Bill would try to help veterans avoid getting scammed

NORFOLK, Va. - Members of Congress are taking action to try and prevent veterans from getting scammed.

This week the House of Representatives passed the Veterans Care Financial Protection Act, requiring government agencies to come up with ways for more protections for elderly veterans. It also requires the Dept. of Veterans Affairs to post warnings on its website. The bill still needs to pass the Senate.

"As Americans we can all agree we've made a more covenant with the men and women who have served in our armed forces," said Rep. Matt Cartwright, a republican from Pennsylvania. "If you've risked your safety for the great ideals this country was founded upon we will take care of you."

Rep. Cartwright says elderly veterans with pensions can qualify for Aid and Attendance benefits to get money for assisting living facilities or in-home nurses. The application is free, but groups, like financial planners, will charge veterans. In some cases, he says the groups took control of veterans finances and the vets couldn't get access to their money for years.

Sen. Tim Kaine says he hasn't heard of the bill yet, but it sounds like something he'd support. "You do get into this world of unscrupulous folks who try to take advantage of veterans or try to take advantage of gold star spouses," Kaine said. "Those are some of the most unscrupulous people in the world."

In a statement, Rep. Scott Taylor praised the bill passing the House. "It is disgraceful that there are people in our country who would prey upon veterans for financial gain," he said. "This bill will help connect veterans with the information they need to protect themselves, and commissions the VA to study this issue to maintain these protections.”