The Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act (“HCBP Act”), co-sponsored by Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Senator John Tester (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), has passed the committee and is now advancing to the Senate floor.
The HCBP Act has the potential “to expand access to health care for toxic-exposed veterans, establish a new process through which VA will determine future presumptive conditions, and provide overdue benefits to thousands of toxic-exposed veterans who have been long-ignored or forgotten.” Chairman Tester said that the HCBP Act is a “critical step toward fulfilling our obligations to toxic-exposed veterans…This is a necessary step in doing right by our nation’s veterans, and I urge my Senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle to join us in passing this critical legislation that’ll help us deliver on that promise.” Ranking Member Moran urged the Senate to “read our bill, to grow their understanding of this complex challenge, and to join our committee—every single member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee—in passing this bill to get one step closer to providing care and relief on one of the most pressing challenges facing veterans today.”
Some of the provisions contained within in the HCBP Act include expanding the period of health care eligibility for combat veterans who served after September 11, 2001 from five years following discharge to ten years; providing a one-year open enrollment period for any Post-9/11 combat veterans who are outside their 10-year window; establishing an outreach plan to contact veterans who did not enroll during their initial period of enhanced eligibility; directing VA to incorporate a clinical screening regarding a veteran’s potential exposures and symptoms commonly associated with toxic substances; mandating toxic exposure related education and training for healthcare and benefits personnel at VA; and strengthening federal research on toxic exposures.
Gardberg and Kemmerly is open for calls and online assistance and will continue to help our Veterans in any way possible, including staying up to date on pending legislation like the HCBP Act. If you have a claim for disability and need assistance, please call our office and speak with one of our qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys. Gardberg and Kemmerly is committed to helping injured and disabled Veterans obtain the benefits they deserve. If you need help with a disability claim, call the office at 251-343-1111 or 1-800-332-1529 for a free consultation. Gardberg and Kemmerly is proud to serve Veterans across the country from our home office in Mobile, Alabama.