For over a century, DAV’s critical policy goals have served as guideposts for lawmakers to care for all who wore our nation’s uniform and their families.

In 2024, DAV is targeting its advocacy across six key issues.

While the historic passage of the Honoring our PACT Act dramatically expanded veterans benefits for millions exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange and other toxins, several exposures and diseases afflicting veterans are still waiting to be recognized.

DAV is urging Congress to enact legislation that concedes toxic exposure and establishes presumptive diseases for conditions related to service at Karshi-Khanabad Air Base, also called K2, in Uzbekistan. The former Soviet base, which served as a staging site for American troops providing support to forces deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11, contained residuals of chemical weapons, radioactive depleted uranium and jet fuel, among nearly 400 other chemical compounds.

Other toxic-exposure policy goals include passing the PRESUME Act (H.R. 4566), which would remove the Department of Veterans Affairs dose estimate requirements for veterans exposed to radiation, and the VET PFAS Act (S. 2294/H.R. 4249), which adds presumptive diseases for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS), or “forever chemical,” exposure.

Reducing suicide among veterans remains a key priority for DAV, the VA and Congress. The Not Just a Number Act (S. 928/H.R. 4157) would require the VA to take a more comprehensive look at the factors that best prevent veteran suicide and examine in its annual suicide report the impact of veterans benefits usage.

While DAV benefits advocates are experts in navigating the murky waters of VA benefits, the law must be changed to allow for the concurrent receipt of rightfully earned veterans benefits and military retiree pay. Currently, many combat-disabled veterans are forced to pay back Defense Department retirement pay before becoming eligible for VA disability payments. The Major Richard Star Act (S. 344/H.R. 1282) would repeal this inequitable offset, while additional legislation—the Restore Veterans’ Compensation Act (H.R. 3489)—would eliminate the unfair practice of recouping military separation payments from veterans disability compensation.

Other critical policy goals include enacting legislation to provide more long-term care options for aging veterans. Two key bills—the Expanding Veterans’ Options for Long Term Care Act (S. 495/H.R. 1815) and the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act (H.R. 542)—will do just that. DAV will also continue to fight to ensure equity in VA care, services and benefits for women, LGBTQ+ and minority veterans.

“When Congress looks to improve the lives of America’s veterans, it turns to DAV for leadership,” said DAV National Legislative Director Joy Ilem. “From reducing the scourge of veteran suicide to closing the gaps of toxic-exposure legislation, DAV’s continued advocacy ensures our nation keeps our promise to America’s veterans.”

Stay informed. Your advocacy efforts are essential to passing these transformative bills. Follow along with updates to legislation affecting veterans and their families by joining DAV CAN (Commander’s Action Network) at

DAV’s 2024 Critical Policy Goals

  • Correct inequities for veterans receiving compensation benefits, and provide parity in benefits for survivors
  • Ensure the faithful implementation of the PACT Act, and address gaps in toxic-exposure benefits
  • Establish equity in VA care, services and benefits for women, LGBTQ+ and minority veterans
  • Provide a full spectrum of long-term care options for service-disabled and aging veterans
  • Bolster mental health resources to ensure reduction of veteran suicides
  • Expand the VA’s capacity to deliver timely, high-quality health care to veterans