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Legislation Would Expand Support For Caregivers Of Military Veterans

Mar 16, 2017

Credit WCPN

Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is calling for more support for people who provide caregiving services for military veterans. Brown is co-sponsoring legislation, called the Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act, that lawmakers say would offer caregivers assistance with financial aid, child care, legal counseling and other needs. 

Such services are currently only available to veterans who have served since Sept. 11, 2001. The bill would also allow military veterans to transfer their GI Bill benefits to a dependent who is also a caregiver.

In a conference call Wednesday, Brown told reporters the proposal would extend the assistance to caregivers for veterans of all eras.

“The bill makes caregivers for all veterans, regardless of when they served, whether it’s after 9/11 or before, eligible for supports services, including a monthly stipend, caregiver training through the VA and help with travel expenses,” Brown says.

The senator says the bill would also expand support for caregivers of veterans with mental health injuries.

“Particularly caregivers of those who served in uniform shoulder incredible responsibilities. They often put their lives on hold, They often sacrifice their own help and finances to care for loved ones. All those who served should be able to live life with dignity that befits their service when they return," he says. "We owe it to these heroes who care for them.”

Brown says eligible veterans and caregivers would be phased into the program “based on need.”