House Passes Legislation to Address Housing, Education and Employment Challenges Facing Veterans

September 28, 2010

Washington, D.C. – House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA) announced that the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve legislation to improve employment, education, and housing opportunities for veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

“For the last four years, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has held hearings to investigate the needs raised by veterans, worked directly with veterans’ service groups to craft solutions, and advanced important policy to respond,” said Chairman Filner.  “The legislation passed today addresses the critical issues facing veterans, like housing, education and employment.  This legislation is a collaboration among a number of Members working together to make an impact and strengthen the economic opportunities for veterans.”

H.R. 5993, as amended – SAVINGS Act of 2010 (Halvorson)

H.R. 5993 would ensure that beneficiaries of the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) receive financial counseling, greater disclosure information, and other needed support concerning the proceeds of their SGLI life insurance benefits. 

H.R. 5360, as amended – The Housing, Employment and Living Programs for Veterans Act (Herseth Sandlin)
H.R. 5360 will address the critical issues facing veterans: housing, education and employment. The bill enhances education benefits for veterans seeking to attend flight schools or enrolled in an on-the-job training program, extends and improves the recently expired veterans work-study program, and reauthorizes the Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Education.  The bill creates employment opportunities by providing a stipend to injured veterans seeking to become teachers in rural communities, creating a veteran internship program within the VA, and enhancing small business opportunities for veteran-owned small businesses.  Further, H.R. 5360 will provide blind veterans with adapted housing benefits, address VA home loan changes requested by the Secretary of VA, and provide expanded opportunities for injured veterans to obtain VA home modification grants.

H.R. 6132, as amended – Veterans Benefits and Economic Welfare Improvement Act of 2010 (Filner)
This comprehensive bill would establish a transition program for new veterans not eligible for other employment aid programs and who had a military occupational specialty of limited transferability to the civilian job market.  The bill includes provisions to improve the disability claim system by extending the 120-day limit for the filing of an appeal to the Court of Veterans Appeals after a final decision of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals upon a showing of good cause for such time as justice may require.  The bill would also increase the pension amount for Medal of Honor recipients, establish an award program that will permit the VA to recognize businesses for their contributions to veteran’s employment, and protect veterans from losing their non-service connected pension benefits because they received payments to cover expenses incurred after an accident, theft, loss, or casualty loss. 

H.R. 3685 – Requires Hyperlink to the VetSuccess Internet Website (Stearns)
H.R. 3685 requires a hyperlink to the Vet Success program to be added to the home page of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ website. The link will help VA publicize vital resources available for veterans looking for employment.

H.R. 3787, as amended – Veteran Status for Certain Reserve Components (Walz)

This bill would recognize the service in the reserve components of certain persons by honoring them with status as veterans under law.

H.R. 5630 – Qualification for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors and Employment Coordinators (Boozman)
This bill would provide qualifications for vocational rehabilitation counselors and vocational rehabilitation employment coordinators employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The bills will next be considered in the U.S. Senate.