Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) today introduced new bipartisan legislation to make it easier for veterans who have a service-related medical condition to get the benefits they are entitled to. The Brian Neuman VA Clothing Allowance Improvement Act of 2021 would fix current policy that can prevent veterans from accessing these benefits. Currently, veterans must submit yearly proof of their service-related disability to receive the clothing allowance they are entitled to. In 2020, 40,000 veterans received this essential benefit. This legislation is also being introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressmen Mike Levin (D-Calif.-49) and Barry Moore (R-Ariz.-02).
“If someone is gravely injured in service to this country, they shouldn’t have to drive hours to the local VA each year to file paperwork just to get a benefit the VA already knows they need,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “I’ve always stood up for Nevada’s service men and women, and I’ll continue to work to make it easier for our veterans to access the benefits they’re owed.”
“Our bill will improve the VA’s process of administering a clothing allowance to eligible veterans living with service-connected conditions,” said Senator Boozman. “I’m pleased to join this effort and make it easier for veterans to receive this benefit so we can live up to the promises our country made for their service in uniform.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will provide a clothing allowance to a veteran if a prosthetic, orthopedic device, or medication causes irregular wear or damage to their clothing, or requires them to make expensive alternations to ensure comfort, safety and durability of clothing items. Currently, veterans with service-related conditions have to reapply for this benefit annually. The Brian Neuman VA Clothing Allowance Improvement Act of 2021 would authorize automatic renewal of the benefit until either 1) the veteran chooses to no longer receive it or 2) the VA determines that the veteran is no longer eligible.
Cortez Masto’s legislation is supported by Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Blinded Veterans Association (BVA), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA), The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA), USCG Chief Petty Officers Association (CPOA), and The Independence Fund (TIF).
Senator Cortez Masto has worked to secure concrete benefits for Nevada’s veterans and active-duty service members. She helped obtain $100 million for state veterans homes to address COVID-19. As part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2021, the Senator secured measures to improve mental health services for members of the National Guard and Reserves, support Navy members in getting the retirement benefits owed to them, and increase the transparency and efficiency of the Department of Defense’s TRICARE medical billing practices.