Congressmen Kim and Hill Introduce Bill to Protect Veterans from VA Errors
Congressmen Kim and Hill Introduce Bill
to Protect Veterans from VA Errors
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) and Congressman French Hill (AR-02) introduced H.R. 4360, the VA Overpayment Accountability Act, that would help veterans who have been unfairly targeted by debt collection agencies due to errors by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“We should be honoring our veterans, not sending debt collectors after them because the VA’s systems have failed,” said Congressman Kim. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill because our veterans are living paycheck-to-paycheck and they deserve a VA that works for them. After their sacrifice and what they’ve given to our country, holding the VA accountable for overpayments and protecting our veterans is the least we can do to say thank you.”
“Too many veterans in my home state of Arkansas have suffered financially because of payment mistakes made by the VA,” said Congressman Hill. “It is unacceptable that the lives of our veterans can be turned upside down at no fault of their own. The VA Overpayment Accountability Act takes the burden off our veterans when the VA makes a payment error and protects their hard-earned monthly benefit checks and credit scores. Veterans should never have to pay such a heavy price for the VA’s mistakes.”
The VA Overpayment Accountability Act would directly address a rise in overpayments to veterans due to the current method of processing dependency changes and communications errors between outdated IT systems. Oftentimes, the VA attempts to recover these overpayments by withholding their monthly benefit checks. This directly impacts the estimated 1.4 million veterans nationwide who are struggling with poverty issues.
The bill would ensure that veterans impacted by these errors could repair any damage to their credit scores and would require the VA to make improvements to systems proven to cause these harmful overpayments.
“The veterans residing in New Jersey support the efforts of Congressman Kim in correcting the harsh Veterans Administration procedures in recouping benefit overpayments from veterans who are barely living paycheck to paycheck,” said Barbara Kim-Hagemann, State Commander of the Department Of New Jersey Veterans of Foreign Wars. “We have long advocated for a fully funded VA that fills employee vacancies, improves customer service and modernizes the health and benefit IT system.”
Congressman Kim is a member of the House Committee on Small Business and the House Armed Services Committee. In addition to the VA Overpayment Accountability Act, Congressman Kim also introduced Patriotic Employer Protection Act and the SERVICE Act to provide economic empowerment and job opportunities to those who serve and their families.
Congressman Hill represents Arkansas’s Second Congressional District which is home of the Little Rock Air Force Base and Camp Robinson. This June, Congressman Hill awarded the VA his Golden Fleece Award for billions of dollars in improper payments in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018.