SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Homeless and at-risk veterans will have an easier time acquiring necessary documents to support their disability claim when legislation introduced by Dan Swanson, R-Alpha, and sponsored by Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, takes effect on Jan. 1.
“Those who sacrificed to serve our country should not be going without basic necessities after they return home,” said Halpin. “Unfortunately, many veterans face challenges in securing employment, housing and health care, which we need to work to alleviate.”
House Bill 4848 entitles homeless veterans to a free, complete copy of their health care records to support their claim for veterans’ disability benefits. The new law removes a cost barrier to filing a claim for disability compensation, while helping ensure that claims have complete information to be processed more quickly. By easing the cost challenge that homeless veterans face in filing disability claims, the measure will help lift veterans out of homelessness.
“For veterans who are unable to work due to service-related disabilities, access to disability compensation can make the difference between stable housing arrangements and sleeping on the street,” said Halpin. “This new law improves their access to compensation in an effort to help end homelessness among veterans.”