News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Revak
For Immediate Release: April 09, 2021
Alaska Senate Approves Financial Protection Bill for Veterans
JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today unanimously passed legislation to ensure Alaska veterans are fully aware of free Veteran Service Organization (VSO) services they are entitled to.
A VSO is a partnership between the state, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and non-profit organizations for veterans that assists veterans with legal representation, medical supplies, and various other services.
Currently, however, many veterans are not aware that VSOs provide services free of charge and, instead, pay hefty fees to for-profit providers.
Senate Bill 40, sponsored by Senator Josh Revak, R-Anchorage, a U.S. Army Veteran, requires for-profit providers who offer compensated veterans services to provide veterans a written disclosure form listing the free alternatives prior to taking them on as a client. Additionally, any advertisement for veteran benefit services will be required to include a disclosure that indicates that a VSO offers these services free of charge.
“Senate Bill 40 ensures that veterans and their families who are looking for assistance with veterans benefit services are fully informed about the free services offered by Veteran Service Organizations before they pay for assistance,” said Sen. Revak. “After making sacrifices to serve our country, it’s unfortunate that so many veterans are being taken advantage of. SB 40 seeks to change this reality by helping connect veterans to the affordable services they deserve.”
There are 18 Veteran Service Officers in Alaska who work under organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), and the Director of Veterans Affairs. These organizations are responsible for aiding and advising veterans free of charge.
SB 40 passed the Senate by a vote of 19-0. It is now on its way to the Alaska House of Representatives for consideration.
Alaska Senate Majority
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