Today, Congressman Joe Donnelly applauded the signing into law of H.R. 3219, The Veterans' Benefits Act of 2010, which included Donnelly's proposal to increase the supplemental coverage for veterans who have been rated 100 percent service-connected disabled.
Last year, Congressman Donnelly introduced H.R. 2713, The Disabled Veterans Life Insurance Enhancement Act, with the goal of making long overdue changes to an existing life insurance program that covers veterans with service-connected disabilities. Currently veterans with a 100 percent service-connected disability rating can only receive up to $20,000 in coverage through supplemental life insurance coverage offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and with the average burial costs around $6,500, not much is leftover to take care of a veteran's survivors. Congressman Donnelly's legislation sought to increase this limit to $50,000, and after his work in a hearing and markup in the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, language was included in H.R. 3219 to increase the supplemental coverage by 50 percent to $30,000.
"Our disabled veterans have earned this benefit through their service to our nation," Donnelly said. "I will always fight hard to ensure that the VA provides the best care and benefits possible to the brave men and women who have served; we are in their debt. This new law will provide a long overdue update of the VA's insurance policies so they work better for America's veterans."
Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI) was created in 1951 to provide life insurance to disabled veterans who, because of their service-connected disabilities, would be unable to obtain life insurance on the commercial market or would be required to pay especially high premiums.
Additional provisions in H.R. 3219, which came out of Congressman Donnelly's House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, will seek to provide veterans with employment opportunities, prevent veteran homelessness, and further protect the rights of our service members called to combat.