WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Paralyzed Veterans of America is applauding U.S. Rep. Mark Takano, from California’s 41st district, for supporting veterans through a new bill, the VetSuccess Enhancement Act. The bill would extend the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Rehabilitation & Education (VR&E) VetSuccess program eligibility period by 5 years—from 12 years from their military discharge date to 17 years.
“Finding a good job in today’s tough economy is one of the biggest obstacles our veterans are facing right now,” said Homer S. Townsend, Jr. U.S. Marine Corps veteran and executive director of Paralyzed Veterans of America. “This legislation could help countless veterans who need the extension of these services now more than ever. We applaud Rep. Takano for introducing this bill and doing the right thing for our veterans.”
Takano unveiled the details of the legislation at a press conference this week and spoke about the difficulty many veterans have finding work saying: “Too many of our nation’s veterans are unemployed. Some of them may even be your friends or in your extended family. And many of those who fought in the name of freedom carry with them the scars and wounds of battle every single day – seen and unseen, leaving them disabled and affecting their ability to find suitable employment. Sometimes these issues don’t manifest for many years down the road.”
Takano added, almost every veterans group he had talked to, including Paralyzed Veterans of America had said that the “12 year eligibility period for the VetSuccess program was a significant road block for our heroes. This has especially affected our Iraq and Afghanistan-era disabled veterans, who are 27% more likely to be unemployed than those without a service-connected disability.”
The VetSuccess Enhancement Act will remove the road block by extending that eligibility by five years. The legislation will be Takano’s first bill that he will introduce in Congress since being elected to office.
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Rehabilitation & Education (VR&E) VetSuccess program’s primary function is to help veterans who have service-connected disabilities become suitably employed, maintain employment, or achieve independence in daily living.
Paralyzed Veterans of America was founded in the mid-1940s by a group of spinal cord injured American heroes of World War II. They created a non-profit organization to meet the challenges they faced then — from a medical community not ready to treat them to an environment with many barriers for people who use wheelchairs. Today, Paralyzed Veterans’ national office and our 34 chapters continue the fight to make America a better place for all veterans and people with disabilities. (www.pva.org)