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Stefanik introduces legislation for veterans

Posted 3/11/22

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-21, Schuylerville, introduced the Ernest Peltz Accrued Veterans Benefits Act, bipartisan legislation to help veteran families overcome the …

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Stefanik introduces legislation for veterans

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 Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-21, Schuylerville, on Thursday introduced the Ernest Peltz Accrued Veterans Benefits Act, bipartisan legislation to help veteran families overcome the bureaucratic hurdles of the Department of Veterans Affairs and secure accrued pension benefits for an ailing or recently passed veteran.

Stefanik introduced this legislation, Thursday, after working with Charles Peltz, whose father World War II veteran Mr. Ernest Peltz passed away after being approved for his accrued pension benefit. However, due to a VA error, the VA didn’t deposit the approved funds in Peltz’s bank account until seven days after his passing.

Due to that error, the VA pulled these funds, leaving the Peltz family to deal with all expenses related to his care.

“Our nation should take great pride in awarding our veterans the benefits due to them from their service. Sadly, the Peltz family’s encounter with the VA’s bureaucratic red tape is too often the case for many of our veteran families in Upstate New York, the North Country, and across America,” Stefanik said.

“I’m proud to take action on behalf the Peltz family and all our veteran families to work to cut down on bureaucracy while families are mourning the loss of a loved one and hero,” she added. “I am proud to introduce this legislation to honor the legacy of World War II veteran Mr. Ernest Peltz and take one step forward in improving the effectiveness of an agency infamous for regulatory red tape.”

Specifically, this legislation would assist families seeking accrued pension benefits for an ailing or recently passed veteran by:

-Ensuring VA accrued pension benefits are released to the surviving family retroactively;

-Eliminating additional obstacles at the VA for a veteran’s child by changing code language from “surviving spouse” to “eligible survivor;” and

-Expanding the timeline to include the month of death for when a family can receive the accrued veterans benefits.

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