The Department of Veterans Affairs has accidentally overpaid hundreds of thousands sending some into debt when the government agency asked them to pay it back. But, new legislation sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown aims to prevent that from happening in the first place.
The U.S. Senate earlier this week passed Brown’s amendment to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act that requires the VA to track overpayments to veterans which is known to lead to “veteran debt,” according to the senator’s office. The amendment will force the VA to verify whether the agency is at fault of overpayments and whether it is disputed by a veteran.
“Our veterans sacrifice so much already to serve our country,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “They shouldn’t be paying for the mistakes of the Department that’s supposed to serve them. This amendment is a step in the right direction to address an issue that impacts so many veterans in Ohio and across the country.”
Brown’s amendment is part of a larger piece of legislation the Senator has been pushing called the Veterans’ Debt Fairness Act.
The bipartisan bill would only allow the VA to collect on debts that occur due to an error or fraud on the part of veterans and their beneficiary.
It would also make it so the VA can only deduct up to 25 percent from a veteran’s monthly payment to recoup deb and would prevent the VA from collecting debts incurred more than five years earlier, according to Brown’s office.
Brown’s legislation was inspired by veteran James Powers of Massillon, Ohio, a little more than three hours northeast of Dayton. Powers was one of the hundreds of thousands of vets impacted by the VA’s overpayment mistake, according to Brown’s office.
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Jackie Melendrez couldn't be prouder of her husband, her sons, and the fact that she works for the trucking company Iron Mountain. This regional router has been a Mountaineer since 2017, and says the support she receives as a military spouse and mother is unparalleled.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 40-foot-tall (12 meters) cross-shaped war memorial standing on public land in Maryland does not constitute government endorsement of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that leaves unanswered questions about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.
The justices were divided on many of the legal issues but the vote was 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that had declared the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg unconstitutional in a legal challenge mounted by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for secular governance. The concrete cross was erected in 1925 as a memorial to troops killed in World War One.
The ruling made it clear that a long-standing monument in the shape of a Christian cross on public land was permissible but the justices were divided over whether other types of religious displays and symbols on government property would be allowed. Those issues are likely to come before the court in future cases.