Senator Patty Murray's office issued the following Friday:
VETERANS: Senator Murray Applauds VA Secretary’s Announcement That Will Keep All Veterans in Caregiver Support Program While Reforms Made
Dec 21 2018
Announcement comes two days after Senator Murray asked VA Secretary Wilkie during a Congressional hearing to allow veterans to stay in the program until reforms are made to ensure decisions are being made accurately
Senator Murray’s request comes after NPR report of veterans being kicked out or downgraded from program arbitrarily
Senator Murray: “I commend Secretary Wilkie for taking these concerns seriously...But this is just the first step….I urge the Secretary to use this time to get it right”
WATCH: Senator Murray’s exchange with VA Secretary Wilkie about the Caregiver Support Program eligibility
(Washington, D.C.) –U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) commended Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie for announcing today that VA will temporarily suspend discharges and downgrades for veterans enrolled in VA’s Caregiver Support Program. The program, which Senator Murray helped implement in 2011 when she was Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, supports those who provide care for veterans injured as a result of their service to our country. Senator Murray had expressed her deep concerns to Secretary Wilkie two days ago during a Congressional hearing about reports of veterans who’d lost eligibility in the program for arbitrary reasons. (Watch their exchange here.)
“I commend Secretary Wilkie for taking these concerns seriously and putting forth this moratorium. But this is just the first step. On behalf of veterans and their caregivers across the country, I urge the Secretary to use this time to get it right. Our military families, who sacrificed so much on our country’s behalf, deserve nothing less,” said Senator Murray.
Senator Murray has consistently worked to hold senior VA officials accountable for implementing the Caregivers program in a way that works best for veterans and their caregivers, not the least of which is creating clear, standardized eligibility requirements. In June 2018, Senator Murray helped secure additional federal investments in the program to ensure VA had the resources that VA leaders have long said is necessary to make the program a success. Additionally, in May, Senator Murray’s proposal to expand the program to make veterans of all eras eligible for the program passed Congress and was signed into law as part of the VA MISSION Act.