Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs held a legislative hearing on Congresswoman Stefanik’s bipartisan legislation, the Ernest Peltz Accrued Veterans Benefits Act, which would improve the process of issuing pension benefits payments administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"I have worked for years with the Peltz family, our great veterans service organizations, the VA, as well as Members of this Committee on crafting this legislation to ensure no other family has to endure what the Peltz family went through when WWII veteran and hero Ernest Peltz passed away," stated Congresswoman Stefanik. 

Congresswoman Stefanik's Testimony

“In the midst of losing my father, my family was forced to deal with much added stress due to the VA’s error. Since we brought our concerns to Congresswoman Stefanik, she has been a tireless advocate for our family in mitigating the federal bureaucracy of the VA. This bill is an honor to my father’s legacy and the legacy of countless other veterans; a bill to ensure that veteran families will not have to go through the hurdles we were forced to when mourning the loss of a loved one. That Elise has kept working for this bill over these past years is a testament to her deep commitment to all of us," stated Charles Peltz, son of World War II veteran Ernest Peltz.

"The VFW supports the Ernest Peltz Accrued Veterans Benefits Act, which would ensure VA pension benefits are paid out for the entire month when a veteran passes away. By receiving the full month of death payment, survivors would be able to better manage financial hardships that come with a veteran's passing," stated Kristina Keenan, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

Stefanik introduced this legislation after working with Charles Peltz, whose father, World War II veteran Mr. Ernest Peltz, passed away after being approved for his accrued pension benefit. However, due to a VA processing error, the VA did not deposit the approved funds in Mr. Peltz’s bank account until after his passing. The VA then removed these funds from Mr. Peltz’s account, even though he was alive when his benefit was approved, leaving his family to deal with all expenses related to his care.

This bill improves the process of issuing pension benefits payments administered by the VA that are impacted by the death of the beneficiary. It would ensure that veterans receive their accrued pension benefit in the event of a month of death-claim, or if payment for the month of the death has been issued.

The bill is supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Military Family Association.