Healthy Living

FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration is Supporting America’s Veterans and Their Families, Caregivers, and Survivors

President Biden believes we have a sacred obligation to our nation's veterans and their families. Since taking office, President Biden has signed more than 25 bipartisan bills that address some of the most important issues facing veterans today, including the landmark PACT Act to address toxic exposures. In education, housing and health care, the Administration and Congress are working together to connect veterans and their families with much-needed resources. As we commemorate this Veterans Day and honor all who wear American uniforms, the government will continue to support our veterans by:

Provide timely, high-quality benefits and services. Under the Biden-Harris administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is delivering more benefits and health care to more veterans, faster than ever before. In 2022, Virginia processed a record 1.7 million veterans claims, 12% higher than the previous record. In 2022, Virginia will provide a total of $128 billion in income benefits to 6.1 million veterans and survivors. Over the past two years, Virginia has provided more than 220 million health care visits to veterans — the most over a two-year period in Virginia history.

Address toxic exposures. Earlier this week, Virginia began screening all veterans participating in VA Healthcare for toxic exposures, marking the largest increase in VA Healthcare's nearly 30-year history, thanks to a bipartisan bill passed by Congress through President Biden. expansion. In August, President Biden signed the bipartisan First Class Sheriff Heath Robinson to deliver on our commitment to the Comprehensive Poisons (PACT) Act and announced that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs would immediately put all presumptive conditions into effect. The new law makes it easier for veterans to access the benefits and services they receive. Since enactment, more than 137,000 claims related to toxic exposure have been filed, and more veterans are now eligible for health care. As a result of this new law, 31 new clinical sites will be opened and more providers will be hired to provide care. The Department of Defense (DOD) also announced an update to its policy related to burn pits, thereby reducing the risk of future force exposure.

Reduce Veteran Suicides. Since the release last year of a comprehensive public health strategy to reduce suicides among military and veterans, the Biden-Harris administration has continued to improve suicide prevention efforts. This year, both the Department of Defense and Virginia reported declines in suicide deaths, marking progress in federal suicide prevention efforts. Virginia provided $52 million in grants to 80 community-based organizations to provide or coordinate suicide prevention programs and services for veterans and their families. In July, the 988 Veterans Crisis Line provided veterans and their loved ones with an easy-to-remember number to help veterans in crisis.

End Veterans Homelessness. Thanks to the efforts of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), and the State of Virginia, as well as the historic investment in the President's America Relief Program, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness has dropped by 11 % between 2020 and 2022—the biggest drop in the past five years—and in 2022 alone, our nation is on track to permanently house 38,000 veterans. To further this progress, last month, Virginia allocated $130 million to support programs that help veterans and their families find stable housing. The VA also released three new grant opportunities to provide veterans with expedited placement services, 11,000 temporary beds, and case managers who can help find community assistance and permanent housing.

Support female veterans. Women are the fastest growing group of veterans using VA services. The Biden-Harris administration is committed to addressing and providing resources for the special health care needs of female veterans, including increasing cancer screenings, improving mental health care and access, addressing infertility, and reducing intimate partner violence. Over the past year, Virginia has expanded reproductive health services to include abortion counseling and abortion services in limited settings, committed to improving maternal health, and established a Women's Mental Health Champion at every VA Medical Center, To ensure women feel welcome and receive fair treatment and care.

Remove barriers to serving LGBTQ+ veterans. The Biden-Harris administration is committed to protecting and serving our LGBTQ+ veterans. The government ends the ban on transgender services and directs a review of all policies and practices to ensure greater inclusion for LGTBQ+ veterans. The VA is also committed to providing gender-affirming care and resources in an inclusive environment. Last month, Virginia also announced that it would provide survivor benefits for survivors of certain LGBTQ+ veterans.

Protective Service Members and Veterans Educational Benefits. Service members and veterans have long been the targets of predatory marketing practices by for-profit educational institutions. In October, the Department of Education closed a 90/10 loophole in the higher education law that allowed for-profit colleges to aggressively recruit veterans and service members. The revised definition means agencies will no longer be able to count funding for veterans and service member benefits toward the 10% income requirement from non-Federal sources.

Protect Veterans and Military Families from Fraud. In 2021 alone, veterans, military personnel and their families reported more than $267 million in fraud losses. The Biden-Harris administration is working to better protect veterans and their families from these scams. VA, in partnership with the Department of Education, The Federal Trade Commission, Social Security Administration, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, State and Defense Departments are working to develop new consumer education programs, comprehensive fraud reporting processes, and faster responses to fraud attempts targeting veterans and military personnel. More information will be released in the coming months.

Connect more veterans with training and employment resources. The Department of Labor and its partners are working to ensure that all veterans have the resources they need to find gainful employment. This year, the Department of Labor (DOL) partnered with the Department of Transportation to launch the 90-day Freight Apprenticeship Challenge, which produced more than 2,000 senior apprentices and 500 highly trained senior freight professionals. In April 2021, DOL launched the Employment Navigator Partnership Pilot (ENPP) to provide one-on-one career assistance to Transition Services members. Since its inception, more than 6,500 service members and their spouses have received assistance through the program.

Expand services for veterans' caregivers. More than 5.5 million paramedics support our nation's wounded, sick and wounded military and veterans, many of whom require close care and supervision. Ensuring paramedics receive the support, training and compensation they deserve is a top priority for the Biden-Harris administration. In October, Virginia expanded the Comprehensive Assistance Program for Family Caregivers to all military-era veterans. Of the 17,000 applications received since then, more than 14,400 have been reviewed and proceeded to the next stage of processing or clinical review.

Help educators support military-related students. As part of the First Lady Jill Biden's United Forces initiative, the administration will release new toolkits later this month to help educators support children associated with the military, including those living and living with wounded, sick or wounded members of the military. More than 2.3 million children and youth and veterans supported. This toolkit outlines ways educators and school administrators can build awareness and community around veterans and their families. It includes activities that elementary, middle and high schools can use to support military-linked students throughout the school year.

Support children living with wounded, sick or wounded service members and veterans. Led by First Lady Jill Biden's United Powers initiative, the Coalition of Invisible Helpers supports more than 2.3 million children and youth living and serving with service members and veterans who are wounded, sick or injured. Since its inception a year ago, the coalition has announced a series of new pledges to draw attention to the untold stories of childcare mission.

End hunger and promote healthier lives. Addressing hunger and increasing healthy eating and physical activity are key to improving veteran health. As part of the White House Hunger, Nutrition and Health Strategy, Virginia announced it will create the Office of Food Safety to help address food insecurity among veterans, expand its clinical nutrition services for veterans receiving VA health care, and pilot Produces prescription plans, food pantries and mobile food pantries to meet the needs of veterans. Virginia also announced $16 million in funding to help veterans participate in adaptive sports. And, earlier this week, the Department of the Interior announced a free lifetime pass for veterans and Gold Star families to use at more than 2,000 federal recreational properties spread across more than 400 million acres of public lands, including national parks, Wildlife sanctuaries, and forests.

Help heal wounds. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has opened applications for the second round of Creative Power Community Engagement Grants. This program provides resources to support art-making experiences in local and regional communities to support veterans and their families. In June, the NEA funded 26 organizations that incorporate visual arts, crafts, dance, creative writing, theater and music to increase veteran engagement and outcomes. Creative Forces is an NEA initiative in partnership with the DoD and VA to improve the health, well-being and quality of life of traumatized military and veterans, their families and caregivers.


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