New Senate bill would help more vets with traumatic injuries

Retroactive benefit payments for those on active duty in 2001-2005

The Senate has unanimously approved legislation that will provide retroactive payments to servicemembers who suffered traumatic injury while on active duty on or between Oct. 7, 2001, and Nov. 30, 2005. Previously, this benefit was only available to troops who suffered, during that time period, traumatic injury in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.

“I am pleased that the Senate passed this much-needed legislation. Without it, some servicemembers who suffered traumatic injuries would be denied the same retroactive payment given to their wounded comrades,” said Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Veterans’ Affairs Committee chairman and author of the bill.

As amended, the Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act of 2009 (S.728) would strengthen life insurance and mortgage insurance programs for disabled veterans, remove enrollment caps on veterans in VA’s Independent Living program, and ease the burden of proof on veterans seeking to establish their disabilities as service-related.

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