Rep. Bill Foster announced his co-sponsorship of H.R. 6287, the Veterans Travel Equity Act, today at the VFW Post in Elgin.
The Veterans Travel Equity Act would increase the mileage reimbursement for veterans seeking healthcare at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities, so that it is the same as the mileage reimbursement rate available to federal employees -- currently 58.5 cents per mile.
"The reimbursement rate is clearly obsolete given the challenges that skyrocketing gas prices create. Raising the reimbursement rate is a common-sense solution that will ease the burdens of our veterans," Foster said.
The bill also eliminates the income and pension eligibility requirements and service-connected disability rating requirements. Under current law, only veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 30 percent or more qualify for or receive the reimbursement.
"Making ends meet is hard enough," Foster said. "There is no reason why the men and women who fought for and defended this country should face hardship and additionally be shorted with an obsolete reimbursement. Increasing the money our qualified veterans get back to better offset all the money their put in their gas tanks is the right thing to do."