U.S. SENATE– U.S. Senator Steve Daines today introduced legislation to protect Montana veterans from being scammed by pension poachers.
“It is a shame that there are bad actors out there looking to take advantage of our nation’s heroes,” Daines said. “My legislation cracks down on pension poachers and ensure our veterans in Montana and across the country are protected from these illegal scams.”
The FREE Veterans Act reinstates a penalty on companies who act illegally by providing advice or representation to veterans without proper accreditation from the VA.
The bill requires the VA to communicate to the veteran or spouse about the right to repeal fees associated with legal representation.
It will increase VA oversight over the benefits program.
To read the full bill, click HERE.
Statements of Support:
“They were receiving my full VA pension, they kept a portion of my pension to pay for their services, every month, then they paid another company, every month, to provide my in home care. My pension benefits at that time were $1176.00 a month. By the time I received money to pay for my care I was only getting $400.00 a month. This is all that I had left to pay for the care I needed. I grew suspicious of their strange billing and payments. So I stopped speaking with them and sought assistance from Bryan Zipp. He has been amazing in helping to bring justice to the situation. I want to thank Senator Daines for everything he has done to help stop this from happening to anyone else.” – Patricia Pardue
Thank you Senator Daines and team for preparing and presenting this bill today. My main job as a Veterans Service Officer is to help Veterans and family members receive all the benefits they so rightly deserve. When I met Mrs. Pardue and she told me what was happening with her benefits. I was appalled that there were companies like this taking advantage of our elderly Veterans and Family members. Up until the introduction of this bill there was nothing to protect them from predatory agencies. Thankfully, because of this bill there will be policies to protect the benefits all Veterans earned through their sacrifice to our Country. – Brian Zipp, Veterans Service Officer Kalispell
“The Enlisted Association of the National Guard for Montana supports the FREE Veteran’s Act as it is important to protect all Veterans from those who would attempt to profit at their expense. We thank Senator Daines for his work on this important issue in support of all Veterans.” – Dennis Stoner, President of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard for Montana
“The Montana Department of the American Legion appreciates the efforts of Senator Daines to insure our veterans are not deprived of their legitimate veteran benefits by those who would scam the veteran for personal gain. Our veterans deserve to keep all of their earned benefits. The Legion and the VA provide claims submittal services at no charge and we believe that is what veterans deserve. We thank Senator Daines for this legislation.” – Commander Jeff Nelson and Adjutant Gary White, Montana Department of the American Legion
Daines is a strong supporter of our veterans and is dedicated to ensuring that our veterans receive the care and benefits that they fought for and greatly deserve.