VetsFirst is pleased with the Senate’s passage of H.R. 7105, the Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 on December 9, 2020. The legislation would enhance the quality of life for veterans, their families, and caregivers.

VetsFirst commends the House and Senate Veterans Committees in reaching agreement on this omnibus package containing provisions from more than twelve veteran-related bills. VetsFirst and the larger VSO community faced advocacy challenges in 2020. H.R. 7105 is an excellent step in providing veterans’ quality health care and benefits from VA. The legislation includes pandemic assistance, education and home loan enhancements, improvements in burial and memorial services and retraining and employment assistance.

This legislation helps VA deliver critical services to the veteran community. VetsFirst is pleased to share that H.R. 7105 also includes:

  • Eliminating the 12-year delimiting date for disabled veterans to receive counseling, training, and benefits under the Veteran Readiness and Employment program for eligible disabled veterans who separate from military service after January 1, 2013;
  • Requiring VA to provide disability benefits questionnaires online;
  • Lowering the remarriage age for surviving spouses receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) from 57 to 55; and
  • Guaranteeing service-connected death rulings for members of the National Guard and Reserves who die of COVID-19.

VetsFirst is also pleased to see that provisions of the Deborah Sampson Act are included in the legislation. These provisions provide improved health care services for women veterans.

VetsFirst appreciates the hard work of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees.

We applaud Chairmen Moran and Takano and Ranking Members Roe and Tester for the bipartisan support to benefit veterans and their families. VetsFirst urges the House to swiftly pass H.R. 7105, send it to the President for signature and assure enactment this year.