Congressional Leaders Introduce Bill to Provide Benefits to Veterans and Military Families Fighting COVID-19
Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, along with Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kans.), the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, released the following statements after they introduced legislation to remove barriers to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation and survivor benefits for certain active duty servicemembers, National Guard members, and Reservists, exposed to COVID-19.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, the men and women of our active duty military, National Guard, and Reserve component have put themselves in harm’s way to help heal their communities and our country from the devastating effects of the pandemic,” said Ranking Member Roe. “I am proud to introduce this bill today with my friends on both sides of the aisle – in the House and the Senate – to ensure that those veterans are able to receive the VA benefits they are entitled to if they get sick with COVID-19 during their service and that their families can access survivor benefits in the event of their death. I look forward to considering this bill in short order as we continue working to support our nation’s heroes in this extraordinary moment in time.”
“This legislation for a COVID-19 presumption is an easy fix to ensure that we care for the servicemen and women in the National Guard and Reserves who are stepping up during the COVID-19 pandemic to care for us,” said Chairman Mark Takano. “I’m proud to work with my friend, Ranking Member Roe, and our Senate colleagues to cover as many servicemembers as possible and ensure the surviving family members of servicemembers who pass away after contracting COVID-19 during their service will be cared for by VA. This is a good first step, and I’m committed to working with my colleagues to uphold our duty to care for all those who borne the battle and their families.”