March 29, 2018

Senator Hassan Cosponsors Bipartisan Legislation to Support Veterans and Their Families

Military and Veterans Caregiver Services Improvement Act Would Provide Support to Caregivers who Provide Care for Wounded, Ill, or Injured Veterans

WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan announced this week that she is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation to support service members, veterans, and their families. The bipartisan Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act expands the VA caregiver program that helps those who care for wounded, ill, or injured veterans, opening the program to veterans of all eras and ensuring that resources are available to more of the family members and other loved ones who have taken on a caregiving role for veterans.

 “For every service member who sacrifices to defend our freedom, there are family members who also sacrifice to help make their service and reentry into civilian life possible,” Senator Hassan said. “It is critical that Granite Staters and Americans caring for a loved one who has served have the support and resources they need and have earned. By expanding the VA caregiver program, the Military Caregiver Services Improvement Act will help ensure that our veterans – regardless of when they served – receive the care that they need when they are wounded, ill, or injured, while supporting their loved ones who oftentimes face challenges of their own when acting as a caregiver.”

The Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act was reintroduced by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI).

Among other things, the Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act would:

  • Make veterans of all eras eligible for caregiver support services. Currently, only post-9/11 veterans are eligible.
  • Make the program more inclusive of mental health injuries.
  • Reauthorize the Lifespan Respite Care Act and expand essential respite options for caregivers.
  • Give veterans the opportunity to transfer GI Bill benefits to a dependent, to help unemployed or underemployed spouses of injured veterans prepare to become the primary income for the family.
  • Make caregivers who work in the federal government eligible for flexible work schedules.
  • Provide assistance with childcare, financial advice and legal counseling, which are all top, and currently unmet, needs.

Senator Hassan has long fought to ensure that service members, veterans, and their families have the support and resources they need to thrive in civilian life. As part of those efforts, Senator Hassan cosponsored the bipartisan VETS Act, which passed out of the Senate, to help improve health care access, including mental health treatment, for veterans who experience disabilities or those who live in rural areas by expanding telehealth services provided by the VA. The Senator also recently cosponsored the Veteran Employment and Child Care Access Act to reduce veterans unemployment and improve access to child care services for veterans participating in workforce and job training programs offered by the VA and Department of Labor.