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Rooney, Deutch Veterans Bill Passes House
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act, authored by Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL) and Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), passed the House of Representatives today with unanimous bipartisan support.
Quote from Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL)
"A despicable breed of financial predators have been advertising themselves to the veteran’s community claiming that, for a hefty fee paid by the veteran, they can speed up the claims process with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Although it is illegal under existing law for anyone who is not an approved agent to charge a fee for helping a veteran with a claim or an appeal with the VA, there is no criminal or financial penalty associated with breaking the law. This legislation will both deter and penalize fraudsters that blatantly engage in a scheme to defraud a veteran (or his or her survivor or spouse) of his or her benefits by imposing a fine, imprisonment of up to five years, or both."
Quote from Palm Beach County VSO Greg Dover
"I am happy to see legislation being passed to protect our disabled and/or senior veterans and their spouses. The day of reckoning is upon us, at least for the Great State of Florida, where there will be measurable deterrents and penalties to drive back the predatory practices of those who would take advantage of those who deserve protection most. It has been an honor to work with Congressman Deutch's office for this worthy cause."
Meet the Staff
Jose Capellan enlisted in the Navy in Jun 1984. In Oct 2007 he received his Commissioned and retired in Oct 2014 with over 30 years of service as a Chief Warrant Officer. He is a combat veteran with multiple deployments to Iraq. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Western Washington University and an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science from Skagit Valley College. He holds qualifications as a Seabee Combat Warfare Officer and Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist. He is currently a Veteran Service Officer with Palm Beach County and is accredited by the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA) and the American Legion.
W. Greg Dover was a Staff Sergeant in the Army for 10 years. Part of the Signal Corps, he first did single-sideband, broadband, then FM, followed by satellite communications performing drug cartel surveillance across the globe. Following the Army, he served as a Petty Officer in the Navy for 6 years at the Navy Training Center Orlando. There, he was an instructor for the satellite communications used by all branches of service by this time. With the force reduction of the 1990s, when the NTC Orlando was decommissioned and shut down, he decided to try life as a civilian, but has still always worked for government in some form.
Cynthia “Cindy” Wurster Sjogren enlisted in the Navy in Dec 1976 and was Honorably discharged from Active Duty in Sep 1982. She enlisted in the Navy Reserves in Aug 1983 where she received a direct commission as an Officer in Nov 1991. She retired as a Lieutenant Commander, Seabee Combat Warfare Officer in Sep 2003.
Andrew Reese enlisted in the Army in Aug 1983 and retired honorably with over 20 years of distinguished service in Aug 2003. He is a combat veteran from Gulf War era from 1991 to 2003. He holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in History from Excelsior College and an Associate’s Degree of Arts from Palm Beach State College. In addition, he is currently pursuing a second Bachelors of Arts in History from Florida Atlantic University. He is currently a Veteran Service Officer with Palm Beach County and is accredited by the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs (FDVA) and American Legion.
Palm Beach County’s
Veterans Homeownership and Preservation Program
- Are you an Active Duty U.S. Military Personnel, Veteran or Surviving Spouse?
- Do you need assistance to purchase a home in Palm Beach County?
- Do you need minor home repair assistance for a new or existing home?
You need not be discouraged, there may be a program specifically designed with you in mind. The Veteran’s Homeownership and Preservation Program (VHPP) is a pilot program administered by the Department of Economic Sustainability.
To be eligible you must be a:
- U.S. Military Personnel, Veteran or Surviving Spouse;
- Reside in the home as your primary residence; and have a
- Household income at 80% or below annual median income.
The decision to purchase a home is likely the biggest expense you will ever incur. You have already done the most difficult part, becoming credit ready, paying-off debt, accumulating savings and sacrificing to ensure you and your family start homeownership right. But, like many first-time buyers, you’ve discovered that the costs to purchase a home is much more expensive than you initially thought or maybe you found the perfect home but, it requires repairs. The VHPP offers homebuyer down-payment assistance, closing-cost and minor repair assistance to active duty military personnel, veterans and surviving spouses to purchase and repair a new or existing home. Find more information on the
Veteran Homeownership and Preservation Program here.
This program is funded through an innovative partnership of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta and Palm Beach County.