WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today introduced the Informing Veterans on Education for Transitioning Servicemembers (VETS) Act to better inform veterans with disabilities about the education benefits available to them.
“We need to do a better job communicating the opportunities and support available to our veterans after they leave active service,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This bill makes sure our disabled veterans can access the education benefits they earned.”
“This legislation directs the VA to proactively engage with disabled veterans so they know what important educational opportunities they might be eligible for,” said Senator Blumenthal. “After bravely serving our country, these heroes deserve these tools and resources to advance their personal and professional lives. I’m proud to join Senator Cassidy in this bipartisan effort to ensure our veterans are fully informed about their hard-earned and essential educational benefits.”
The Informing VETS Act directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to directly contact and inform qualified service-disabled veterans about the Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Program via letter. The bill also requires the VA to publish a side-by-side comparison of the VR&E program and GI Bill online.
A recent GAO report highlighted that the majority of veterans did not know about the VR&E program, despite knowing about the benefits available to them through the GI Bill. The Informing VETS Act directly implements GAO’s recommendations by requiring the VA to raise awareness of the VR&E program by regularly sending letters to eligible veterans discussing the educational benefits and requires the VA to provide a side-by-side comparison of benefits between the GI Bill and the VR&E programs online.
The American Veterans has endorsed the Informing VETS Act.
U.S. Representatives Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16) and Colin Allred (D-TX-32) introduced an identical version of the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives last fall.