Press Release

Press Release AG Healey Calls on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to Suspend All Claims Deadlines and Debt Collection During COVID-19 Pandemic

Joins Bipartisan Coalition Supporting Veterans During COVID-19 Crisis
For immediate release:
4/03/2020
  • Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

Media Contact for AG Healey Calls on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to Suspend All Claims Deadlines and Debt Collection During COVID-19 Pandemic

Alex Bradley

BostonToday, Attorney General Maura Healey joined a bipartisan coalition of 22 state attorneys general urging the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) to loosen restrictions for veterans’ benefits claims deadlines and cease debt collection during the COVID-19 crisis.    

In a letter to Robert Wilkie, the U.S Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the coalition urges the VA to suspend all claims deadlines and issue a moratorium on collection activities for benefits overpayments and other debt. The attorneys general also recognize that because the VA cannot currently provide in-person claims assistance, and because many do not have the ability to submit claims electronically, veterans are at risk of losing critical benefits or falling into debt. Many states are also under stay-at-home orders, preventing veterans from seeking help from support organizations that regularly assist them in gathering evidence and submitting claims.

“Our veterans served and protected our country and we should be doing everything we can to support them,” said AG Healey. “We urge the VA to provide the health care and services they need during this crisis.”

The VA has already taken some action to provide relief to veterans by granting temporary relief from debt obligations on a case by case basis. In the letter, the attorneys generals agree that this current relief is insufficient and that the VA needs to take broader measures to protect veterans.

Visit the AG’s COVID-19 resource page for information about how the AG’s Office can provide support during this crisis. 

This letter was led by the California Attorney General, and is joined by Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

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Media Contact for AG Healey Calls on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to Suspend All Claims Deadlines and Debt Collection During COVID-19 Pandemic

Office of Attorney General Maura Healey 

Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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