Brownley, Pappas Urge VA to Protect Veterans from Debt Collections

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Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA), Chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health, and Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH), Chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on  Oversight and Investigation, along with 31 of their colleagues, urged the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to take immediate action to continue deferring the collection of veterans’ debt.

“Like many Americans, our nation’s veterans continue to struggle with job losses, housing instability, and paying their monthly bills as we continue battling the ongoing pandemic,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “VA has the legal authority to continue deferring veterans’ debts amid this global health emergency, so it is unclear why they are not doing so. This is the least we can do to provide our veterans with some relief in managing the financial uncertainties the pandemic has created. For many veterans and their families, this deferment means being able to pay the rent, keep the lights on, and keep food on the table.”

“Veterans across the country are suffering from the dire economic consequences of this pandemic, and it is essential that the VA take steps to provide some much needed relief,” said Congressman Pappas. “Far too many veterans are facing unexpected debt collection due to overpayments or other VA errors. Earlier this year, the VA listened to the concerns my colleagues and I expressed and extended the suspension of debt collection because of COVID-19. I hope VA will heed these calls again and extend the suspension of debt collection to protect our veterans from financial harm. With the pandemic and economic crisis far from over, this is a common sense step that is warranted.”

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