Northern Illinois Congressman Co-Sponsors Bill To Protect Veterans' Credit

Jun 19, 2017


A northern Illinois Congressman is part of a bipartisan effort to help veterans whose credit is affected adversely by problems associated with the federal Veterans Choice Program.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Choice Program, created in 2014, provides veterans the ability to receive medical care in a non-VA facility based on appointment availability or distance from a VA facility. The Choice Program then reimburses the veterans for medical expenses they incur from the private provider. But 14th District Congressman Randy Hultgren said that last part is causing headaches for the veterans it was supposed to help.

“The problem is, there’s been some challenges in getting that reimbursement, and sometimes that’s been affecting a veteran’s credit,” he said. “That impacts their ability to be able to purchase a home, or purchase a car, or get school loans, or other things like that.”

So Hultgren, along with several Republican and Democratic colleagues, recently reintroduced the Protecting Veterans Credit Act.

The legislation creates a one-year credit-reporting grace period for veterans to resolve debt from medical services. It also applies to VA Community health programs, which have had similar problems.

The Act, first introduced in 2016, is endorsed by a number of veterans’ organizations and consumer advocate groups.

Companion legislation has been filed in the Senate.