Davidson Introduces Bill to Protect Veterans’ Benefits
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Representative Warren Davidson (R-OH) introduced a new bill to protect survivor benefits for veteran families in relation to COVID 19.
The Ensuring Survivors Benefits during COVID 19 Act requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to obtain medical opinions when a veteran with a service-connected disability dies from COVID 19. Requiring a review of these cases ensures survivor benefits are not diminished when a service-connected disability was the principal or contributory cause of death. Additional due diligence from the VA shifts the burden from grieving families and streamlines casework to ensure that veterans and their families receive what they are owed.
After introducing the bill, Congressman Davidson made the following statement:
“America must always provide every benefit promised to and earned by veterans. Presently, cause of death rulings threaten benefits veterans have earned. Congress must act to ensure that the VA accurately deals with cause of death, while accounting for service-related injuries in order to properly care for all surviving family members.
“I’m proud to introduce this bill to remedy a unique challenge facing families of veterans in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Veterans with long-term medical challenges shouldn’t have to worry that contracting COVID 19 will endanger the benefits they earned while serving our country.”
The Ohio Veterans of Foreign Wars also supports the bill.
"Many service-connected conditions put veterans at a severe risk from COVID-19," stated Larry Moore, VFW Legislative Chairman, Department of Ohio. "The survivors of these veterans should not be burdened with administrative obstacles when they file for the benefits to which they are entitled. The VFW thanks Representative Davidson for introducing this important legislation, which would require VA to secure a medical opinion to ascertain whether a service-connected disability contributed to the cause of death for veterans who die of COVID-19."