Mace introduces Faster Payments to Veterans’ Survivors Act

U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) on July 1 signed on as the lead original cosponsor of bipartisan legislation aimed at improving how the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) identifies, locates and pays benefits to survivors of recently deceased United States military veterans.

“Our fallen heroes have given everything they have in service to our country. When they pass away, their families are left not only devastated but often facing financial uncertainty,” Rep. Mace said. “This legislation will improve the VA’s management of undispersed life insurance funds to ensure that the surviving families of our nation’s heroes receive the timely payments they need to make ends meet after the tragic loss of their loved ones.”

Rep. Mace led 28 other original cosponsors in introducing the Faster Payments to Veterans’ Survivors Act of 2022, H.R. 8260, which is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) to shorten the time frame in which the VA is authorized to designate, contact and pay primary and appropriate alternate insurance beneficiaries from two years to one year and from four years to two years, respectively, according to a bill summary provided by the congresswoman’s staff.

“This bipartisan bill will allow VA to better identify and locate surviving family members of deceased veterans and make sure they receive the payments they deserve in a timely manner,” said Rep. Pappas.

If enacted, H.R. 8260 also would ensure that the procedures for paying alternate beneficiaries are uniformly applied and consistent between VA life insurance programs; improve and better publicize an existing online tool that veterans’ families may use to search for money they may be owed; and ensure the VA has the staff it needs to reach hard-to-find beneficiaries, among other provisions, the summary says. 

H.R. 8260 is supported by Veteran Services Organizations including Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America, the Military  Officers Association of America, the Modern Military Association of America, and Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Among the members who joined Rep. Mace as original cosponsors of the measure are U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Young Kim (R-CA), and Andrew Garbarino (R-NY).