02.06.20

Capito, Rosen Introduce Legislation Establishing Streamlined Veterans Helpline

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) introduced the Veterans Affairs Communications Act, legislation that would create a simple, easy-to-remember helpline for veterans to use in order to obtain information and assistance with all Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services.

“Our veterans have put their lives on the line to make sure we are able to enjoy the many freedoms we have today,” Senator Capito said. “We owe it to these brave men and women to make sure they are aware of and can easily access the resources provided by the VA that they may need. This legislation will help accomplish that by creating a hotline for veterans to access important services and connect them to the proper entity within the VA, without having to call multiple phone numbers.”

“Our veterans have provided so much to our communities and devoted their lives to our country, and when in need, they deserve a simple way to navigate the VA assistance available to them,” said Senator Rosen. “The Veterans Assistance Hotline Act would create a short, simple phone number that would allow veterans to easily seek help and access all the critical services the VA provides. I will continue working with my colleagues on bipartisan, commonsense legislation to benefit the brave men and women who have defended our nation.”

BACKGROUND:

The Veterans Affairs Communications Act would enable The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the VA to designate a simple, easy-to-remember three-digit dialing code for veterans to use to obtain information about the benefits and services provided by the VA, to include services available to them locally. This is intended to create a one-stop-shop for veterans to be able to have an easy to remember hotline where they would be directed to the appropriate people to find information.

Senator Capito has helped introduce several pieces of legislation to empower veterans, including most recently:

Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act – This legislation would establish a task force between the VA and the Department of the Interior to determine how the VA can best use public lands to provide medical treatment and therapy to veterans through outdoor recreation. It would allow the VA to look outside of the conventional methods to help rehabilitate veterans.

Veterans' Education, Transition, and Opportunity Prioritization Plan Act – This legislation would create the Veterans Economic Opportunity and Transition Administration to handle VA transition, education, employment, and home loan programs. These issues currently fall under the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), but oftentimes take longer to address because of the high volume of disability compensation and pension claims that the VBA receives. The goal of this bill is to help streamline all of these issues.

Deborah Sampson Act – This legislation would require the VA to improve and expand upon the services and benefits that it offers to female veterans. With the growing population of female veterans, it is important that the Department tailor services specifically to the brave women who have served this country. 

Creating a Reliable Environment for Veterans' Dependents Act – This legislation would authorize per diem payments to veterans homeless shelters so these shelters can provide care to the dependents of veterans. Currently, homeless shelters that receive grants to host veterans are only able to host the veteran, so this bill would allow the veteran to bring their dependents in for care as well.   

 

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