WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) voted to pass the EVEST Act, a bipartisan, transformative bill to automatically enroll servicemembers into the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care system.
An amendment offered by Rep. Hayes to require the VA to inform eligible veterans of their enrollment through multiple methods, including physical mail and email, as they transition out of the military was included in the final bill text.
“Veterans face many hurdles when transitioning from military to civilian life. The EVEST Act alleviates some of this stress by ensuring automatic access to VA benefits and care. My amendment builds on this bill by requiring both physical mail and email notices about this policy improvement be sent to veterans,” said Rep. Hayes. “Honoring our veterans means doing everything to ensure they have access to the care and services they have earned. Veterans often postpone or forgo critical treatment to address everything from mental health to toxic exposure simply because they are unaware of their eligibility. These serious conditions demand immediate treatment and those suffering cannot afford even the slightest delay in care. I am pleased the EVEST Act and my amendment expedite this process while strengthening communication and transparency between the VA and veterans.”
The EVEST Act would result in the enrollment of 58,000 additional veterans in VA care within the first year at no cost to taxpayers. In Connecticut’s Fifth District alone, more than 4,160 veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn would gain instant eligibility.
Click here for the bill text.
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District. She was a public school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.
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