Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Senator urges benefits equality, legal aid for vets

Jun. 12, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
  • Filed Under

CONCORD, N.H. — U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen urged members of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs Wednesday to pass bills that would bring benefits equality to same-sex military couples and would enhance law school programs that provide free legal services to veterans.

Shaheen co-sponsored the Charlie Morgan Military Spouses Equal Treatment Act — named for New Hampshire National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Charlie Morgan, whose wife and daughter were denied survivor and other benefits after Morgan’s death from breast cancer early this year.

Morgan crusaded for equal treatment of same-sex military couples.

“After Charlie’s diagnosis in 2008, she and her wife spoke repeatedly about how these practices against same-sex couples would devastate their family if Charlie died,” Shaheen testified. “We must ensure that all our military families who have sacrificed so much have access to the services and treatment they need and deserve.”

Shaheen on Wednesday also touted another bill she co-sponsored that would allow the VA to coordinate with law schools that offer legal services to veterans. She said 18 states have law school clinics for veterans but the goal is to have one in every state.

“By counseling veterans with their disability claims, law students are turning incredibly complex stories and injuries into organized benefits applications that are exponentially reducing VA’s processing time for the most complicated cases in the backlog,” she said.

Shaheen’s testimony was delivered the same day VA Secretary Eric Shinseki visited the Manchester VA Regional Office to decry the delays for processing benefits applications while promising relief by 2015 through implementation of a new electronic Veterans Benefits Management System.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In Pay & Benefits

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

'Get on the trail'
Drill sergeant duty is tough, but offers serious rewards

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook