Paralyzed Veterans of America issues statement urging Congress act now to remove barriers that prevent disabled Veterans from accessing long-term services and supportsPost Date: June 7, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jun. 7, 2023) – Today, Paralyzed Veterans of America Executive Director Carl Blake testified before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on the importance of Veterans’ access to long-term care. Immediately following the hearing, PVA issued the following statement urging VA and Congress to work together expeditiously to help America’s Veterans, particularly those with the greatest support needs.
“PVA commends the Senate Veterans Affairs’ Committee for giving PVA an opportunity to discuss why our members and their caregivers, can’t wait any longer for Congress to make a meaningful investment in long-term care for veterans. We need Congress to set any differences aside, including concerns about paying for this care, and instead give a measure of dignity to those who didn’t ask about the personal cost of their service.”
Blake continued, “There is no group of individuals who better understand the importance of long-term services and supports more than our Veterans with spinal cord injuries and diseases, like MS and ALS, and their caregivers – many of whom require some level of assistance in taking care of their daily needs throughout their lives or bear the extra burden due to overly restrictive limitations on home care spending.
“Our nation is obligated to ensure disabled Veterans have access to long-term care,” Blake concluded. “To do this, VA must increase access to VA facility-based long-term care, improve the availability of VA’s Home and Community-Based Services, and strengthen assistance for family caregivers. They must also address dire staffing and infrastructure barriers in accessing VA facility-based long-term care. But the buck doesn’t stop there, Congress must eliminate the cap on Home and Community-Based Services and allow VA to cover the full costs of needed services, as well as provide the necessary funding to expand Veteran Directed Care into every VA medical center, so the needs of our nation’s Veterans and caregivers are properly met.”
PVA strongly supports the Elizabeth Dole Home and Community Based Services for Veterans and Caregivers Act (H.R. 542/S. 141). This critically important legislation would make urgently needed improvements to VA Home and Community-Based Services, including several that target current program shortfalls. While PVA appreciated the Committee’s markup of an amended version of this legislation, it was disappointed when a recent attempt to advance this bill did not succeed. PVA hopes the differences that led to that failed effort can be resolved swiftly.
To learn more about the Elizabeth Dole Act, or join PVA in its fight to pass this bill, visit here.
About Paralyzed Veterans of America
Paralyzed Veterans of America is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or diseases. The organization ensures veterans receive the benefits earned through service to our nation; monitors their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funds research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis.
As a life-long partner and advocate for veterans and all people with disabilities, PVA also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, and provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation. With more than 70 offices and 33 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans of America serves veterans, their families, and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Learn more at PVA.org.