Veterans Groups and Relief Organizations Letter to Congressional Leaders in Support of PLUS for Veterans Act

September 21, 2023

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy


House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Chuck Schumer Speaker

Majority Leader

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Hakeem Jefferies

Minority Leader

House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Minority Leader

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

Support for Passing the PLUS for Veterans Act of 2023

Dear Congressional Leaders:

We, the undersigned, firmly believe in veterans' right to choose and access comprehensive assistance when pursuing the VA benefits they are entitled to. We are increasingly concerned about the misinformation surrounding the legislative landscape impacting veterans and their ability to navigate an adversarial VA benefits process — specifically, efforts that clearly limit the options and available assistance available to our veterans should they choose to use them. This right to choose and receive expert, transparent, quality care and to access expedited private services must never be restricted. At the same time, we share the concerns of many that legislation should and must provide financial and medical protections for our veterans. With this in mind, we express our sincere concerns about the implications of the proposed GUARD VA Benefits Act (H.R. 1139 / S. 740). Although its intentions may be noble, this legislation would prevent veterans' access to specialized private assistance that countless veterans rely upon to help them navigate numerous complicated VA systems. Furthermore, it risks restricting the availability of these critical services, thereby limiting assistance to the very veterans it aims to help. Veterans need more options to help them, not fewer. In contrast, the bi-partisan PLUS for Veterans Act (H.R. 1822 / S. 1789) offers a more balanced and nuanced approach that allows private companies to become accredited while continuing to assist veterans with obtaining their VA benefits. Through a strict accreditation process, this legislation ensures that malicious actors are held accountable with civil and criminal penalties and that those that are accredited meet the highest standards. This allows them to provide unique opportunities and services in tandem with traditional Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs). This approach ensures that private entities operate within a transparent and regulated framework while expanding the assistance available to veterans. The PLUS Act highlights the importance of collaboration between the private sector and governmental oversight — bringing together a more adaptive and flexible system, tailoring assistance to individual veterans' needs, and honoring the service and sacrifices of our nation's heroes. We strongly urge you to consider the potential drawbacks of the GUARD Act and promising alternatives like The PLUS Act. Our veterans have earned the freedom to choose readily available, high-quality support, and we stand ready to provide further information or assistance as you deliberate on these critical matters. Thank you for your attention and dedication to our veterans. We look forward to working with you to ensure the best possible outcome for our men and women in uniform.


AFG Free

Flanders Fields

Freedom Bird Foundation

Heart of an Ace

Joint Operation North Star

NMRG Rescue Project

Operation 620

Operation Recovery

Ops Sacred Promise

Project Exodus Relief

React DC

Rule 20

Special Operations Association of America

Task Force Argo

Task Force Pineapple

The Independence Fund

The Lifeline Foundation

The Moral Compass Federation

The Veteran’s Education Project

Ukraine NGO Coordination Network

Link to letter: Support for Passing the PLUS for Veterans Act of 2023_Draft (