Titus Introduces Legislation to Assist Veterans’ Transition Back into Civil Life

Oct 29, 2013
Press Release

October 29, 2013 

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada’s First District today introduced a legislative package designed to protect the financial security and well-being of members of the Armed Services and their families after their active duty has ended. Included in the legislative package are the following pieces of legislation: The Streamlining Support for Veterans and Military Caregivers Act; the Jobs for Veterans Clearinghouse Act; and the Spouses of Heroes Education Act. 
“With the end of the Iraq war and drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, there is a growing need to support our troops as they make the transition into civilian life, seek employment, and find needed healthcare programs. These challenges can be overwhelming, but our veterans do not have to make this transition alone," said Titus. "These common sense measures will strengthen quality health care for veterans, increase success in the civilian workforce, and expand support for military families. Just as the military pledges to leave no soldier behind on the battlefield, we must promise that when he or she returns home, we leave no veteran behind. ”
Jobs for Veterans Clearinghouse Act: The Jobs for Veterans Clearinghouse Act would establish a grant program for non-profit organizations in the 75 cities with the largest veteran populations to create online clearinghouses for veterans looking for employment and employers seeking to hire veterans. The online portals will be localized so veterans can search for employment in a specific area, whether it is in their current location or elsewhere in the United States.
Spouses of Heroes Education Act: The Spouses of Heroes Education Act amends the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill to expand the Fry Scholarship by making surviving spouses of members of the Armed Services eligible for this benefit program. This scholarship provides full in-state tuition, fees, a monthly living stipend, and a book allowance to children of service members who have died in the line of duty. This change would allow spouses to receive the same benefits.
The Streamlining Support for Veterans and Military Caregivers Act: Building on the success of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act, this legislation would better align Departments of Defense and Veteran Affairs caregiver programs by making eligibility criteria, disbursement policies, and tax treatment of caregiver compensation consistent between the two programs. Specifically, the bill would implement the following four recommendations:
1)  Change DOD’s description of injury from “catastrophic” to “serious.” 
2)  Make DOD’s caregiver compensation tax exempt just as VA caregiver compensation is. 
3)  Expand eligible recipients under the VA program to include non-relatives. 
4)  Expand VA eligibility criteria to include veterans with serious illnesses.