Chairman Moran Statement on Senate’s Passage of Phase III Coronavirus Relief Package

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee – released the following statement in response to the Senate’s passage of the ‘Phase III’ relief bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act:

“Many of our veterans are at a higher risk if they contract COVID-19 due to age and pre-existing conditions. During this pandemic, it is important our veterans have continuity of health care and the benefits they have earned. It is also crucial the VA has the necessary resources to support the dedicated front line employees responding to this crisis. Today, I voted to pass the Phase III coronavirus relief package that includes new authorities to help make certain the VA can respond quickly to the needs of our nations veterans.”

Chairman Moran Priorities Included in the CARES Act:

  • Telemental Health Services for Isolated Veterans: Expands telehealth services for veterans to provide them with mental health services during this time. This provision gives VA the ability to enter into agreements with telecommunications companies to provide temporary, complimentary fixed and mobile broadband services.
  • Treatment at State Homes During Public Health Emergency: Continues payments and provides resources to State Homes during this public health emergency.
  • Modifications to Veteran Directed Care Program: Modifies the veteran directed care program by temporarily waiving the in-person home visit requirements to enroll in the program and permits veterans to receive telephone and telehealth visits as an alternative.
  • Prosthetic Appliances through Non-Department Providers: Ensures veterans with limb loss can utilize community-based prosthetic providers.
  • Waivers of Pay Caps for VA Employees During Public Health Emergencies: Waives federal pay caps for VA employees responding during COVID-19 emergencies, so they can be compensated for all hours worked.
  • Personal Protective Equipment for VA Home Health Workers: Requires VA to provide personal protective equipment to VA community-based home health workers.
  • Clarification of Treatment of Payments for Purposes of Eligibility for Veterans Pension and other Veterans Benefits: Ensures that veterans receiving a 2020 Recovery Rebate under the CARES Act do not suffer a loss or reduction of any VA benefits.
  • Telehealth for Case Managers and Homeless Veterans: Expands telehealth capabilities for case managers and homeless veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program.
  • Financial Assistance for Supportive Services for Very Low Income Veteran Families: Waives any limits on grant amounts and rates for Per Diem payments for temporary housing to maximize social distancing within the vulnerable homeless veteran population.
  • Modifications to Comprehensive Service Programs for Homeless Veterans: Waives funding limits for financial assistance for supportive services for very low income veteran families in permanent housing during the public health emergency.
  • Grants for Construction of State Extended Care Facilities: Supports modifications or alterations to existing care facilities in state homes to help respond to the coronavirus.