WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) and Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) today applauded news that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is finally implementing a law to reimburse state nursing homes for the full cost of the care they provide for certain seriously disabled veterans. More than two years after Congress passed legislation to provide full nursing home reimbursements for veterans with disabilities rated 70 percent or greater, cash-strapped states and more than a thousand disabled and elderly veterans stand to benefit from the law’s implementation. VA will pay retroactive reimbursements for nursing home care back to March 21, 2007.
“This long-overdue benefit will help disabled veterans receive the care they earned through their service. It will provide relief to nursing homes across the country that have been burdened with the cost of their care, despite Congress’s order that VA provide reimbursement. I am pleased that VA will provide retroactive benefits for the veterans and state homes that have waited for over two years to receive the assistance they are entitled to,” said Akaka.
Feingold stated, “For over a year, I have been pressing the VA to put in place these regulations so that veterans, and the state homes that care for them, won’t have to pay for care in state long-term care facilities that they would receive for free in VA facilities. I am pleased that the new administration has finally acted on this issue and our veterans who have more than earned this care will be able to receive it in more facilities and without having to use their often limited income to pay for it.”
On May 5, 2006, Senator Akaka introduced the Veterans Long-Term Care Security Act directing VA to pay the full cost of nursing home care for certain disabled veterans. That bill was later incorporated into the omnibus Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006, which became Public Law 109-461 on December 22, 2006. When more than a year had passed and VA had yet to implement the law, Akaka and Feingold were joined by a bipartisan group of Senators in calling on VA to quickly issue the regulations necessary for implementation.
May 8, 2009