During Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing Sinema pressed VA officials on their actions to ensure financial security and debt relief for Arizona veterans during the coronavirus pandemic
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema spoke during a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing and pressed Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials about the VA’s efforts to ensure Arizona veterans are financially secure during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The VA must extend debt-relief for Arizona veterans and help ensure their financial security during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
VA announced in April certain actions providing financial relief to veterans during the coronavirus pandemic, including suspending all actions on veteran debt. These actions expire on December 31, 2020 and have not been extended. Sinema inquired whether these actions will be extended and whether they will be automatically applied or will require additional action by the veteran.
Arizona veterans have reported to Sinema concerns about the potential resumption of VA debt collection in January 2021 and confusion about VA’s guidance on debt relief. VA’s Health Administration released information to veterans stating their debt billing was automatically stopped and will resume January 1, 2021. Meanwhile, the Veterans Benefits Administration has not provided clear information whether their debt billing automatically stopped or how debt collection will change on January 1, 2020. Sinema expressed concern that the VA is not coordinated in this effort or communicating it well while Arizona veterans need answers now to ensure their financial security.