U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Roy Blunt, R-Mo. and Todd Young, R-Ind. reintroduced the Protect Our Disabled Heroes Act of 2019 on Wednesday, a bill to protect our nation’s disabled veterans from unethical and unfair practices in applying for Veterans Administration (VA) disability claims.
Specifically, Rubio’s legislation would protect disabled veterans from unethical fees charged by third party organizations in preparing and executing veterans' disability claims. It would also reinstate criminal penalties for individuals charging veterans unauthorized fees.
Since the creation of the VA, numerous independent veterans service organizations have assisted veterans in filing disability claims free of charge. However, many veterans are unaware that such services should be provided at no cost and instead seek assistance through attorneys and organizations that charge a filing fee.
“It’s appalling that bad actors take advantage of our brave veterans trying to secure disability benefits, and we should do everything possible to protect them against predatory practices,” Rubio said. “Our veterans served our country honorably and they deserve better. It’s time to punish those who prey on our nation’s heroes who have returned home.”
Said Blunt, “It is absolutely reprehensible for anyone to seek a profit by defrauding disabled veterans. The criminals who prey upon veterans’ efforts to get the benefits they have earned must be held accountable. By protecting disabled veterans from scams and fraudulent fees, this bill will help us do our part to honor the sacrifices these heroes have made.”
Added Young, “Charging unfair fees to take advantage of disabled veterans is truly appalling. As a Marine, I’m proud to cosponsor this bill, which would reinstate criminal penalties for these unethical, immoral acts and protect our disabled veterans. We must do all we can to protect those who have already sacrificed so much."