Policy Topics

Understanding the Issue:

Parity for Patriots: The mental health needs of military personnel, veterans and their families
June 2012 - The report calls for Purple Heart medals to be awarded for psychological wounds like posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and for military commanders at all levels to be accountable for suicide prevention and elimination of stigma.

Federal Budget and Spending Take Center Stage
Federal discretionary spending will come clearly into focus as President Obama unveils his FY 2012 budget and Congress moves forward on omnibus spending legislation for the remaining months of the current fiscal year (FY 2011).

PTSD - Intro
Introduction to PTSD section on NAMI's Veterans Resource Center

Veterans' Benefits Act of 2010 Signed Into Law
H.R. 3219 improves some of the services available to veterans, including homeless veterans.

Legislation for Veterans From 2007-2010: A Summary
This overview covers changes in VA appropriations, services for veterans and their families as well as mental health issues that occurred between 2007 and 2010.

Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2010
This legislation, effective Dec. 1, 2010, increases the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities as well as compensation for survivors of certain disabled veterans.

VA Eases Rules Related to PTSD
This fact sheet answers basic questions about the new PTSD regulations from the VA.

Military and Veterans Mental Health
American troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and other veterans cannot depend solely on the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) for mental health care—even though the civilian mental health care system is in crisis, according to the annual convention of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) held this past week.

Energy Jobs for Veterans Act Passes House
The Energy Jobs for Veterans Act, also known as H.R. 4592, is intended to encourage the employment of veterans in energy-related jobs.

FY 2012 President’s Budget Proposal
As is being widely reported in the press, the President released a proposed $3.7 trillion federal budget for FY 2012 highlighted by a proposed overall freeze for most non-defense, non-veterans discretionary spending. Read more for further details.

Officials Urge Collaboration in Suicide Prevention
A conference about preventing suicide among veterans, held by the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration, called for better cooperation between federal and private institutions.

Congress Recognizes Rising Military Suicides
Several members of Congress are interviewed in this article about the number of military suicides in 2009.

President Obama Signs Veterans Health Care Legislation 10/22/09
Veterans Health Care Legislation creates predictable funding for veterans’ health care.

VA, DoD Host National Mental Health Summit, 10/26/09
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) hosted a first-of-its-kind national summit to address the mental health care needs of America’s military personnel, families and Veterans, harnessing the programs, resources and expertise of both departments to deal with the aftermath of the battlefield.

Extra Cash Payments for SSI and SSDI Beneficiaries Expected in May
In May 2009, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will be mailing every Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), veterans’ disability beneficiary an extra one-time payment of $250. This payment will be mailed separately from each beneficiary’s May 2009 monthly check.

NAMI's Matt Kuntz Testifies before Senate Veterans Committee
NAMI Montana Executive Director Matt Kuntz testified on February 26 before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on care for veterans with mental illnesses in rural and frontier communities. Click above to read his statement.

Homeless Women Veterans and Homeless Veterans with Children Reintegration Grant Act Proposed
H.R. 293 would provide reintegration services for homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children.

Veteran Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Subsistence Allowance Improvement Act Proposed
This bill, known as H.R. 297, proposes to increases the amount of monthly subsistence allowance payable to veterans participating in the veterans' vocational rehabilitation program.

House Passes Increases for Veterans Mental Illness Treatment
By a vote of 409-4 the House today passed legislation funding the Department of Veterans Affairs for FY 2009. The bill (HR 6599) includes $3.8 billion for mental illness treatment and $584 million for substance abuse treatment in the VA, significant increases over current year funding.

War Supplemental Bill Adds $100 Million for VA Mental Health Services
Late last week Congress sent to the President the FY 2007 Supplemental War Spending bill, known as the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act (HR 2206) that includes $466.8 million in additional funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs for the current fiscal year. President Bush signed the legislation on May 26.


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