Press Releases

WASHINGTON––U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the Faster Payments to Veterans’ Survivors Act of 2022 which will ensure veterans’ surviving family members or beneficiaries will receive the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits their loved ones earned through their service to our country in a timely fashion. This legislation will not only assist with paying these beneficiaries, but also will help identify and locate those who are owed these undisbursed funds.

“Veterans need to know their loved ones will be taken care of when they are gone, and this legislation is an important step to supporting their needs. Improving the VA’s process for administering life insurance will ensure surviving family members receive these benefits in a timely manner. I’m proud to advocate for veterans and fulfill our promise to them,” Boozman said

“Our veterans and their families have sacrificed so much to serve our country. They shouldn’t have to wait to receive their earned benefits after a loved one passes away,” said Brown. “This legislation will give VA the tools it needs to speed up a slow and outdated process, and ease the uncertainty for families awaiting benefits during a difficult time.” 

When a veteran passes away, the surviving spouse or child is often owed certain benefits, such as life insurance proceeds. Unfortunately, the VA often struggles to identify, locate and pay these families or beneficiaries in a timely fashion. As of September 2020, approximately 15,000 individuals remain undisbursed with more than $155 million in life insurance benefits owed to veteran families. By the VA’s own account that is approximately $10,500 per family. 

The Faster Payments to Veterans’ Survivors Act of 2022 would improve the VA’s management of undisbursed funds by:

  • Reducing the time that the VA is authorized to designate, contact, and pay primary or alternate insurance beneficiaries from 2 years to 1 year and from 4 years to 2 years, respectively.
  • Applying uniform procedures for paying alternate beneficiaries across VA life insurance programs.  
  • Increasing knowledge of the VA’s online tool for veterans’ families to search for unclaimed funds.
  • Setting a two-year benchmark to disburse proper and accurate funds to a deceased veteran’s beneficiary or survivor.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Modern Military Association of America (MMAA) and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) support the legislation. 

Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Chris Pappas (D-NH-1) and Nancy Mace (R-SC-1) and has a total of 30 cosponsors.

For full text of the bill, click here.