Legislation in DC Aims to Help Wounded Vets
WASHINGTON, DC (WENY) -- As more American troops return home from overseas, there's an increasing need get them the care they need more quickly. Two of our lawmakers on Capitol Hill are working to do just that.
Democratic Senator Bob Casey and Republican Congresman Glenn Thompson are working bipartisanly with other lawmakers to help those who deserve it most - our wounded warriors. Thompson is reintroducing a bill called the Recovering Service Members Disability Benefits Act with a Democrat from Iowa. It's aimed at those vets who are severely injured and are eligible for social security disability.
Right now, there's a five-month waiting period until those benefits kick in, so Thompson's bill eliminates that.
"It doesn't increase the number of folks going on social security disability or anything like that. It just honors an obligation to those men and women who are injured on the battlefield, fighting for our country, and it allows them to stay in tact as much possible financially," said Rep. Thompson, (R - PA 5th).
Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Bob Casey is taking aim at the VA, because he says the average veterans disability claim takes over 300 days to be resolved. Casey has written a letter to President Obama - urging him to get involved. 67 senators have signed on - including Republican Senator Pat Toomey.
"We have to take every step necessary to prevent this problem from persisting. It's not a new problem, and I think, if anything, it's gotten worse. And it could get even more difficult when we have a full redeployment from Afghanistan," said Sen. Casey, (D - PA).
There are still 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. All of them are expected to return home by the end of next year.