03/20/2019
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WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) co-sponsored the bipartisan Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need (HAVEN) Act this week to protect the economic security and well-being of veterans and their families who rely on disability benefits and may be experiencing financial hardship.

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. By contrast, bankruptcy law explicitly exempts Social Security disability benefits from this calculation. To remove this unequal treatment among various disability benefits, the HAVEN Act would exclude VA and DoD disability payments made to veterans or their dependent survivors from the monthly income calculation used for bankruptcy means tests.

“Disabled veterans risked their lives to protect our nation, and the least we can do is protect their disability benefits and economic security,” said Senator Tillis. “Current bankruptcy law unfairly stacks the deck against disabled veterans, allowing creditors to chip away at the disability benefits they need and deserve. I’m proud to co-sponsor the bipartisan HAVEN Act, which fixes the problem with existing law to ensure we are taking care of disabled veterans who are facing financial challenges.”

The HAVEN Act complements recent congressional efforts to combat servicemember and veteran mental health issues, addiction, suicide, poverty, and homelessness – all of which are exacerbated by financial hardship. It is supported by the American Bankruptcy Institute, American College of Bankruptcy, The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Wounded Warrior Project, Association of the United States Army, Association of the United States Navy, Retired Enlisted Association, Society of Military Widows, Veterans for Common Sense, and the U.S Army Warrant Officers Association.

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