veteran supported by veterans first act in HowellOn April 18, 2016, U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson and Richard Blumenthal unveiled the Veterans First Act with the goal of increasing accountability of the more than 335,000 employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), expanding health care programs, protecting whistleblowers, reviewing the use of prescription drugs, increasing access to disability compensation and expanding access to education.

Here is a summary of what the Veterans First Act attempts to accomplish:

  • Change the culture at the VA by improving accountability to make it easier for the VA Secretary to remove bad actors at all levels of the department.
  • Expand the VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers to all generations of veterans.
  • Strengthen the Veterans Choice program by establishing prompt payment standards and streamlining the requirements for community medical providers to enter into agreements with the VA.
  • Enhance education benefits for veterans, surviving spouses and children, and allows thousands of mobilized Reservists to earn GI Bill eligibility.
  • Address the crisis of opioid over-prescription among veterans.
  • Enhance research on the potential health effects from toxic exposure to veterans and their descendants.
  • Strengthen programs to combat veteran homelessness.
  • Improve the disability claims and appeals process by requiring the VA to launch a pilot program that will cut down the massive backlog of appeals awaiting action.

To read the full text of the Bill, click here


Glenn Matecun is an Accredited Attorney by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and regularly handles Veterans Aid & Attendance claims in Michigan, including Livingston County (Howell, Brighton, Hamburg, Hartland and surrounding areas) and Macomb County (Clinton Township, Warren, Sterling Heights, Shelby Township, Mt. Clemens and surrounding areas)

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