Hearing On Survivor Benefits

PVA Submits Statement for Hearing on Survivors’ Benefits

By PVA National Staff


On January 30, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee held a full committee oversight hearing on supporting our nation’s surviving military families. The first panel was witnesses from the VA which included the Under Secretary for Benefits, Josh Jacobs. The second panel was witnesses from VFW, the National Military Family Association (NMFA), and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).

Committee members pressed VA for answers regarding claims processing delays, necessary improvements, and scrutinized the move of the Office of Survivors Assistance (OSA) to the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA). Congress questioned the staffing capacity of OSA lamenting that the office only has three employees. VBA pushed back claiming hundreds of VA staff worked with survivors across the country, they just didn’t work within the OSA office.

The second panel, comprised mostly of survivors, shared stories of loss and their frustration with VA when it came to claims processing, repeated unjust denials, and other complications experienced when attempting to access benefits. Committee members asked thoughtful questions of the second panel and were surprised by many of their experiences as they tried to access their benefits.

PVA submitted a statement for the record which highlighted the unique needs of our members and the experiences of our surviving spouses and caregivers. Our statement addressed improving access to benefits for survivors, increasing the amount of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), providing access to additional DIC benefits for ALS surviving spouses, requiring parity for dependent children covered by the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), and addressing the employment needs of survivors.

You can find PVA’s statement here. You can also watch the hearing here.

Leave a Reply


Recent Posts From PN Online

error: Content is protected !!
Skip to content