Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 27, 2012 – The U.S. House just passed H.R. 1627, the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act, which is now awaiting the President’s signature.
The Act is slated to provide a number of welcome changes to veterans and military families, including health, education and housing benefits.
“It’s heartening to see how comprehensive the bill is and how quickly it has made its way through the system,” remarked David Magann, a Tampa veterans’ disability attorney. “The VA system currently in place has long needed additional measures to meet the needs and tackle the concerns, goals and problems of our returning and disabled service people.”
As outlined in H.R. 1627, the VA has agreed to contract veteran homes to provide nursing care in all 50 states, expand rehabilitation services to veterans with traumatic brain injury, increase case management and additional care to homeless veterans, streamline the disability process and extend eligibility for home loans to include not only spouses of those killed in the line of duty, or death due to service-connected disability, but also to surviving spouses of veterans who had permanent, service-connected disabilities for a decade prior to their deaths, even if their death was not service-connected. Also, VA home buyers now can count their dependent children to satisfy the occupancy requirements, which will allow home purchases by single-parent veterans and by married military couples while deployed.
Other changes include waiving co-payments for veterans using online, or other remote health care programs due to their rural locations, as well as possible travel reimbursements to veterans seeking care at distant centers, tracking and reporting policies to monitor facility-based assaults, and expanded housing grants for adaptive housing.
Also under the new bill, the VA Funding Fee, a mandatory charge applied to each purchase and refinance loan, will be waived for borrowers with a service-connected disability. Additionally, there is a provision stating that disruptive protests at military funerals, such as the kind orchestrated by the Westboro Baptist Church in recent years, will be considered criminal offenses, punishable by jail time and fines, and may even be subject to civil liability.
The bill passed through the House just two weeks after a unanimous vote in the Senate.
Magann has been practicing social security law for 14 years and recently completed his 1,400th hearing. Magann is a Marine Corps Veteran who earned his law degree at the University of Miami, and has a criminology degree from the University of South Florida.
David W. Magann, P.A.
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Brandon, FL 33511
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