WASHINGTON, DC – Last night, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) helped pass a pair of bills to ensure veterans receive the benefits they have earned. The WINGMAN Act would provide caseworkers in congressional offices with additional tools to assist veterans. Under the new law, certified congressional employees would be able to obtain consent from a veteran constituent to view their Veterans Benefits Administration electronic records directly. This would allow caseworkers to see a veteran’s benefit history rather than having to request the information from the VA as they do now – making the free casework assistance provided by congressional offices more efficient. Since 2013, Rep. Peters and his San Diego office have helped recover almost $1.3 million in veterans benefits owed to San Diego veterans.
“San Diego has one of the largest populations of veterans in the country, and one of my most important jobs is ensuring they get the benefits and care they have earned through their service,” said Rep. Scott Peters. “This reform would give congressional staff an additional tool to navigate the federal bureaucracy and get answers for our veterans. In some cases this could mean getting benefits restored or back payments issued more quickly.”
Rep. Peters also voted to pass the Protecting Veterans’ Educational Choice Act, which would require VA education counselors to inform veterans eligible for education assistance about their ability to transfer credits between certain colleges and universities. This simple step will help ensure veterans have the information they need to use their earned educational benefits in the most efficient manner possible and do not find themselves unable to finish a degree or transfer credits.