Sinema-Backed Bipartisan Bill Protects Arizona Veterans’ Retirement Benefits from Scams

Jan 13, 2020

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored the bipartisan Veteran Pension Protection Act—legislation requiring the VA to protect veterans and their families from illegal scams targeting retirement benefits.
“Arizona veterans sacrificed for our country and should know their pensions are safe. Our bipartisan bill holds the VA accountable for safeguarding Arizona veterans’ retirement benefits from criminals and fraudsters,” said Sinema.
The Veteran Pension Protection Act requires the VA take steps to stop scammers targeting veterans’ pensions and benefits. Specifically, it requires the VA regularly train claims processors to detect and halt suspicious pension claims or payments, identify the most common types of financial exploitation, and develop strategies to respond to these threats. The bill also requires the VA develop a system for verifying that all individuals receiving VA pension payments are eligible, including verifying direct deposit information. Lastly, it requires the VA educate beneficiaries about likely scams, and requires the VA report scams to the DOJ and FTC.
Since her time in the U.S. House, Sinema has made it her mission to protect Arizonans from financial criminals. In the U.S. House, Sinema led the passage of the Senior Safe Act and worked with Republican Senator Susan Collins as it passed the Senate and became law in 2018. The Senior Safe Act empowers financial institutions to work with law enforcement in order to stop the financial abuse of seniors. Earlier this year, Sinema partnered with Senator Collins again to introduce the bipartisan Senior Security Act, which creates a task force focused on protecting Arizona seniors from financial crimes and scammers, and the bipartisan Anti-Spoofing Penalties Modernization Act, which increases penalties on criminals who use robocalls to harass and defraud.
Additionally, last year Sinema led the passage of her bipartisan Protecting Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act that safeguards veterans from predatory loan practices and helps them more easily access their earned homeowner benefits.