Published: August 1, 2012
WASHINGTON — Congress finalized
work on the “The Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp
Lejeune Families Act” on Tuesday, sending the measure to the
White House to be signed into law. Most of the focus on the
legislation has centered on provisions to provide for the first
time VA health care to
families who were exposed to contaminated well water at the
North Carolina military facility.
But the sweeping legislation also
includes other provisions that could provide new benefits to a
wide range of veterans, and represents one of the few major
pieces of legislation to work its way through Congress this
Rural veterans: Co-payments for veterans using using online
or other remote health care programs would be eliminated.
The department will also look into the providing travel
reimbursements to veterans seeking care at distant vet
Sexual assault: Creates new tracking and reporting policies
to monitor sexual assaults that occur at VA facilities.
Traumatic brain injury: The bill creates new individualized
rehabilitation and reintegration services for Iraq and
Afghanistan veterans with TBI.
Adaptive housing: VA’s program for specially adapted housing
will be expanded to include housing grants for veterans with
lower limb loss and vision problems, and the VA will revise
how additional monies are counted against those veteran’s
VA home loans: Surviving spouses will be eligible for VA
home loan guarantees for 10 years after the death of a
veteran. Also, the fee for the home loan program will be
waived for disabled servicemembers.
Funeral protests: Prohibits demonstrators from picketing any
military funeral two hours before or after the service, and
requires those protestors be at least 300 feet away from the
The president is expected to sign
the bill into law later this month.