Rep. Deutch Announces Legislative Package to Protect Seniors, Veterans
Congressman Deutch (FL-22) announced today a legislative package that aims to strengthen consumer protections to help ensure a safe and secure retirement for veterans, their families, and seniors. Fighting for America's seniors and veterans are among Congressman Deutch's top legislative priorities.
“I made a commitment to my constituents that I would be an effective voice in Washington for the issues that matter most to them. I’m honored to represent a large population of seniors and veterans, two communities that have given so much to our country. As one of my first actions of the new Congress, I’m proud to help introduce three bipartisan bills that will bolster protections against fraud and abuse.”
On Wednesday, Congressman Deutch re-introduced the Seniors Fraud Prevention Act (H.R. 444) with Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT), with a Senate companion bill introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). There are many cleverly disguised fraud schemes out there, and more appearing every day, designed specifically to target seniors and steal their money. This bipartisan legislation would help protect seniors and their families by creating an office within the Federal Trade Commission charged with tracking fraud schemes targeting seniors and distributing the information to the public. You can read a one-page summary of the legislation here.
“Seniors who have worked their entire lives and are now settling into retirement shouldn't have to fear losing it all to a deceptive scheme. We must do better at protecting this vulnerable population, many of whom are living on fixed incomes. This is an important bill to alert the public of known threats to seniors and to encourage swift action by law enforcement to protect the financial security of our country's seniors."
On Thursday, Congressman Deutch again joined with Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL) to re-introduce the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act (H.R. 506), with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introducing the Senate companion. This bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously in the 114th Congress. For their commitment to the safety of our country, veterans are eligible for pension benefits to help them with activities of daily living as they age. Unfortunately, financial predators often prey on veterans wishing to cut through delays and processes to receive their benefits in an expedited time, falsely claiming to provide this service for an exorbitant fee. To crack down on these scammers, this legislation will impose a heavy fine, imprisonment, or both for criminals who try and take advantage of our veterans. You can read a one-page summary of the legislation here.
"Con artists go after veterans’ hard-earned pensions with false claims to help them while charging outrageous fees. After all that these veterans have given to our country, our government should do all it can to protect them from financial predators. While these despicable scams are currently illegal, this bill will impose a heavy punishment on these criminals and discourage future exploitation."
Next week, Congressman Deutch will join Congresswoman Mia Love (R-UT) and other colleagues to introduce the Fair Treatment for Families of Veterans Act (H.R. 4087 in the 114th Congress). Currently, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs distributes certain benefits up until the last day of the month before the beneficiary passes away. Unfortunately, this may result in the deceased beneficiary’s family being forced to pay for the intermediary medical and home care costs between the final day of the month before and the actual day of passing. To reverse this unfair policy, this bill would allow the federal government to cover these costs up to the last day of the month the beneficiary died. You can read a one-page summary of the legislation here.
"There is no reason that a veteran's surviving family should owe the VA money because of costs of caring for their loved one in their final days. The current policy doesn't consider that health and home care costs are often paid up front for the month. This bill's simple revision of the law would ensure a veteran receives care from their earned benefits through their final days, and can mean serious savings into the thousands for surviving families."