Bill would amend current bankruptcy law to better protect the economic security of veterans and their families.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Lucy McBath (D-GA) and Greg Steube (R-FL) introduced the bipartisan Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need (HAVEN) Act, H.R. 2938, to protect veterans and their families who may be experiencing financial hardship and rely on disability benefits.

“Our disabled veterans earned their benefits by serving our great nation, and we must protect them and their families, especially during financial hardship,” said Rep. Lucy McBath. “This bipartisan legislation would safeguard the disability benefits that our veterans and their families deserve and depend on. I’m proud to support the HAVEN Act – we must do right by our veterans.”

“I’m proud to support the HAVEN Act and ensure that benefits afforded to our disabled veterans are just that—benefits, not burdens. This bill will make sure that disability payments are not counted as income in bankruptcy,” said Rep. Greg Steube. “We should help veterans who have fallen on tough financial times, not hurt them by taking away the very payments they earned fighting for our freedom”

Under current bankruptcy law, disability benefits paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) are included in the calculation of a debtor’s disposable income, increasing the portion of the debtor’s income that is subject to the reach of creditors. The HAVEN Act would amend bankruptcy law to treat VA and DoD disability benefits the same as Social Security disability benefits, which are exempt from this calculation. This legislation would remove this unequal treatment by excluding VA and DoD disability payments made to veterans or their dependent survivors from the monthly income calculation used to determine the portion of income that is subject to the reach of creditors.

Watch Rep. McBath speak in support of the HAVEN Act on the House floor here or read below:

 

Today, I am introducing the Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need or HAVEN Act with my colleague, Greg Steube of Florida. 

Under current law, when a veteran files for bankruptcy, his or her disability benefits from the VA or DoD count as income that is subject to the reach of creditors. However, Social Security disability benefits are exempt. The HAVEN Act would amend bankruptcy law to exclude disability benefit payments paid from the VA or DoD from that monthly income calculation – treating it the same as Social Security disability.

Our disabled veterans earned their benefits by serving our great nation, and we must protect them and their families, especially during financial hardship.

I encourage my colleagues to support our nation’s veterans and co-sponsor this bipartisan legislation.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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