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Opening Statement of Hon. Doug Lamborn, Ranking Republican Member, Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

And welcome everyone, to this hearing on the Department of Veterans Affairs fiduciary program.

The fiduciary program provides oversight of VA benefits to beneficiaries who are incapable of managing their funds as a result of injury or disease.

When the VA or a court determines that a veteran is incompetent to handle his or her finances, the fiduciary program:

  • establishes an appropriate benefits payment method,

  • appoints a fiduciary to oversee his or her finances,

  • and provides continued oversight services.

Through periodic personal visits to the beneficiary's residence, VA Field Examiners monitor the welfare and needs of the veteran.

My Subcommittee colleagues and I want to ensure that VA’s fiduciary program is taking every measure and has the support necessary to fully safeguard beneficiaries’ assets.

During the 108th Congress, we passed legislation that President Bush signed into Public Law 108-454 on December 10, 2004.

The provision made improvements to increase fiduciary accountability and strengthen protections for the beneficiary. 

This included more thorough investigations of fiduciaries prior to them being appointed and required VA to reissue benefits that were misused in cases where negligence was found.

Today the Subcommittee would like a report on the effectiveness of these provisions and whether further Congressional action is needed to ensure that our most vulnerable veterans are afforded the highest level of protection possible.

I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today, and I thank you all for your participation

Thank you, I yield back.