Military Connection: No Help for Vets with TBI? By Debbie Gregory

TBI AL extension

As the August recess quickly approaches, Veterans are still waiting for Congress to take action on renewing an important piece of legislation allowing Veterans with traumatic brain injuries to receive treatment in assisted living facilities.

More than twelve years of war on two fronts has resulted in a whole generation of Americans who have sustained traumatic brain injuries. Many Veteran advocates, and even members of Congress, believe that the government has a responsibility to support the recovery of wounded Veterans and help all Veterans transition back to civilian life when their service is complete.

The current pilot program that provides assisted living care for Veterans with traumatic brain injuries is currently set to expire on September 30th, unless Congress acts to renew it.

There is pending legislation in the Senate that would extend the program for three years, at a cost of $46 million. But lawmakers in both houses are currently preoccupied with trying to reach an agreement on reforming the hot-ticket Veterans healthcare system. Along with drawing Congress’s attention away from the program’s legislation, the VA reform bill is expected to cost over $40 billion per year, so it may be taking the funding from the assisted living program as well.

The program, which began in 2008 was intended to generate more effective rehabilitation methods for Veterans suffering from a traumatic brain injury.

Many leading Veteran advocacy groups are demanding that Congress needs to find both the time and the resources to extend the assisted living program.

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Military Connection: No Help for Vets with TBI? By Debbie Gregory