Veterans Have Earned the Right to Choose

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They have fought and bled for us, but upon their return home, they’re rewarded with adversarial VA processes that make it difficult and frustrating to access the benefits and care they have earned. In order to navigate the numerous, complicated VA systems, Veterans often turn to veteran service organizations and specialized private assistance providers. There are two critical and fundamentally opposed pieces of legislation making their way through Congress that aim to address bad actors that seek to take advantage of Veterans. While both stem from noble intentions, one clearly restricts Veterans’ right to choose how they navigate the VA benefits processes, and one promotes their freedom of choice while still protecting them from malicious actors.

The GUARD VA Benefits Act would prevent access to specialized private assistance that countless Veterans rely upon to help them access their earned benefits. It would also restrict the availability of critical services, which limits assistance to the Veterans it aims to help. We believe Veterans need more options to help them, not fewer.

However, the bi-partisan PLUS for Veterans Act offers an alternative approach that retains Veterans’ right to choose, while still holding private organizations accountable, ensuring they uphold the highest standards of care and support. The PLUS Act would create an accreditation process that ensures malicious actors are penalized for their actions, while accredited organizations operate within a transparent, regulated framework. Freedom of choice is expanded, as it is accompanied by assurance of quality and ethical practice. A comprehensive and adaptive accreditation process would allow Veterans to feel confident in making their own decisions that are tailored for their particular needs.

We wholeheartedly support the passage of the PLUS Act, which was introduced in the House in May by Representatives Bergman (R-MI), Correa (D-CA), and Mace (R-SC), and encourage our policymakers to consider the drawbacks of the GUARD Act. Our Veterans have earned the right to choose readily available, high-quality support as they navigate the overly complex VA benefits processes.

Read our Letter of Support for Passing the PLUS for Veterans Act of 2023.

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