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Congressman Ryan Costello

Representing the 6th District of Pennsylvania

REP. COSTELLO INTRODUCES BIPARTISAN MVP ACT TO ASSIST VETERANS WHO HAVE A SERVICE-CONNECTED DISABILITY

May 25, 2017
Press Release
Joined with Reps. Sinema and Barletta to introduce bill

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06) today introduced the Match Veterans to Student Loan Protections (MVP) Act with Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA). The MVP Act would ensure veterans who incur a total and permanent disability (TPD) are proactively identified and notified of their eligibility for student loan discharge. Original cosponsors of the legislation also include Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), and Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV).

This legislation would create a new computer matching system between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Education. This program would automatically identify federal student loan borrowers who are veterans determined to be unemployable due to a service-connected condition. Eligibility includes veterans with either a 100 percent disabling service-connected condition or an individual employability determination from the VA.

Currently, not all veterans with permanently disabling service-connected disabilities receive the relief they are entitled to simply because they are unaware of their rights under the law.  To help solve this problem, eligible veterans would be notified and given simple instructions on how to apply for relief under a streamlined process.

Similar systems are already in place to automatically identify student loan borrowers who are eligible for TPD discharge based on their status as recipients of Social Security disability benefits. This legislation would create equal treatment for individuals who receive an unemployability determination through the VA rather than the Social Security Administration.

“Servicemembers make humbling sacrifices for our country, and veterans who return home with their lives permanently altered by disability deserve to know exactly what rights they are afforded under the law, including the right to student loan discharge,” said Rep. Costello. “I am honored to represent thousands of Pennsylvania veterans, and it is my hope this program will provide relief to those whose lives and livelihoods are permanently altered as a result of their service to our nation.”

“Every day, brave men and women sacrifice everything to defend our freedom and protect our country,” said Rep. Sinema. “When they return home, they deserve our highest gratitude – that includes knowing their legal rights and benefits. Our MVP act is a commonsense solution that cuts bureaucratic red tape and helps Arizona veterans achieve the American Dream.”

“Our brave men and women in the military selflessly put themselves in harm’s way, and we owe them a debt that we can never fully repay,” said Rep. Barletta.  “When they return from the military with a disability, we ought to be clearing barriers for them to make their transition easier.  Relief from student debt is a benefit they deserve.” 

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