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MOAA Veteran Health Care Priorities on the Hill

MOAA shares many of these interest areas with congressional leaders and looks forward to helping Congress address these matters either through legislation or oversight hearings:

7 MOAA Legislative Priorities for Veterans in the year 2024

Congress has been racking up veteran-related bills and hearings throughout 2023, but to date, no major pieces of legislation have been signed into law this session. MOAA and other veterans organizations have been working nonstop to keep pressure on lawmakers, ensuring they don’t let important bills languish so veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors are not forgotten.

Click on the bill topics below to urge your lawmakers to do all they can to support these MOAA-backed veteran measures, and to make them a top priority:

  • Protect Veterans From ‘Claims Sharks: The GUARD VA Benefits Act (H.R. 1139 | S. 740) will impose criminal penalties on those who seek to collect unreasonable and unauthorized fees for assisting with service-connected disability claims. A veteran should never be charged to file an initial claim, and if an appeal is necessary, a veteran should not be charged excessive fees for that service.
  • Preserve Earned Burial Benefits: The Expanding America's National Cemetery Act (H.R. 1413) ensures our nation keeps its sacred promise to past, present, and future veterans and their families. Arlington National Cemetery eventually will run out of room, and proposed eligibility reductions will end the benefit some veterans and their families have planned on for years. The bill would authorize the transformation of a VA-run national cemetery into the next location that affords military honors as Arlington reaches capacity.

[LEARN MORE: Arlington National Cemetery Eligibility]

  • Support Children of the Fallen and Disabled VeteransThe CHAMPVA Children’s Care Protection Act (H.R. 2414 | S. 1119) would expand coverage under the VA program for children of eligible veterans so they can have health care until age 26. The goal of this legislation is to close the age parity gap for vulnerable members of our community who need support: Young adult children of veterans who are permanently and totally disabled, have died of a service-connected disability, or lost their life on active duty and did not qualify for DoD’s TRICARE program.
  • Improve Survivors' Benefits: The Caring for Survivors Act (H.R. 1083 | S. 414) aligns payments of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) – a monetary benefit paid to the survivors of servicemembers who die while serving on active duty, or of service-connected disabled veterans – with other federal programs. DIC is paid at a monthly rate of $1,562.74, with additional allowances in certain circumstances. That works out to 43% of what a veteran with a 100% service-connected disability rating receives from the VA. However, federal survivor programs provide up to 55% of a civil servant's pay, computed as if the employee retired on disability at the date of death.

[LEARN MORE: This Bipartisan Bill Would Strengthen Support for Survivors of Veterans]

  • Support Military Sexual Trauma Survivors: The Servicemembers and Veterans Empowerment and Support (SAVES) Act (H.R. 2441 | S. 1028) will improve military sexual trauma survivors’ access to essential care and services in the Veterans Health Administration, and ensure greater assistance when veterans are applying for disability benefits through the Veterans Benefits Administration. A series of audits by the VA Office of Inspector General revealed the VA was falling short on its support to this group of veterans.
  • Expand and Support Services for Aging and Disabled Veterans: Two pieces of legislation, the Expanding Veterans’ Options for Long Term Care Act and the Elizabeth Dole Home and Community Based Services for Veterans and Caregivers Act, would provide the VA with critical flexibility to support a rapidly growing population of aging veterans needing long term care services outside the home, and to improve home- and community-based services for veterans and their caregivers.

[LEARN MORE: Caregiver Support, Long Term Care Programs Top MOAA’s VA To-Do List]

MOAA and our veteran organization partners are grateful for our ongoing and open communications with the staffers on the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs committees; we appreciate their good faith efforts in negotiating a veterans’ package this year. However, veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors do not want another year to pass without action on these critical issues. They want Congress to make a veterans’ package a priority … and get it signed by the president sooner rather than later.

For more about MOAA’s veteran priorities, and to keep up with the latest veteran, caregiver, and survivor news and other MOAA advocacy updates, please subscribe to MOAA’s weekly newsletter, visit our Advocacy News page, and register for our Legislative Action Center

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