NYAPRS Note: It’s no secret that veterans require greater care and protection under the federal government than they’ve gotten. Fortunately, legislation supported by the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans (NCHV) just passed the U.S. Senate ensuring that homeless vets with “Other Than Honorable” (OTH) discharges don’t lose benefits from the VA.
OTH discharges can be given to vets with symptoms of mental illness, and this bill is a step in the right direction toward de-stigmatization.
The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives. Stay tuned…
Senate Passes Homeless Veterans Services Protection Act
NCHV works to protect eligibility of OTH veterans for services
Just now, the United States Senate passed S.1731, the “Homeless Veterans Services Protection Act” which will protect the eligibility for VA homeless services of homeless veterans with “Other Than Honorable” (OTH) discharges.
These veterans have been served through the Grant and Per Diem (GPD) and Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) programs since these programs were created. However, recently a legal review conducted within VA called that eligibility into question.
S.1731 would clarify the intent of Congress that the GPD, SSVF, and GPD Special Needs programs be allowed to serve these OTH veterans. NCHV applauds the work of the Senate in its passage of this crucial bill, and thanks in particular the original cosponsors of the bill: Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). They are committed and passionate advocates for the nation’s most vulnerable heroes.
This is just the first of two hurdles to ensure legal protections for these veterans: the United States House of Representatives must pass this bill before it can go to the President for his signature and become law. NCHV strongly urges the House to do so and join the Senate in protecting those most in need of our help.