On December 16, 2020, the United States House of Representatives passed the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act (H.R. 7105). This omnibus bill contains several provisions that have been long-standing legislative priorities for DAV. The legislation includes key provisions from the Deborah Sampson Act (S. 514/H.R. 3224), which will improve health care programs and services for women veterans and require VA to improve its policies to end harassment and sexual assault in VA facilities.
Other key provisions in the bill will: eliminate the 12-year delimiting date for disabled veterans (discharged after January 1, 2013) to receive counseling, training, and benefits under the VA’s Veteran Readiness and Employment—VR&E program; require the VA to provide disability benefits questionnaires (DBQs) online; and lower the age a surviving spouse may remarry and still receive dependency indemnity compensation (DIC) benefits. Altogether, this bill is drawn from over two dozen veteran-related bills that were introduced during the 116th Congress. The bill has been sent to the President and is expected to be signed it into law.