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Stabenow: American's Veterans Deserve our Support

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Stabenow: American's Veterans Deserve our Support

Senate Passes Veterans' Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today announced Senate passage of the Veterans' Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007. The act offers help to veterans through the often complicated transition from combat tours to civilian life. The legislation calls for enhanced life insurance for disabled veterans, increased access to benefits for education, improved housing programs for disabled service members, and encourages the elimination of backlog of cases in the Court of Appeals for Veterans' Claims.

"Michigan is home to over 760,000 brave men and women who have worn the uniform in defense of our country," said Stabenow. "When the men and women of our armed forces put on the uniform they are making a promise to defend America. In return, we promise them that their nation will be there for them when they come home."

Provisions in the Veterans' Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007 include:

• Expansion of the number of individuals qualifying for retroactive benefits from traumatic injury protection coverage. This is important for all our veterans because research is now showing that these types of devastating injuries occurred more often than previously thought.

• Expansion of eligibility for home improvement and structural alteration assistance to include those on active duty. This is especially important for reservist/National Guard personnel who often live far from veterans' facilities.

• Extension of the VA's authority to give housing assistance grants to severely injured service members who temporarily live in housing owned by a family member. This prevents penalties currently endured by injured service members who choose to live with their families.

• A cost-of-living increase for additional dependents and indemnity compensation surviving spouses with dependent children under the age of 18. This is necessary because our nation has an obligation to take care of the children of our service members that give their lives for this country.

• Extension of eligibility for specially adapted housing benefits to individuals with severe burns. This allows service members with burn injuries to receive treatment in their home.

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