Under amendment title HR 3219, the 111TH Congress of 2009-2010 outlined changes to the Veterans' Benefits Act of 2010, which benefit veterans and their families in the areas of life insurance, healthcare and more.
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Improving the Veterans' Benefits Act Of 2010

Under amendment title HR 3219, the 111TH Congress of 2009-2010 outlined changes to the Veterans' Benefits Act of 2010, which benefit veterans and their families in the areas of life insurance, healthcare and more.

Described below are categorized amendments, according to a Congressional Research Service Summary, for an overall look at changes and improvements affecting you and your military family. These amendments were passed by the House of Representatives on July 27, 2009.


While SGLI and VGLI continue to try to keep up with the expanding needs for life insurance coverage for servicemembers and veterans, supplemental and additional life insurance may be needed, especially during deployment, to fully support your military family. Organizations such as Military Benefits Association can be a valuable military resource for providing access to complete life insurance plan information, to compare benefits coverage for all military situations.

Extension of SGLI
Section 101 extends military Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage for disabled veterans until two years after the service member is released from active duty or active duty training. The extension for SGLI coverage for disabled veterans retroactively covers service members released from active duty on or after June 15, 2005.

Increased VGLI Life Insurance Coverage for Younger Veterans
Section 102 amends Veterans' Group Life Insurance guidelines to allow military veterans under the age of 60 to increase their VGLI coverage by amounts up to $25,000 during each five-year period. The maximum amount of coverage for service members is $400,000.

Increased Accelerated Death Benefits
Section 103 eliminates the previous guidelines for a VA-enforced reduction in the amount of an accelerated death benefit for terminally ill service members insured under SGLI and VGLI.


Medal of Honor Healthcare Upgrade
Section 201 uses the guidelines of VA healthcare to outline a priority level for veterans awarded the Medal of Honor, similar to the priority level awarded former prisoners of war and military Purple Heart recipients.

Benefits for Service-related Disability Veterans
Section 202 sets up a VA authority to provide hospital care, medical services, and nursing home care to Vietnam and Persian Gulf War veterans who, after exposure to herbicides/chemicals, have been shut out of military disability benefits due to inconclusive medical evidence, to be labeled as `service-related disability' patients.

Waiving Co-Payment
Section 203 states that the VA Secretary will waive co-payments or other fees from severely disabled veterans seeking VA hospital care or medical services.

Director of Physician Assistant Services to Help the VHA
Section 204 assigns a Director of Physician Assistant Services within the VHA to establish programs for education, training, employment, and utilization of physician assistants to make VHA programs more successful and available to veterans.

Improvements to Traumatic Brain Injury Program
Section 205 creates and monitors the Committee on Care of Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury to continually improve VHA treatments for veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury.

Increased Veterans' Mental Healthcare
Section 206 amends the Veterans' Mental Health and Other Care Improvements Act of 2008, particularly to expand eligibility for veterans in harder to reach rural areas. Section 206 removes the rural living requirement in order to receive care, and amends the definitions of "hardship" to include long travel times to the nearest VA medical facility.


Monthly paycheck for active duty WW II veterans
Section 301 creates the Qualified World War II Veterans Equity Compensation Fund, which is authorized to pay $1,000 per month to former active-duty World War II veterans who have not received benefits under the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944.

Waiving the housing loan fee
Section 302 states that the VA housing loan fee will be waved for military veterans with a service-related disability. The eligible military service member is one who is receiving active service pay after being called to active-duty service.


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