Rep. Zeldin Announces Senate Passage of His Bill to Help Severely Disabled Veterans
Washington, DC - Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) just announced that his bipartisan legislation (H.R.1005/S.324) to help severely disabled veterans on Long Island and across the country, by expanding access to Adult Day Health Care for disabled veterans who need extra assistance and special attention in their day to day lives, passed the Senate last night with strong bipartisan support.
Service members who are 70% or more disabled from a service connected injury often require significant assistance from others in order to carry out basic everyday tasks. Many times, the burden falls on family members of disabled veterans; some veterans may even need to reside in institutionalized facilities to receive the daily assistance of a trained medical professional. Both of these options can create financial and emotional hardships. One program that is currently available to help disabled veterans is Adult Day Health Care, which can be offered at State Veterans Homes across the United States. However, the expense of the program is oftentimes directly shouldered by the veteran and their family, which significantly limits the number of veterans who can enroll.
Adult Day Health Care is currently only offered at three facilities in the United States; one being the Long Island State Veterans Home, which is located in the First Congressional District of New York, in Stony Brook. Congressman Zeldin’s bill would define the Adult Day Health Care program as a reimbursable treatment option through the Department of Veterans Affairs, which would guarantee that all severely disabled veterans, those who are 70% or more service connected disabled, are able to access Adult Day Health Care at no cost to them. The bill would also help expand the program, which could be offered at any of the 153 State Veterans Homes (SVH) across the country.
Congressman Zeldin said, “This is an important piece of legislation that provides a valuable and necessary service to our nation’s veterans, and I am pleased to announce that this bill passed the Senate last night. By expanding access to Adult Day Health Care programs, we can ensure that all veterans receive the best and most efficient services that provide veterans with necessary assistance that also allows them to maintain their independence. With Senate passage of this bill, we are now one step closer to expanding care for disabled veterans on Long Island and across our country, allowing each veteran a more fulfilling life, while keeping families together and strong. Expanding Adult Day Health Care for our disabled veterans is a top priority and I commend my colleagues in the Senate for acting promptly to pass this commonsense bill. Helping those who have sacrificed so much for us has always been a top concern, and I will continue to support legislation to give our nation's veterans what they deserve.”
On May 23, 2017, H.R.1005 passed the House with strong bipartisan support and over 50 cosponsors. This bill has received support from numerous veterans service organizations, including the American Legion, AMVETS, and Disabled American Veterans.
Fred Sganga, Executive Director of Long Island State Veterans Home, said, “The Long Island State Veterans Home is tremendously grateful to Congressman Zeldin for supporting the Mission, Vision and Values of our Home. This new legislation will allow us to better serve our most disabled veterans while providing the much needed relief to families who serve as caregivers. No veteran should be left behind and we are grateful that Congressman Zeldin always makes our nation’s warriors his top priority.”
Sharon Murphy, President of the National Association of State Veterans Home, said, “The National Association of State Veterans Homes is grateful to Congressman Zeldin for his foresight to provide essential services to our most disabled veterans, without the need for institutionalization.This legislation will have tremendous impact for our chronically ill and injured veterans as well as their caregivers.”