In 2011, two bills extending veterans benefits passed the U.S. House and were signed into law. A downturned economy and partisan political climate make it especially hard to pass legislation that could help even more veterans.
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Two Bills Extend Veterans Benefits

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There is no constituency more deserving of support and honor than US veterans. But sometimes, both political and economic conditions make it difficult to adequately extend federal funds to benefit all veterans in need.

In 2011, two bills extending veterans benefits passed the U.S. House and were signed into law. But U.S. Rep. Mel Watt, a longtime supporter of legislation for veterans, said a downturned economy and partisan political climate makes it especially hard to pass legislation that could help even more veterans.

VETERANS DISABILITY COMPENSATION

It's critical that veterans' benefits keep pace with inflation and the cost of living, otherwise, veterans are actually losing benefits money which in effect lowers their living standards.

One bill that passed successfully into law in 2011 addressed veterans' benefits with increased compensation rates for veterans' disability and other benefits by the same percentage as the cost of living increase in Social Security rates.

VETERANS TUITION AT NON-PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Education for veterans is another important benefit of the federal government and VA.

As the costs of higher education rise, a second bill passed into law in 2011 paid tuition and fees for eligible veterans attending non-public institutions of higher education.

But this additional benefit only applies to veterans serving after Sept. 11, 2011.

Should the VA should differentiate based on service time for veterans? Watt agreed the additional tuition benefit should be extended to all veterans.



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