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Gonzalez & Allred Introduce Legislation to Help Veterans with Disabilities

Today, U.S. Representatives Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16) and Colin Allred (TX-32) introduced legislation to better inform veterans with disabilities about the various education benefits available to them. The Informing Veterans on Education for Transitioning Servicemembers Act, or Informing VETS Act, directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide more information to qualified service-disabled veterans about the Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Program. Specifically, the bill requires the VA to inform VR&E eligible veterans via letter of this benefit, and to publish a side-by-side comparison of the VR&E program and GI Bill online.

“Our veterans have risked their lives to defend our nation,” Gonzalez said, “We need to ensure these heroes are taken care of as they transition to civilian life. The opportunity to further their education can provide them an incredible and well-deserved benefit to transform their lives after leaving military service. I am proud to introduce the Informing VETS Act that directs the VA to make sure our service-disabled veterans nationwide understand the education benefits available to them.”

“We must do all we can to ensure that our veterans get the benefits they are owed, especially our veterans with disabilities. The Veteran Readiness and Employment Program is there to help veterans with disabilities get an education and get a good job. I am glad to be working with Congressman Anthony Gonzalez on this bipartisan bill to bolster outreach so veterans with disabilities have all the information they need to use the benefits available to them,” said Allred.

“VA employment programs are invaluable tools for our nation’s service-disabled veterans looking to re-enter the workforce. However, a significant number of veterans remain unaware of the full gamut of educational and vocational benefits offered by the VA, such as participation in the VR&E program. DAV applauds the introduction of the Informing VETS Act and thanks Rep. Gonzalez and Rep. Allred for their leadership in ensuring our nation’s veterans are made aware of all the benefits they have earned through their service.”- Joy Ilem, DAV National Legislative Director

“It is important that we equip veterans with significant disabilities for successful careers. The Informing Veterans on Education for Transitioning Servicemembers Act would help do that by raising awareness of the education and benefits they are eligible for through the Department of Veterans Affairs as a result of their service.” - Heather Ansley Associate Executive Director of Government Relations Paralyzed Veterans of America

A recent GAO report highlighted that most vets know about the benefits available to them through the GI Bill, but not about the VR&E program, which is targeted to help veterans with disabilities. The Informing VETS Act directly implements GAO’s recommendations by requiring the VA to advocate for the VR&E program by regularly sending a letter to each eligible veteran discussing the educational benefits and requires the VA to provide a side-by-side comparison of benefits between the GI Bill and the VR&E programs online.

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