NED Meets Chairman of HVAC to Discuss Veterans Issues
FRA’s National Executive Director (NED) Thomas Snee recently met with Rep. Phil Roe (Tenn.), Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, to discuss FRA’s Legislative Agenda. Director of Legislative Programs John Davis and Veterans’ Services Officer Chris Slawinski also attended the meeting. NED Snee congratulated the Chairman for the House passing of the GI Bill reform (see story below). As well as thanked the Chairman for having a HVAC subcommittee hearing earlier in the year on the “Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act” (H.R.299) that would allow “Blue Water” veterans who served off the coast of Vietnam to be compensated for service connected disabilities related to their exposure to the Agent Orange herbicide. Dr. Roe offered to have a committee vote on the Blue Water Navy bill if it could be amended to round down veteran’s monthly benefits to the nearest dollar. FRA wants to know your thoughts on this trade-off. Please take the one-question survey by clicking here.
Snee also expressed his concern and the Association’s opposition to the administration’s request to eliminate the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Individual Unemployability benefits for veterans, once they start collecting Social Security benefits at age 62. The program awards benefits at 100 percent for veterans who cannot find work due to their service-connected disability. NED expressed the need to expand the VA Caregiver program to all catastrophically disabled veterans. Currently the program only applies to veterans disabled after September 11, 2001. Members are urged to use the FRA Action Center on these and other issues.