Bill would improve vets insurance benefits

By Rick Maze – Army Times Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Mar 29, 2009 9:02:34 EDT

The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee chairman introduced legislation Thursday to improve veterans insurance benefits.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, proposes to expand retroactive payments of traumatic injury insurance, to increase supplemental life insure for totally disabled veterans, and to create a new life insurance program for veterans with service-connected disabilities.

This is the second major veterans bill introduced this year by Akaka, who in early March unveiled a rehabilitation and employment package.

In a statement, Akaka said the new bill, S 728, “improves benefits for veterans with severe burn injuries, expands insurance programs, and secures cost-of-living increases for certain benefits, some of which have not been updated for decades.”

The traumatic injury insurance provision of the bill attempts to cover a loophole for traumatic injuries suffered by service members between Oct. 7, 2001, and Nov. 30, 2005, that were not a direct result of Operations Enduring Freedom or Iraqi Freedom. Injuries resulting from the two military operations were covered by the insurance back to the start of deployments, but other injuries were not covered by the insurance, which pays up to $100,000 under a rate plan based on the severity of the injury and expected length of recovery.

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/03/military_veteransinsurance_032709w/

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