. Senator Rosen is also a co-sponsor of the Love Lives On Act, bipartisan legislation which would allow spouses of deceased servicemembers to retain survivor benefits if they remarry. Rosen led a letter urging Senate Appropriators to continue funding the Housing and Urban Development’s Veterans Affairs and Supportive Housing program, which helps homeless veterans by providing affordable housing voucher rental assistance. She also secured Nevada’s first-ever Veteran Business Outreach Center to provide business resources and support to transitioning servicemembers, veterans, and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business.