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 now been passed by the Senate, as of February 16, 2022, and will move to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senator Moran said that “[s]upporting our veterans has a way of bringing us together, and I appreciate my Senate colleagues understanding the urgency of this bill and working to quickly pass it by unanimous consent…Addressing the needs of veterans exposed to burn pits cannot wait, and I urge my colleagues in the House to follow suit, pass this important legislation and bring us one step closer to fulfilling our duty to Post-9/11 veterans.”
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.
The future of the bill in the House of Representatives is unclear, as some lawmakers are pushing for more comprehensive legislation than is provided in the HCBP Act.
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.