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    ‘Status Quo Is Not an Option’: Lawmakers Press VA on Handling of Companies Charging to File Benefits Claims

    ‘Status Quo Is Not an Option': Lawmakers Press VA on Handling of Companies Charging to File Benefits Claims

    A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pressing the Department of Veterans Affairs for answers about how it handles unaccredited companies that charge fees to help veterans file disability benefits claims.

    The letter, organized by Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester, D-Mont., is aimed at pinpointing the VA's position on the issue in hopes of spurring progress on stalled proposals in Congress to crack down on the unaccredited companies, a congressional staffer told .com.

    “Maintaining the current status quo is not an option for our veterans who risked their lives to defend our country,” Tester and 30 other lawmakers in both parties and chambers of Congress wrote in the letter sent to VA Secretary Denis McDonough Thursday. “We cannot allow unaccredited individuals to target veterans offering them access to VA benefits for a price. Every day we continue to allow this market to flourish, veterans are losing money.”

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    Lawmakers have been debating competing proposals to address the issue of unaccredited companies charging veterans to file claims, a discourse that has grown more urgent amid warnings that fraudsters are targeting veterans hoping to collect their Act-granted benefits.

    It is illegal for unaccredited agents to prepare, present or file claims on behalf of veterans. But criminal penalties for…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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