Brownley and Coffman Introduce Homeless Veteran Families Act
On October 24, Representatives Julia Brownley (California) and Mike Coffman (Colorado) joined across partisan lines to introduce the Homeless Veteran Families Act (“the bill”), a promising bill for the veterans’ community.
The Homeless Veteran Families Act Keeps Families Together
The bill aims to cure several flaws in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ (“VA”) Grant and Per Diem Program (“GPD program”).
The current GPD program funds community agencies which provide services to homeless veterans, but it does not allow reimbursement for the cost of services, such as emergency housing, provided to homeless veterans’ children. This puts families who benefit from the GPD program at a severe disadvantage when compared to families who benefit from the non-veteran equivalent program provided by Health and Human Services (“HHS”), which does allow reimbursement for the housing of homeless veterans’ children. Because of the financial incentive provided by HHS, service providers have prioritized non-veteran families.
The bill will mend this disparity by granting the VA the authority to reimburse service providers 50% of the cost of housing homeless veterans’ children when they are accessing services alongside a parent. In this way, it will help to keep families together.
The bill will soon be reviewed by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
Nonprofits in Colorado and Beyond See a Bright Future for the Bill
One GDP program provider, the Comitis Crisis Center of Aurora, has greeted the bill with enthusiasm, stating, “The best way we can thank our Veterans is by supporting them and helping them to support their greatest treasure, their immediate family members.”
The bill has also received a warm response from veterans’ organizations including The American Legion, The Wounded Warrior Project, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Got Your 6, The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and American Veterans (AMVETS).
Benefits for Homeless and Low Income Veterans
Homelessness among veterans is a tragedy. With 39,471 veterans experiencing homelessness on any given day, every piece of legislation on the congressional level, every state action, and every effort by nonprofits is critical. However, there is one major component of addressing the epidemic that is often overlooked: Total Disability for Individual Unemployability (“TDIU”) benefits.
TDIU benefits are available to veterans who have service-connected disabilities which prevent them from maintaining gainful employment. Veterans who qualify receive a 100% disability rating, which currently pays a minimum of $2,915.55 a month for a single veteran, and a minimum of $3,024.27 a month for a veteran with a child. This monthly benefit could go a long way toward helping a veteran to provide stable housing for her or himself and her or his dependents.
If you are a veteran with a disability which makes it difficult to maintain meaningful employment, you likely qualify for TDIU benefits. Call us at (877) 629-1712 for a free consultation. With decades of experience winning TDIU benefits for disabled veterans, we are confident we can get you the benefits you deserve so that you can get back on your feet.