11/18/04 — Bills will help veterans, says Jones

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Bills will help veterans, says Jones

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on November 18, 2004 1:59 PM

U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones and the House of Representatives voted Wednesday to pass three bills to improve veteran's health programs and benefits, Jones said.

The bills were all previously amended and passed by the Senate and were passed by the House unanimously in a voice vote.

The Veterans Health Programs Improvement Act of 2004, includes a provision to authorize over $1.2 million each to VA hospitals in Greenville and Wilmington. It also authorizes an increase of $24 million in grants for assistance to homeless veterans.

The other two bills passed were the Veterans' Benefits Improvements Act of 2004 and the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel Enhancement Act of 2004.

Together they are designed to enhance veterans programs for education, housing, employment and medical benefits as well as reform the compensation system and work schedules of doctors and nurses in VA health care facilities.

Some of the changes and new benefits include an increase in educational assistance allowance, an additional $250 in dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses with at least one child under 18, an increase in housing grants for the disabled and clarifications to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.