Bill would establish veteran assistance hotline

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) introduced bipartisan legislation that would establish a simple three-digit hotline for veterans to gain assistance related to their Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits and other services.

The Veterans Assistance Helpline Act, which Peters introduced with U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Deb Fischer (R-NE), would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the VA to create an easy-to-remember hotline with live operators for veterans and their loved ones.

“We must ensure veterans in Michigan and across the country can easily access the VA benefits they have earned,” said Senator Peters, a former Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation that would establish an easy-to-remember, three-digit number to connect veterans with VA resources and services.”

“Our veterans have provided so much to our communities and devoted their lives to our country, and when in need, they deserve a simple way to navigate the VA assistance available to them,” said Senator Rosen. “The Veterans Assistance Helpline Act would create a short, simple phone number that would allow veterans to easily seek help and access all the critical services the VA provides. I will continue working with my colleagues on bipartisan, commonsense legislation to benefit the brave men and women who have defended our nation.”

“Our veterans have put their lives on the line to make sure we are able to enjoy the many freedoms we have today,” said Senator Capito. “We owe it to these brave men and women to make sure they are aware of and can easily access the resources provided by the VA that they may need. This legislation will help accomplish that by creating a hotline for veterans to access important services and connect them to the proper entity within the VA, without having to call multiple phone numbers.”

“Our veterans should be able to easily access the benefits they have earned fighting for our freedoms,” said Senator Fischer. “I’m proud to help introduce the bipartisan Veterans Assistance Helpline Act, which will help ensure the brave men and women who served our country can connect to the resources available to them through the VA.”

Peters has led numerous efforts in the Senate to support Michigan veterans and servicemembers.

Last year, the Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan bill Peters introduced to expand apprenticeship opportunities for veterans.

Peters also introduced and supported numerous bipartisan provisions that were signed into law to help our servicemembers and their families.

These measures are providing our troops a 3.1% pay raise, repealing the ‘Widow’s Tax’ that had prevented Gold Star families from receiving their full survivor benefits, providing National Guardsmen a record of service after their retirement or completion of service, and improving coordination between various federal agencies to help veterans transition to civilian life.

Additionally, Peters has pressed the Trump Administration to reverse their decision to delay and deny healthcare and benefits for veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

Bipartisan legislation Peters introduced also was signed into law to help veterans who may have erroneously given a less than honorable discharge from the military due to negative behavior resulting from mental traumas such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

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