This week, Florida’s two senators–Republican U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott–championed the “Protect Our Disabled Heroes Act.”
Rubio introduced the bill which would “protect our nation’s disabled veterans from unethical and unfair practices when applying for Veterans Administration (VA) disability claims” and “ protect disabled veterans from unethical fees charged by third-party organizations in preparing and executing veterans’ disability claims.” The bill would also offer criminal penalties on scammers who charge veterans fees that are not authorized.
The bill would also impose criminal penalties for individuals who charge veterans unauthorized fees.
“Since the creation of the VA, numerous independent Veteran Service Organizations have assisted veterans in filing disability claims free of charge. Currently, there are individuals that intentionally take advantage of veterans who may be unaware of the free services available to them,” Rubio’s office noted.
“It’s appalling that bad actors take advantage of our brave veterans trying to secure disability benefits,” Rubio said. “We should do everything possible to protect our veterans against predatory practices. They served our nation honorably and they deserve better. It’s time to hold these bad actors accountable.”
“The men and women who have honorably served our nation have made incredible sacrifices,” Scott said. “We owe them nothing less than our finest service and care in return. This bill protects our heroes and holds any bad actors accountable for trying to take advantage of disabled veterans seeking support. I’ll never stop fighting to make sure our veterans have every resource they need and I urge my colleagues to join in supporting this good bill.”
Other backers include U.S. Sens. Roy Blount, R-Mo., and Todd Young, R-Ind.
The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. House.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org