Former Acting VA Secretary Peter O’Rourke to Serve as President
Washington, DC – The National Association for Veteran Rights (NAVR) launched today to represent private companies that help disabled Veterans. The new trade association will establish an industry certification to promote high ethical standards and transparent business practices. The group will also advocate for veterans’ rights, including the right to seek help from private services in navigating the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) disability benefits claims process. Former Acting VA Secretary Peter O’Rourke will serve as the group’s President.
“NAVR brings an important new voice to the table, as private benefit companies are playing a larger role in serving our nation’s disabled veterans,” said O’Rourke. “Our association will be focused on setting high ethical standards for our industry and advocating for veterans to have continued access to private sector help in accessing their benefits.”
NAVR’s new certification process will help to formalize and professionalize the growing disability benefits service industry. It will include clear ethical standards and business practices that honorable and responsible veteran service companies must adhere to, including ensuring appropriate training of employees, conducting background checks, setting fair fee structures and being transparent about free services available through Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs). Companies meeting NAVR’s high standards will receive a certification badge that can be displayed on their website or in marketing materials, providing veterans with reliable information as they consider their options.
NAVR will also serve to represent the industry in Washington, DC, and in state capitals, where it will advocate for policies that support veterans and against policies that make it more difficult for veterans to manage their post-service lives. For example, NAVR will oppose the misguided GUARD VA Benefits Act, which would restrict the ability of veterans to seek out private sector assistance in navigating the complicated VA disability claims process. Instead, NAVR will strongly support the bipartisan PLUS for Veterans Act or similar legislation that would allow honorable private benefit services to become accredited with the VA, putting in place guardrails to protect veterans from fraud while still allowing them to access private services to help in obtaining the benefits they earned from their service.
For more information, visit www.NAVR.org.