WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) – ranking member and chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee – recently introduced legislation to make it easier for veterans to receive timely reimbursements through the Department of Veterans Affairs Beneficiary Travel Program.
The Road to Access Act would mandate VA to accept beneficiary travel claims up to 180 days after the date of eligible travel, improve outreach to veterans about the beneficiary travel process and make certain that veterans are able to continue filing beneficiary travel paper claims even as VA expands opportunities for electronic filing. Additionally, this legislation would require VA to process any beneficiary travel claims for veterans meeting certain criteria, including those who have a 50% or higher service-connected disability rating.
“I have heard from Kansas and other veterans who are facing difficulties filing their beneficiary travel claims and receiving their travel payments from the VA,” said Sen. Moran. “Many of them rely on these benefits to offset the costs of driving long distances to get ongoing care from VA. This legislation will make certain veterans – particularly those in rural areas – are able to continue filing traditional paper claims and are provided more time to file their claims.”
“In Montana and rural America, travel benefits are essential to making sure veterans can access the care and services they earned—no matter where they live,” said Sen. Tester. “That’s why we introduced our bipartisan bill to make sure VA’s travel reimbursement program starts working for rural veterans who rely on it to attend appointments. This is an issue I have heard from veterans all across Montana, and I won’t stop pushing until VA fixes this critical program.”
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