Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti Leads Coalition Urging the Passing of G.U.A.R.D. VA Benefits Act
Nashville – Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti joined a bipartisan coalition of 34 attorneys general in issuing a letter to congressional leaders expressing support for the passage of legislative proposals included in Governing Unaccredited Representatives Defrauding (G.U.A.R.D.) Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits Act.
In the letter, the coalition explains the legislation would hold unaccredited and unregulated actors accountable for preying upon veterans who apply for federal VA benefits.
Without accountability, unaccredited actors may advertise coaching and consultation services that are purportedly superior to the free services offered by accredited actors such as veteran service officers, claim agents and attorneys. In reality, the veterans do the work, and the unaccredited actors may only answer questions or advise.
The letter explains that unaccredited actors never contact the veteran once the veteran finishes the claim. Accredited veteran service officers and claim agents, alternatively, complete all of the required work and remain available to the veteran. Additionally, since unaccredited actors do not have access to VA claim files, some require the veteran to share system logins, passwords, or even bank account information so fees may be immediately withdrawn before the veteran ever learns claim money has been deposited.
General Skrmetti was joined in signing the letter by attorneys general from Alaska, America Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Washington.
Read the letter in its entirety here.