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Rep. Zeldin's Veterans Bill Passes House of Representatives

July 28, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC –Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, C - NY-1), Member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, and two Veterans Affairs Subcommittees: the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, and the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, announced today that his bill, the Veterans Estate Transfer to Survivors Act, or the VETS Act (H.R. 1569), which was amended into the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2015 (H.R. 675), passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 409 to 0.

The VETS Act would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to pay certain benefits that were earned by a veteran to the veteran's estate. Under current law, if a veteran passes away while the VA is still reviewing a claim, the VA no longer has to award the earned benefits. Currently, only a veteran's spouse, minor child, or dependent parent(s) are eligible to collect the accrued benefits. By adding the estate to the current list of beneficiaries, adult children could now also receive the benefits earned, should there be no other qualifying family members. 

“The VETS Act is a commonsense reform to VA benefit payouts that will help veterans and their families on Long Island and across the country, ensuring our veteran families, who rightfully earned and deserve their benefits, actually receive their benefits, even after the veteran passes away,” said Congressman Zeldin. “I am happy to see the bill pass the House with such overwhelming bipartisan support, knowing that veterans and their families will benefit from the protections this bill will provide our service members."

Last night, following the passage of his bill, Congressman Zeldin spoke on the House floor. You can watch the video here.

The VETS Act bill text can be found here