“AMAC Action joins thirty-six other conservative organizations in strong support of preserving the right of veterans to choose their own counsel and representatives to assist them in navigating the bureaucracy of the Veterans Administration and secure the disability benefits they rightly deserve. This letter is in opposition to a Senate bill entitled Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act (S. 2141) that would in effect criminalize as so-called “unaccredited actors” consultants and representatives, other than those registered with the VA, working veterans on their claims. While well meaning, the bill is overbroad and wrongly limits a veterans’ choice of advisors and representatives, thereby leaving the initiation phase of the claims solely on the backs of either the overburdened veteran service organizations or veterans themselves.”
February 15, 2022
Dear Chairmen Takano and Tester, and Ranking Members Bost and Moran:
In 2021, Frontiers of Freedom launched the Veterans Choice Initiative, a grassroots effort committed to supporting disabled veterans by protecting their right to choose how to best navigate the bureaucracy of the Veterans Administration and secure the disability benefits they rightly deserve.
Providing access to high quality disability benefits support is one of our most important obligations to the brave men and women who have served this country. Unfortunately, the current government-run and volunteer system is both confusing and under-resourced, leaving veterans at a disadvantage when seeking the benefits, they are ethically, medically, and legally entitled to.
As you look to set the Committee’s priorities for the New Year, we ask that you not repeat the mistakes of the past.
In 2021, Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act (S. 2141) was introduced in the Senate which in effect criminalized “unaccredited actors,” that wish to help veterans with their claims. This includes private consultants that provide necessary and life-changing assistance to millions of veterans around the country.
These proposed changes will limit a veterans’ choice and leave the initiation phase of the claims solely on the backs of VSOs or veterans themselves. While VSOs are filled with well-meaning and sometimes qualified individuals and volunteers, most of the organizations do not have the manpower or expertise to handle the massive inflow that is expected over the next few years.
This latest attempt built upon a 2019 bill that aimed to amend title 38 of the United States Code, to provide criminal penalties for individuals acting as agents or attorneys for the preparation, presentation, or prosecution of a claim. Thankfully, the initial bill was rightfully defeated.
Our veterans have earned the right to choose their consultation and representation, regardless of Accreditation status, as they navigate a confusing system.
As you consider reforms to the veterans’ benefits system in 2022, we ask that any legislation around this issue in Congress will ensure a veteran’s right to choose is not jeopardized.
Thank you for your consideration.