On January 25, 2018, Senator Jon Tester (MT), introduced S. 2341-the Veterans Fair Debt Notice Act.
This legislation would require the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to improve the processing of veterans benefits, limit the authority of the Secretary to recover overpayments and improve the due process accorded veterans with respect to such recovery.
The bill would address the root causes of VA overpayments and institute common-sense protections for veterans by:
Only allowing the VA to collect debts that occur as a result of an error or fraud on the part of a veteran or their beneficiary.
Prohibiting VA from deducting more than 25 percent from a veteran’s monthly payment in order to recoup overpayment or debt. This deduction may be further limited if it puts that veteran at risk of financial hardship, for example if the veteran is living on a fixed income.
Preventing the VA from collecting debts incurred more than five years prior. Currently there is no time limit on how long after a payment a veteran can be billed.
Requiring the VA to provide veterans with a way to update their dependency information on their own, eliminating a key processing delay for veterans, which frequently contributes to the VA making overpayments.
Consistent with the intent of DAV Resolution No. 213, which calls for alleviating undue financial hardship in processing overpayments and notifying veterans of debt, we support this bill. Please use the prepared letter or draft your own to urge your Senators to support and cosponsor S. 2341.
Stand with us and support this change to provide debt protections for all veterans and their families. Thank you for your continued support of the DAV Commander’s Action Network.