To the Editor:
Every day, I hear from 8th District Hoosiers who are struggling to make ends meet.
Our veterans are particularly vulnerable in the current economic downturn, often living on fixed incomes and traveling great distances for health care.
One of the ways I am trying to help is by co-sponsoring legislation to increase the mileage reimbursement rate for veterans traveling to see their doctors.
Specifically, the Veterans Travel Equity Act would increase the reimbursement rate for veterans to match the rate available to federal employees.
The bill also eliminates income and pension eligibility requirements and service-connected disability rating requirements (Under current law, only veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 30 percent or more qualify for the reimbursement).
This small change can be a big help to veterans, and I hope the House will consider it soon.
In addition, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, which Congress approved last month, provides a one-time $250 payment to disabled veterans to help them make ends meet. While modest, these payments come on top of record investments in veterans' health care and educational benefits. I was proud to support these programs and will continue to look for ways to support our veterans.