WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) joined U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) this week in introducing a bipartisan reform to protect veterans from potential identity theft. The Veterans’ Identity Theft Protection Act (S. 3063) would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to stop using Social Security account numbers to identify individuals in all information systems used by the VA.
“Our nation’s veterans are vulnerable to wrongdoers who abuse the system, and the VA should be doing all it can to protect and serve them,” Sen. Moran said. “Especially at a time when cybersecurity threats are on the rise, this commonsense legislation would make certain identities of our nation’s heroes and their families are protected.”
A news investigation revealed that the Social Security numbers of hundreds of veterans were sent to an unauthorized person last year. This unintended disclosure of personal information put veterans and their families at risk for fraud and identity theft.
The legislation would require the VA to discontinue using Social Security account numbers to identify individuals in all information systems used by the VA. This would be applied to veterans with new claims for benefits within two years, and for all other veterans already in VA systems within five years. The VA would still be allowed to use SSNs if it needs to transfer information to or from another system outside of the VA that requires the use of those identifiers.