Veterans Affairs Committee Report – Week 13, 2018

SF 2200 – Veterans benefits services, events disclosure. 



SF 2200 is a recommendation by the Iowa Attorney General to strengthen laws applicable to for-profit veterans’ benefits services that provide advice or assistance for a fee. A person who advertises or promotes an event, presentation, seminar, workshop or other public gathering on veterans’ benefits or entitlements must include a disclosure and disseminate it verbally and in writing at the beginning of the event. The written disclosure must be in the same type size and font as the term “veteran” or any variation of that term used in promotional materials or at the event. The disclosure must be in this format: “This event is not sponsored by, or affiliated with, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, or any other congressionally-chartered or recognized organization of honorably discharged members of the Armed Forces of the United States or any of their auxiliaries; products or services that may be discussed at this event are not necessarily endorsed by those organizations; you may qualify for benefits other than or in addition to the benefits discussed at this event.”

The disclosure is not required if a government agency for veterans or an officially-recognized organization of veterans has given permission to use the agency’s or organization’s name for the event, or if the event is part of an accredited continuing legal education course. The provisions do not apply to government employees or volunteers acting in their official capacity. The legislation authorizes the Attorney General to obtain injunctive relief for unfair practices and to recover a civil penalty of up to $40,000 per violation. Any civil penalty recovered will go to the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund. The House amended the proposal to clarify that the prohibition does not apply to those authorized under the federal “Veterans Benefits” provisions in U.S. Code Title 38, such as those who gather personal or financial information to prepare documents for veterans.
[4/2: CONCUR 47-0 (Absent: Dawson, Zumbach absent)]