WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman French Hill (AR-02) lauded the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R. 4360, the VA Overpayment Accountability Act. The bipartisan bill offered by Congressman Hill and Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) would help veterans who have been unfairly targeted by debt collection agencies due to errors by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“Our nation makes a promise to the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces and in return for risking their lives in the defense of freedom and liberty, they have earned the right to financial and medical benefits,” said Congressman Hill. “The VA Overpayment Accountability Act takes a step towards strengthening that promise to our veterans by addressing the longstanding payment errors at the VA that have burdened too many Arkansas families at no fault of their own. I’m pleased to see this commonsense solution receive overwhelming bipartisan support from my House colleagues and call on the Senate to send it to the president’s desk to be signed into law.”
“Yesterday, Americans celebrated Veterans Day to honor the sacrifice of those who served. Today’s passage of this important bill will help ensure those veterans get the care they deserve,” said Congressman Kim. “I’ve talked with so many veterans across New Jersey who are struggling to get by. I’m proud to work with Congressman Hill on this bipartisan effort to make sure when the VA acts in error, our veterans don’t pay the price. For the sake of those veterans, the Senate should take up this bill immediately and send it to the President’s desk for his signature.”
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overpayments to veterans due to the current method of processing dependency changes and communications errors between outdated IT systems.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.
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.
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.