Dear American Legion Family and Friends,
Let me say this in the clearest terms possible: Veterans should feel safe and confident when filing for claims, knowing that no matter who they choose for representation, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has reviewed, approved and accredited that party.
That is why The American Legion opposes the PLUS (Preserving Lawful Utilization of Services for Veterans) Act. If enacted, the PLUS Act would transition our system of securing benefits for disabled veterans to an unregulated profit-driven industry.
Currently, there are unaccredited third parties that present themselves to veterans as legitimate claims service companies to assist veterans in obtaining their earned benefits. The PLUS Act aims to legalize these companies by allowing automatic accreditation after 90 days regardless of whether VA has completed its verification process. The VA-accreditation program exists to ensure that veterans and their family members receive appropriate representation on their VA benefits claims. The American Legion wants to hold bad actors accountable, not give them a free pass to prey on veterans.
Our team is working hard to protect all veterans from the PLUS Act. In September 2023, The American Legion sent a letter of opposition to the congressional representatives sponsoring the Plus Act and I personally voiced our opposition during my congressional visits just last month.
However, there is legislation that would help veterans elude the clutches of bad actors. In an effort to protect our nation’s veterans, The American Legion supports the Governing Unaccredited Representatives Defrauding (GUARD) VA Benefits Act. The legislation would reinstate criminal penalties for unaccredited claim representatives who charge unauthorized fees while assisting veterans with filing a claim for VA disability compensation benefits.
The American Legion continues to muster support to protect all veterans and their families from claims sharks. Join us in telling Congress to support the GUARD Act.
Daniel J. Seehafer
The American Legion