Time to End the Claims Sharking Mess

Unqualified organizations and individuals charging exorbitant and improper fees has been a problem amplified by the passage of the PACT Act in August 2022. The matter is now getting out of hand.

See the PBS broadcast and transcript below for more about the “claims shark scandal.”

One should be asking why an unenforceable law, found in 38 USC Chapter 59, continues to exist at the will of our Congress. The current law has no punitive provisions — they having expired in 2006..  As a consequence, the sensible rules developed in 38 CFR 14.636 to prevent abuse of and to ensure good service to veterans applying for benefits have become meaningless to scofflaws.

The introduction of HR 1822, not mentioned in the report, is meant to increase access to benefits assistance services but is also deceiving. It will open the door further to predatory practices on the level of loan sharking, for the bill actually encourages the use of unqualified people and levying of higher fees when compared to the requirements of 38 CFR 14.636.

“We care about our veterans” is congressional mantra. Enough time has passed since 2006 for it to remedy the situation. H.R. 1139 and S. 740, its companion bill, need to be acted upon now to correct the problem.


As of 24 June 2024