DeLauro Reintroduces Veterans Residential Care Choice Act
WASHINGTON, DC (March 30, 2018) — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) recently reintroduced legislation inspired by the plight of veterans at the Seacrest and HighVue retirement homes. The Veterans Residential Care Choice Act would allow the Veterans Administration (VA) to pay for eligible veterans to live at residential care facilities, such as Seacrest and HighVue. The VA can currently help veterans find a residential care facility to live in, but veterans and their families have to shoulder the cost themselves.
“The Veterans Residential Care Choice Act would not only prevent a repeat of what happened at Seacrest and HighVue, it would increase choice for our senior veterans,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “This is the least we can do to repay the debt we owe our veterans, and honor their selflessness. They deserve respect, dignity, economic security so they can take care of themselves and not be dependent others. Veterans stood up when called. We stand on their shoulders. And I will always do everything in my power to help them when they need it.”
“Veterans who need assistance from others must have the ability live in assisted living facilities without having to burden the full cost of community residential care simply because VA is prohibited from covering such services,” said Carlos Fuentes, VFW National Legislative Service Director. “The VFW thanks Congresswoman DeLauro for her leadership in addressing this issue and proudly supports the Veterans Residential Care Choice Act.”
DeLauro also announced today that she won report language in the omnibus funding law that urges the VA Secretary to continue to extend these payments. In 2015, ten veterans at Seacrest were at risk of losing the benefits that helped their families afford the facilities due to a VA error. DeLauro intervened and the VA temporarily extended payments for their residency.
The Veterans Residential Care Choice Act would:
- Authorize VA to cover costs for a veteran who demonstrates need to stay in a residential care facility.
- Require that facility and VA enter into an agreement in order to make sure the facilities are adequate to serve the needs of veterans.