Defense Authorization Act expands benefits for disabled veterans

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WASHINGTON — Disabled veterans and their caregivers will soon have access to a number of expanded benefits thanks to the signing of the “John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019”—some of which have been longtime legislative priorities of DAV (Disabled American Veterans).

Beginning in January 2020, service-connected disabled veterans and their caregivers will be eligible to use base commissary stores and Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities. In addition, veterans with a service-connected disability rated as total will soon be eligible to use space-available (Space-A) travel.

For more than a decade, DAV members have adopted national resolutions and advocated for enactment of federal legislation to extend these two military-related benefits to disabled veterans.

“These policy changes have been important priorities for our members for many years,” said National Commander Dennis Nixon. “For veterans whose ability to work is impacted by a service-connected disability, the cost savings associated with access to base commissary and exchanges and Space-A flights will be a significant benefit.”

Further details regarding implementation of these provisions are expected to be released in September 2019.

“This is a hard fought win for veterans and we’re glad to see it finally come to fruition,” Nixon added.

Additional areas of interest to service-connected disabled veterans within the legislation are improvements to the Defense Department’s Transition Assistance Program, a mandated study and assessment of health implications connected to contaminated drinking water as well as a study on the availability of long-term care options for veterans from VA. The full legislation can be found here.


About DAV:
DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; providing employment resources to veterans and their spouses; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a nonprofit organization with more than 1 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U. S. Congress in 1932.