Each year, DAV members convene at our national convention to adopt resolutions that guide the organization’s legislative team in Washington, D.C., as they advocate for the laws and policies that affect the disabled veteran community.

In 2022, hundreds of such resolutions were submitted at the annual event, helping to form this year’s legislative program.

“Last year, we had a number of legislative victories, including the Honoring our PACT Act becoming law,” said National Legislative Director Joy Ilem. “Improving benefits and services for toxic-exposed veterans was a long-standing legislative goal put forth by our members, and enactment of this historic legislation would not have been possible without their support. We look forward to carrying that momentum into 2023 and continuing our work to improve the lives of veterans and their families.”

DAV’s 2023 Critical Policy Goals are as follows:

  • Correct inequities and provide parity in compensation benefits for veterans and survivors—DAV will fight for allowing receipt of earned compensation and military payments without offsets, parity with other federal programs for survivors receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits, and increased rates for veterans disability compensation based on quality of life.
  • Implement the PACT Act and address gaps in toxic-exposure benefits—The PACT Act was a historic victory for veterans. Hundreds of thousands of disability claims have already been submitted to the Department of Veterans Affairs, but far too many veterans who have suffered from toxic and environmental exposures still do not qualify for benefits. Our nation must ensure these veterans are taken care of and awarded the benefits they have rightfully earned.
  • Ensure equity in VA care, services and benefits for women, LGBTQ+ and minority veterans—The VA must ensure these veterans have access to benefits and timely, high-quality and specialized health care services to the same extent as their veteran peers. The VA must provide a safe, welcoming and harassment-free environment at all its health care facilities.
  • Provide a full spectrum of long-term care options for service-disabled and aging veterans—The ­­VA must have a comprehensive geriatric and extended care program that includes a broad range of care options and supportive services, from home-based primary care to long-term institutional care to assist a rapidly aging veteran population, particularly veterans with service-connected conditions who have lost the ability to function independently.
  • Bolster mental health resources to ensure continued progress in reducing veteran suicide—Despite increased resources for VA mental health services and targeted efforts, rates of suicide among veterans have only marginally decreased. By improving lethal-means safety efforts, enhancing care for veterans in crisis and requiring training for community partners, the VA can help to reduce suicide for at-risk veterans and ensure all veterans have timely access to needed mental health services.
  • Expand the VA’s capacity to deliver timely, high-quality care to veterans—To ensure the best health outcomes for veterans, particularly veterans with service-connected conditions who rely on the VA for all or most of their care, the VA must remain the primary provider and coordinator of care, which will require new investments to hire and retain clinical staff, rebuild its health care infrastructure and modernize information technology systems.