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Veterans' Survivor Benefits Improvement Act," H.R. 801 (now Public Law

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  • ramsayavs8@aol.com
    From Taiwanvets.com, Member William B. Baker,USMC,BOH98 send you this breaking news item. I suggest you print it and keep it in your personal health files; and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2001
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      From Taiwanvets.com,
      Member William B. Baker,USMC,BOH98 send you this breaking news item. I
      suggest you print it and keep it in your personal health files; and
      certainly pass it onto those that may not know of the change and need the
      coverage. Also, in way of an observation, Chris Smith (NJ Rep.) is one hell
      of a kick ass congressman always pushing for Vet rights. He's to be
      commended for acting on part of we 25 million alive-today vets - YOU can
      assist you Rep. to emulate Mr. Smith by frequent communication on all Vet
      issues and certainly on all other issues, LLOYD

      New Law Adds Life Insurance and Health Care Benefits for

      More Than Two Million Spouses and Children of Veterans

              (Washington, DC) - President Bush late last night signed into law
      the "Veterans' Survivor Benefits Improvement Act," H.R. 801 (now Public Law
      107-14), authored by Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-4), the Chairman of the
      House Veteran's Affairs Committee, which adds $100 million in new health
      care benefits for surviving spouses of veterans.


              "We have a sacred obligation to care for our 'Gold Star Wives,"
      spouses of service members who were killed in action or died from
      service-related causes," Smith said.  "With the enactment of this new
      legislation, we now treat the surviving spouses of veterans in the same
      manner as those of military retirees who received similar benefits last year
      under the 'TRICARE for Life' enhancements," he said.

              "With the President's signature last night, new life insurance and
      health care benefits have been created for up to two million eligible
      spouses and children of veterans," said Smith.  "Under the new law,
      survivors of veterans killed in action or from service-related causes who
      receive Medicare, will now be eligible to have CHAMPVA, VA's Civilian Health
      and Medical Program, provide payment for medical expenses and co-payments
      that Medicare does not cover," he said.

              "In addition, my legislation expands the Service menbers' Group Life
      Insurance (SGLI) program to include spouses and children; up to $100,000 for
      spouses and $10,000 for children," Smith said.  "The law also makes
      retroactive the previously approved increase to $250,000 of the maximum
      benefit for service menbers who die in the performance of duty, thereby
      covering at least 57 men and women who died in tragic accidents since
      October 1, 2000," he said.

              The Smith legislation also includes provisions to require the
      Department of Veterans' Affairs to develop comprehensive educational and
      outreach programs to ensure that eligible spouses and dependents are made
      aware of the services and benefits for which they qualify.

              "Without an aggressive and pro-active outreach program,
      unfortunately, many surviving spouses would never know about these and other
      benefits they are eligible to receive," Smith said.

              "The men and women who have paid the ultimate price to defend our
      freedom deserve to have the their loved ones cared for," said Smith.  "With
      the President's signature last night, we have taken another important step
      to meet our obligation to them, and therefore show all of our nation's
      veterans the respect they have earned," he said.




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