Veterans Affairs Committee Advances Legislation

This bill would expand veteran eligibility to require the VA to pay for emergency treatment for a non-service connected condition if a third party is not responsible for paying for the full cost of care. The bill clarifies that the VA only pay the difference between the amounts paid by the third party and the VA allowable amount, and is not responsible for copayments the veteran owes to the third party.

· H.R. 1171 (as amended), Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization Act of 2009; (Boozman R-AR).

This bill would reauthorize the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program for fiscal years 2010 through 2014. The bill was amended to authorize an additional $10 million to provide dedicated services for homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children. Grants would be made available to provide job training, counseling, placement services, and child care services to expedite the reintegration of veterans into the labor force.

· H.R. 1513, Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2009; (Kirkpatrick D-AZ).

This bill would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to increase the rates of basic compensation for disabled veterans and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation to their survivors and dependents, along with other benefits, in order to keep pace with the rising cost-of-living. The adjustment would become effective December 1, 2009, and would be equal to that provided on an annual basis to Social Security recipients.

The bills will next be considered by the House of Representatives.

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