Veterans are Advocating for a Senate Bill That Would Prevent the Payback of Overpaid Benefits

Feb 5, 2018

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

Some advocates for veterans in Ohio want to change the way the Department of Veterans Affairs handles cases where it accidentally overpaid benefits.

James Powers is an Iraq war veteran from Massilon. Earlier Monday, he spoke in favor of a Senate bill called the "Veteran Debt Fairness Act," which would bar the agency from recouping payments that result from its own accounting errors. He says, before he was discharged in 2016, the VA mistakenly paid him about 13 thousand dollars in disability benefits. It took him months of administrative wrangling to return it.

A lot of this could've been avoided. Because once it did go through and I presented all of this to them, did all of their legwork, they said, ‘oh, yeah, sorry.'

The bill is co-sponsored by Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who sits on the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. Brown says the committee will consider the bill later this week.