Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

Improving Compensation Benefits for Veterans in Certain Cases of Impairment of Vision Involving Both Eyes

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

IMPROVING COMPENSATION BENEFITS FOR VETERANS IN CERTAIN CASES OF IMPAIRMENT OF VISION INVOLVING BOTH EYES

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker, I would yield myself such time as I may consume.

As noted, this bill is ``as amended.'' And I want to thank the members on my committee on both sides of the aisle, particularly Mr. Boozman of Arkansas and Mr. Lamborn of Colorado, for their very constructive amendments. Mr. Boozman will talk later on what he did, but we have extended the authorization for the work/study program at his request for 5 years, so thank you for your amendments to that. And we thank Ms. Baldwin, who has brought this to our attention and is very committed to the health care of our veterans of this Nation.

So we are glad all to work together to get this to the House floor today. This has been introduced in previous Congresses, but we are glad it is on the floor now. It would allow veterans who receive veterans disability compensation for impairment of vision in one eye to be eligible to receive additional disability compensation for impairment of vision in the eye that is not service connected, where that impairment in each eye is to a visual acuity of 20/200 or less, or of a peripheral field of 20 degrees or less.

Suffice it to say that there was a great blind spot in the law that did not cover our veterans who would need the help.

It would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Health and Human Services to match and compare VA needs-based pension benefits data, parents' dependency and indemnity compensation data, health care services data, and unemployability compensation data with the National Directory of New Hires, maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services, for the purpose of determining eligibility for such benefits and services.

It would extend authorization of the veterans work/study program until 2012 at the suggestion of Mr. Boozman, and allows for a bronze ``V'' marker in lieu of a government-provided headstone or marker for burials in a private cemetery, at the suggestion of Mr. Lamborn.

It would affect an estimated 5 percent of the 13,000 veterans who have service-connected blindness or loss of vision in one eye. As of April 2006, the Walter Reed Medical Center alone has treated 140 returning OEF/OIF servicemembers for visual injuries.

I urge Members to support the bill. It is the least we can do for our veterans.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. FILNER. Mr. Boozman, thank you again for having the initiative to extend the work/study program. You took the creativity of Ms. Baldwin who was able to save money in this bill, not only meeting the needs of veterans, but by introducing a section to compare data which I hope you will explain, saved us money which can now be used to extend the work/study program for 5 years. Thank you for your amendment

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT


Source:
Skip to top
Back to top