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RELEASE: Rep. Khanna Introduces the Identifying Barriers and Best Practices Study Act

August 13, 2019
Press Release
The bill would require the Comptroller General to conduct a three-year study of disability and pension benefits provided to the veterans that conducted special missions, served in the National Guard, and on reserve components of the Armed Forces while on active duty

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Khanna introduced the Identifying Barriers and Best Practices Study Act with Reps. Luria and Aumua Amata. This simple and bipartisan bill would require the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a three-year study of disability and pension benefits that were provided to veteran members who served in special missions, such as pilots and divers, and who served on reserve components of the Armed Forces while on active duty. The multi-year study would examine disability and pension data from 2008 to 2018 in order to identify whether any barriers exist specifically for these veterans. Additionally, the study will request recommendations for overcoming those barriers for veterans if barriers are identified.

Guard and reservists report that service-connected injuries are sometimes not properly documented by medical staff due to the nature of their service and the tempo of the work required to be conducted during that shortened time of service. Consequently, they experience difficulty in obtaining disability benefits.

“All veterans who bravely served our country should be fully compensated for any service-connected injuries, wounds or illnesses they might have received while on duty. Those who participated in special missions, served in the National Guard and reserve components should not face any barriers to receiving disability benefits. Their service is just as honorable and valuable to our nation as any other veteran in the Armed Forces. I hope this study will help us learn more about the nature of infirmities or incapacities suffered while these brave men and women served. We must resolve to do everything we can to make sure they are taken care of and have the benefits they earned,” said Rep. Ro Khanna.

“Our veterans fought bravely for America and deserve full access to their benefits. Due to the nature of their service, some veterans have difficulty in establishing pensions and other benefits. I am proud to support the BARRIERS Act, which would require careful study of certain disability and pension benefits. This will enable us to identify and overcome barriers that these brave men and women face in establishing their benefits,” said Congresswoman Elaine Luria. 

 “Our nation has made a special commitment to the care and well-being of those who serve. That responsibility calls for thorough diligence to ensure we hear from our Veterans and have the best information available to promote their care. Thank you to Congressman Khanna for his leadership in this necessary effort,” said Congresswoman Aumua Amata.

“ROA appreciates Rep Khanna directing a study on National Guard and Reserve disability and pension benefits. This is an important first step in identifying and then addressing how Reserve and National Guard veterans can receive medical care from VA after service,” said Maj Gen (Ret.) Jeff Phillips, ROA Executive Director.

The following groups are supportive of the legislation: Veterans of Foreign Wars, Reserve Officers Association, Disabled Veterans of America.

Read the legislation online here.

 

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About the Office

Congressman Khanna represents the 17th District of California, which covers communities in Silicon Valley. Visit his website at khanna.house.gov. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RepRoKhanna.