Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Aumua Amata (Western Samoa)
December 16, 2020
Washington, D.C. – Wednesday, Congresswoman Uifaatali Amata welcomed House passage of S. 2216, supporting family members who care for Veterans. Congresswoman Amata is an original cosponsor of the same provisions in a related House bill.
The House of Representatives unanimously passed the Senate version of the VA caregiver support bill, entitled the TEAM Veterans Caregiver Act. Congresswoman Amata supported the House version, also titled the TEAM Veterans Caregiver Act, H.R. 6571, from day one of its introduction early this year.
“This is important news for Veterans under the care of a loved one, and for the primary caregiver,” said Congresswoman Amata. “The act provides better support and transparency from the VA, and clarity about who is a caregiver and their ability to be kept informed about VA services.”
The House bill was introduced by a bipartisan group of 12 Representatives, including Amata, that was led by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ). The Senate bill was sponsored by Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), with the support of a bipartisan group of senators.
Key features of the bill:
- It revises the administration of VA caregiver programs. Specifically, the bill requires the VA to formally recognize caregivers of veterans by identifying any caregiver in the electronic health record of the veteran.
- It requires the VA to use standardized letters to notify veterans, their caregivers, and applicants for the program regarding decisions affecting the furnishing of assistance.
- It authorizes the VA to temporarily extend benefits under the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers, including the monthly personal caregiver stipend, after determining that a veteran is no longer clinically eligible.