Archive for August, 2017

Deborah Sampson Act has been introduced to improve and expand programs and services for women veterans

Please add your support to this bill….Representative Elizabeth Esty has introduced the Deborah Sampson Act (H.R. 2452).   This comprehensive measure addresses gender disparities and would improve and expand programs and services for women veterans provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

If enacted, this bill would establish a pilot program for peer-to-peer counseling and make permanent group counseling retreats for women veterans recently separated from military service. It would increase training for providers delivering gender-specific care, expand days of care for newborns from seven to fourteen, authorize medically-necessary transportation for newborns, address privacy and security issues for women in VA health care facilities and correct infrastructure issues to improve the environment of care for women.  The legislation would also create a program to assist women veterans with legal services, authorize additional grants for organizations supporting women veterans with families and require data collection regarding women and minority veterans including a report on the availability of prosthetics for women veterans.

DAV’s 2014 report, Women Veterans: The Long Journey Home identified many of these gaps for women in VA programs and has long advocated for a more comprehensive provision of VA women’s health services that appropriately recognizes their service and meets their gender specific health care needs. The Deborah Sampson Act (H.R. 2452) is in line with DAV Resolution No. 225, which calls for enhanced medical services and benefits for women veterans.

Please contact your elected representative and urge co-sponsorship and passage of H.R. 2452. A letter has been prepared for this purpose or you may write your own message to express your personal views. Thank you for your support of our nation’s women veterans.

Click the link below to log in and send your message:

25 Aug, 2017  Posted by Beth   Comments Off on Deborah Sampson Act has been introduced to improve and expand programs and services for women veterans
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“Forever GI Bill” signed in to law

The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, H.R. 3218, passed by the House and Senate was signed by the President on August 16, 2017. Also known as the Forever G.I. Bill, the legislation improves provisions in the existing G.I. Bill and provides more flexibility for using educational benefits. The measure contains a number of provisions that specifically impact disabled veterans and their families, including:

Increases monthly Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) payments by about 40 percent effective October 1, 2018 (note: effective August 1, 2018, DEA decreases from 45 to 36 months to be consistent with other VA educational programs);

Eliminates the 15-year limit for using the G.I. Bill, allowing for the use of the educational benefits for life, for those who were discharged after January 1, 2013;

Grants full G.I. Bill benefits to Purple Heart Recipients, regardless of total time in service effective August 1, 2018;

Provides G.I. Bill eligibility for reservists undergoing medical care for active duty injuries effective August 1, 2018;

Restores used G.I. bill benefits to enrolled students whose school permanently closes after January 1, 2015, effective November 14, 2017; and

Allows veterans who are National Guard members and Reservists who are receiving Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) benefits, to “pause” their eligibility so their time under the VR&E program is not negatively affected while called up for active duty orders. This provision takes effect immediately.

To see the complete text of the Forever G.I. Bill click here

21 Aug, 2017  Posted by Beth   Comments Off on “Forever GI Bill” signed in to law
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