Elaine Luria highlights critical veterans’ issues

Elaine LuriaCongresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) this week advocated on behalf of Hampton Roads veterans by working to promote women veterans and address challenges related to the implementation of the Forever G.I. Bill.

On Tuesday, Congresswoman Luria co-hosted a briefing on issues that impact women veterans with Congressman Al Lawson (FL-05). This briefing analyzed obstacles that women veterans too often experience when they are transitioning from active duty to civilian life.

During the briefing, Congresswoman Luria gave remarks. She spoke about the House-passed Deborah Sampson Act, which would help women veterans transitioning to civilian life by creating equitable access to health care, housing, legal services, and other resources and benefits. Congresswoman Luria also discussed the prevalence of sexual harassment in the military and how it is a strong predictor of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  She then emphasized the importance of promoting diversity at veteran service organizations (VSOs) as more women enter the armed forces.

“The transition from active duty to civilian life poses unique challenges for every woman veteran,” Congresswoman Luria said. “Congress needs to stay vigilant and continue helping them with the process at every step of the way.”

Additionally this week , Congresswoman Luria questioned top VA officials in a hearing in the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. The hearing focused on VA’s initially failed implementation of reforms to student housing benefits under the 2017 Forever G.I. Bill.

Due to its outdated IT systems, VA failed to implement reforms to housing assistance benefits in time, resulting in many student veterans receiving incorrect benefits and delayed payments for the 2018-19 school year. At the hearing, Congresswoman Luria held officials accountable for this failure by pressing for details on how many students received insufficient benefits and the dollar amount that VA had underpaid them. She also confirmed that VA will not hold student veterans responsible for repaying benefits if VA erroneously overpaid them.

“As a Navy veteran in Congress, I will take every opportunity to stand up and fight so our American heroes have a seamless path to the meaningful futures they deserve,” Congresswoman Luria said. “The Forever G.I. Bill is an important part of that process, and the VA needs to get it right for veterans.”

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