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Aug 7, 2019

Tester Bill to Protect Veterans’ Disability Payments Heads to President’s Desk

Bipartisan Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need Act will amend current bankruptcy law to support veterans experiencing financial burdens

U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s bipartisan bill to protect veterans’ disability payments recently passed the U.S. Senate and now heads to the President’s desk for signature.

As Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Tester introduced the Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need (HAVEN) Act to ensure veterans experiencing economic hardship do not have their earned disability benefits penalized.

“Under current bankruptcy law, a civilian disabled by a car wreck is treated better than a veteran disabled because their convoy ran over an improvised explosive device,” Tester said. “For the folks who sacrificed life and limb protecting our country, this disparity is unacceptable. Getting the HAVEN Act signed into law means veterans’ disability payments will be rightfully excluded from burdensome bankruptcy calculations, ensuring vets and their families retain the benefits they earned regardless of their financial circumstances.”

To remove this unequal treatment among various disability benefits, the HAVEN Act would exclude VA and Department of Defense disability payments made to veterans or their dependent survivors from the disposable income calculation used during a bankruptcy proceeding. Excluding these payments from the calculation will keep veterans from having to dip into their disability payments to pay off creditors.

This legislation is also a part of Tester’s larger push to help combat servicemember and veteran mental health issues, addiction, suicide, poverty, and homelessness – all of which are exacerbated by financial hardship.

The HAVEN Act is supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, Society of Military Widows, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans for Common Sense, Wounded Warrior Project, U.S Army Warrant Officers Association, the Retired Enlisted Association, the Association of the United States Army, the Association of the United States Navy and the American College of Bankruptcy.

Full text of the HAVEN Act is available online HERE.

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.

Billings

Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768

Bozeman

Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647

Butte

Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586

Helena

Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974

Missoula

130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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