Veterans and Mental Health Care
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately one in four military service members engaged in active duty either were diagnosed with or showed symptoms of one of these common mental health disorders. Moreover, the VA treats over one million veterans for some of these mental health conditions each year.
As these statistics show, mental health care is an urgent matter for veterans. But will these proposed bills work to give veterans the mental health care they need?
Education, Employment and Transition Assistance
- Timely and improved transition assistance, including access to programs after they leave military service.
- High-quality and sustainable education benefits.
- Strong employment and training programs.
- Small business development opportunities.
- Civilian credentials or academic credit for military training.
- Hiring preferences in the civil service and with large government contractors.
- National veterans treatment court advocates.
- Education and training in new and expanding career fields.
- Affordable housing and wraparound services to avoid homelessness.
- Improved character of discharge review and appeals procedures.
Eliminating Remaining VA Disability Legacy Appeals
In February 2019, the Appeals Modernization Act (AMA) went into effect. There is currently still a majority of appeals pending in the old, Legacy appeals system. VA has been trying to work its way through the Legacy system, so it can have the majority of appeals in AMA and shift its focus towards that. In order to do that, VA stated it is aiming to eliminate all non-remand Legacy appeals (about 132,000 appeals) within the next nine months. If you are a veteran and you filed a Notice of Disagreement or VA Form 9 in the Legacy system, VA has indicated it will be prioritizing those cases in the next nine months. After VA gets through that backlog of Legacy appeals, it will then turn to remanded Legacy appeals. The goal here is to get the Veterans Benefits Administration’s output to be the same as the Board of Veterans’ Appeals output.