VAM Email Alert: October 2020

October 2020


** Bill Introduced to Protect Veterans’ Benefits
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On October 5, 2020, Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) introduced The Ensuring Survivors Benefits during COVID 19 Act, legislation which would ensure veterans who passed away as a result of COVID-19.

According to Rep. Davidson’s office “The Ensuring Survivors Benefits during COVID 19 Act requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to obtain medical opinions when a veteran with a service-connected disability dies from COVID 19. Requiring a review of these cases ensures survivor benefits are not diminished when a service-connected disability was the principal or contributory cause of death.  Additional due diligence from the VA shifts the burden from grieving families and streamlines casework to ensure that veterans and their families receive what they are owed.”

This legislation could potentially protect myeloma patients with service connected diseases. A Senate bill of the same title was introduced by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) in July. We will continue to monitor the issue.


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Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs Holds Mission Act Hearing
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On October 21, 2020, The Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs held a hearing on the implementation of Title I of the VA Mission Act. As a reminder, the VA Mission Act allows veterans to seek care outside of the VA system and the law was passed in response to the long distance many veterans travel for care as well as excessive wait times. Those opposed to the legislation expressed fear that this move would divert resources away from existing VA hospitals. The hearing along with highlights from the Chairman’s remarks can be viewed here (https://www.veterans.senate.gov/newsroom/news/chairman-moran-addresses-implementation-of-mission-acts-community-care-and-veteran-caregiver-assistance-programs) .


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Veterans Against Myeloma Continues Focus on Burn Pit Related Legislation
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The International Myeloma Foundation’s Veterans Against Myeloma (VAM) program has continued work to accelerate the passage of legislation that would help veterans who have developed myeloma due to the toxic exposures they faced during their time serving our country. Last month, we wrote a lengthy article focusing on legislation that would help burn pit victims and make improvements to the current laws surrounding burn pit exposures.

To learn more about burn pits and view the various opportunities to contact your Members of Congress about legislation about this important issue, please visit veterans.myeloma.org (http://veterans.myeloma.org/) .
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