ALS Association and Paralyzed Veterans of America call on Congress to pass the Justice for ALS Veterans Act (H.R.5607/S.3483), which allows survivors of veterans who died from service-connected ALS to receive a small boost to the rate of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), which is commonly known as the “DIC kicker.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes ALS as a presumptive service-connected disease at 100 percent disability. In addition to the DIC benefits available to eligible survivors, the VA provides a monthly financial benefit (i.e. the DIC kicker) to the spouse of any veteran who is 100 percent disabled for a continuous period of at least eight years immediately prior to death. Unfortunately, surviving spouses and family members of deceased veterans with ALS are often denied this additional financial support because the veterans do not live long enough to meet the eight-year life expectancy requirement.
The Justice for ALS Veterans Act would waive this eight-year requirement and ensure families of all veterans who die of ALS receive this boosted benefit.
“The ALS Association wholeheartedly supports this bill to increase compensation for surviving spouses of veterans who die from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS),” said Calaneet Balas, President and CEO, The ALS Association. “ALS is a devastating disease that impacts not only the person living with ALS but their entire family and causes great financial stress. Congress should pass this bill immediately.”
“Survivors of ALS veterans should not be denied a benefit other federal survivors receive simply because the service-connected disease their veterans acquired made it nearly impossible for them to meet an eight-year life expectancy requirement,” said Carl Blake, PVA Executive Director. “We urge Congress to quickly pass the Justice for ALS Veterans Act, which would allow these survivors to receive the additional compensation they earned, and need.”
[Source(s): ALS Association, Paralyzed Veterans of America, PRWeb]