Yesterday, President Obama signed a bill that expands health services for Veterans, The Washington Post reports. It’s called the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act, and it includes expanded mental health and counseling benefits, improved maternity care and newborn care for babies born to women Veterans, and allows the Veterans Administration to utilize hospitals outside of its network to provide care for Veterans with brain injuries.
Additional veterans benefits now offered through this new legislation include help and assistance, both financially and non-financially, to caregivers of disabled veterans. Caregivers caring for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will receive a stipend, training to provide specialized services (if needed), counseling, and even lodging if they must travel for their loved one’s medical treatment. In addition, up to 30 days of respite will be provided each year to give caregivers a much-needed break.
Support for homeless veterans will also be expanded under the bill, and a pilot child-care program is being initiated for veterans undergoing intensive medical care.
Services for Women Veterans
Part of this bill is especially focused on women veterans, offering a program that will train VA mental health professionals to adequately care for women who have been subject to sexual trauma, as reported by the Lake Stevens Journal. Focusing on identifying the unique effects the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have had on the physical, mental, and reproductive health of women who served, it will also offer readjustment counseling geared specifically to those unique circumstances.
Image Copyright Scott Ableman on Flickr