Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010 Signed Into Law

President Obama recently signed H.R. 3219, The Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010, into law. The Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010 improves and modernizes a variety of benefits and programs for military veterans and their families.

These benefits, administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), specifically enhance the following veterans benefits:  enhanced employment opportunities and small business programs, preventing and caring for homeless veterans, Increasing the scope of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, increasing insurance limits, protecting service members called to combat, honoring fallen service members and their families, strengthening education benefits, addressing housing needs of disabled veterans, and investing in research for Gulf War veterans. These benefits are broken into the following sections, or Titles, which are listed below, then in more detail.

  • TITLE I—Employment, Small Business, and Education Matters
  • TITLE II—Housing and Homelessness Matters
  • TITLE III—Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Matters
  • TITLE IV—Insurance Matters
  • TITLE V—Burial and Cemetery Matters
  • TITLE VI—Compensation and Pension
  • TITLE VII—Employment and Reemployment Rights of Members of the Uniformed Services
  • TITLE VIII—Benefits Matters
  • TITLE VIIII—Construction

Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010

Title: To amend title 38, United States Code, and the Servicemenbers Civil Relief Act to make certain improvements in the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes

TITLE I—EMPLOYMENT, SMALL BUSINESS, AND EDUCATION MATTERS

  • Extend authority for certain qualifying work-study activities for purposes of the educational assistance programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs Reauthorization of Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Education.
  • Reauthorize the Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Education.
  • Provide an 18-month period for training of new disabled veterans’ outreach program specialists and local veterans’ employment representatives by National Veterans’ Employment and Training Services Institute.
  • Clarify responsibility of Secretary of Veterans Affairs to verify small business ownership.
  • Establish a demonstration project for referral of USERRA claims against federal agencies to the Office of Special Counsel.
  • Establish a pilot program for veterans’ energy-related employment program.
  • Provide a list and link of organizations that provide scholarships to veterans [Pat Tillman Veterans’ Scholarship Initiative].

TITLE II—HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS MATTERS

  • Reauthorize appropriations for Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.
  • Make grants to programs and facilities to provide dedicated services for homeless women veterans and homeless veterans with children.
  • Develop new assistive technologies for specially adapted housing.
  • Waive housing loan fee for certain veterans with service-connected disabilities called to active service.

TITLE III—SERVICEMEMBERS CIVIL RELIEF ACT MATTERS

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act already covers a wide range of benefits for military members, including reduced interest rates on loans when they join the military, the ability to delay civil proceedings while deployed, and other benefits. The act improves the following matters:

TITLE IV—INSURANCE MATTERS

There are a variety of insurance benefits available to military members when the separate from the service. These benefits have been enhanced by the Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010.





  • Increase in amount of supplemental insurance for totally disabled veterans.
  • Create a permanent extension of duration of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance coverage for totally disabled veterans.
  • Adjust coverage of dependents under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance.
  • Allow the opportunity to increase the amount of Veterans’ Group Life Insurance.
  • Eliminate the reduction in amount of accelerated death benefit for terminally-ill persons insured under Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance.
  • Consider the of loss of dominant hand in prescription of schedule of severity of traumatic injury under Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance.
  • Enhance veterans’ mortgage life insurance.
  • Expand the number of individuals qualifying for retroactive benefits from traumatic injury protection coverage under Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance.

TITLE V—BURIAL AND CEMETERY MATTERS

The US Military already provides free military burial for veterans. The following benefits have been enhanced.

  • Increase in certain burial and funeral benefits and plot allowances for veterans.
  • Allow interment in national cemeteries of parents of certain deceased veterans.
  • Report on selection of new national cemeteries.

TITLE VI—COMPENSATION AND PENSION

  • Enhance disability compensation for certain disabled veterans with difficulties using prostheses and disabled veterans in need of regular aid and attendance for residuals of traumatic brain injury.
  • Provide a cost-of-living increase for temporary dependency and indemnity compensation payable for surviving spouses with dependent children under the age of 18.
  • Pay dependency and indemnity compensation to survivors of former prisoners of war who died on or before September 30, 1999.
  • Exclude certain amounts from consideration as income for purposes of veterans pension benefits.
  • Commence a period of payment of original awards of compensation for veterans retired or separated from the uniformed services for catastrophic disability.
  • Apply limitation to pension payable to certain children of veterans of a period of war.
  • Extend reduced pension for certain veterans covered by Medicaid plans for services furnished by nursing facilities.
  • Codify pension amounts.

TITLE VII—EMPLOYMENT AND REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES

Making the transition from military service to the civilian sector can be a challenge. Thankfully, military members are eligible for unemployment benefits when they separate from the military, which gives them some time to make the transition. Most State Department of Veterans Affairs offer assistance with job placement.

  • Clarify that USERRA prohibits wage discrimination against members of the Armed Forces.
  • Clarify the definition of ‘‘successor in interest.’’
  • Make technical amendments.

TITLE VIII—BENEFITS MATTERS

  • Increase in number of veterans for which programs of independent living services and assistance may be initiated.
  • Allow payment of unpaid balances of Department of Veterans Affairs guaranteed loans.
  • Expand eligibility of disabled veterans and members of the Armed Forces with severe burn injuries for automobiles and adaptive equipment.
  • Enhance automobile assistance allowance for veterans. [$18,900 indexed to CPI-U]
  • Allow for National Academies review of best treatments for Gulf War illness.
  • Extend and modify National Academy of Sciences reviews and evaluations regarding illness and service in Persian Gulf War and Post 9/11 Global Operations Theaters.
  • Extend authority for regional office in Republic of the Philippines.
  • Extend an annual report on equitable relief.
  • Authorize the performance of medical disability examinations by contract physicians.

TITLE VIIII—CONSTRUCTION

  • Authorize major medical facility leases.
  • Authorize VAMC in New Orleans. [up to $995,000,000 – amending current law]
  • Authorize seismic corrections on buildings 7 and 126 at the Long Beach VAMC. [up to $117,845,000 – amending P.L. 109-461]
  • Authorize appropriations for major construction projects and leases authorized herein.
  • Require that bid savings on major medical facility projects of Department of Veterans Affairs be used for previously authorized major medical facility construction projects of the Department.

Overall, these benefits offer greater assistance to a range of military veterans, specifically those requiring the most assistance, including those with traumatic injuries and other service connected disabilities, homeless and underemployed, and more.




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Date published: October 15, 2010.

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Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of this site. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years in the USAF and also writes about money management, small business, and career topics at Cash Money Life. You can also see his profile on Google

Comments

  1. Automobile grant from $11,000 to $18,900, I just used my grant last year, will I see the difference in grant pay out money($7,900)?

  2. Bernard Miller says:

    What is the criteria to get this grant money what percentage of disability do you need to be?

    • Edmund Rice says:

      Jeremy, I’m like Banard. What is the criteria for this automobile grant money? You have that knowledge, since you used your grant money in 2009. Please pass on any and all info that you have on this! Such as where do we obtain this info! And, where do we make application? We veterans need to stick together by passing info like this to one another! You have a great day! and we will be waiting to hear from you in the near future. Sincerely, Edmund (Ed) Rice @ emrice2011(at)yahoo.com

  3. Joseph Thomas Beach says:

    I am the Director of the Contract Closeout Task Force Office in San Antonio. I am a YC-03 (GS-15), 100% Disabled Vet. My position goes away this year so I need to find another GS-15 position. The MICC at Ft Sam Houston has GS-15 positions and can easily place me in one of the positions. However, they compete the position and pass over me. I know that is you are 30% or more, and I am 100% disabled, they can directly hire me into the position. I am at the top of my field in contracting and have been the Chief of Contracting three times, a Commander, and a Director, I am highly qualified for whatever position they can place me into. What leverage do I have to move into one of their vacant GS-15 positions? What should I do to find another job? Please give me some advice. Thanks, Joe Beach

  4. Lt Colonel V.H. De Petrillo ,USA (Ret) says:

    Request a copy of “Veterans Benefits – The Act of 2010″
    Specifically, I am interested in Veterans Home Loans. Also,
    eligibility for peace-time service 90 days or more/

    Thank You,
    Lt Colonel V.H. De Petrillo (Ret)

  5. Kevin Newton says:

    I would like to know what benefits a veterans recieves if he is 100%

    • There are many but it also has a lot to do with residency and the state that you are concidered to be a resident of and a veteran of.
      Some states offer scholarships for spouses and dependent children. The VA itself has programs for education. 100% SC also makes the spouse/dep children eliligable for DIC. As a veteran some states offer FREE hunting and fishing licenses, free diabled license plates. In the future if an assisted living or skilled nursing care facility is needed the cost may be waived. Property taxes may be waived in some states as well. Depending on the SC disability there MAY be EXTRA money to supplement the 100% straight fee but the qualifications MUST be met.
      First stop is “VA.gov” then you can look up VA benefits by state via your search engine and go that route. Last but certainly no least look into scholarships and grants available.

  6. Does anyone have an idea when the $18,900 will be available? I have been told that is still $11,000.

  7. Richard Mills says:

    I am currently going into the Veterans affairs field could you please send me a complete copy of federal laws regarding veterans benefits and forms, file regulations appicable to the needs of veterans so i can bring myself up to date and to be an asset to all veterans i encounter. thanks for your help.

    • Richard,

      Thanks for contacting me. This site is not an official extension of any government agency. Your best bet for finding this information would be to contact the VA and ask for references to the specific information you will be needing in your line of work. There are literally hundreds of programs and thousands of regs, documents, and forms covered by VA programs. There is no way to learn them all in a short amount of time. The best place to start will be with the documents and programs you will e working with on a regular basis, then work on expanding to other programs and sections when you have those down.

      Best of luck, and thanks for your service to our military veterans.

  8. Jorge Umblas says:

    Does service with the Commonwealth Army (USAFFE), including the recognized querrillas, or the New Philippine Scouts meet the requirements as basic eligibility to non service-connected death pension under the Veterans Benefit Act of 2010?

  9. I’m wondering what happens to the children of veterans when mom and dad are divorced. Are the children entitled to any kind of support from their veteran parent?

  10. Larry Johnson says:

    L am 100% disabled and 70 nyears of age. My wife ended our 27 year marriage with a divorce January 2010. I had no income other than my VA Disability/Social Security and a small Navy Retirement check of $400.00 per month. The judge [Judge Teuton of Family Court Las Vegas] was made aeare of USC 5301 which protects disability pay from being awarded as Alimony. He ignored this law and gave my ex-wife $3,500 monthly alimony. I paid over $50,000 of my disability pay to her, finally in December 2010 I stopped paying, was issued a contempt of court bench warrant. In order to not having to pay any further alimony from my disability payments, I turned over my 1/2 of the residence valued over $197,000.00 to the court. Does anyone know if I have any recourse to recover these funds that was illegally taken from me? I am living out of state right now, but will return to Las Vegas, Nevada if someone could offer me help.

    • Larry, I’m sorry to hear about your situation. Military divorce cases are highly specialized and I am not qualified to give advice on these cases. I highly recommend speaking with a lawyer who specializes in military divorce settlements for information specific to your situation. Best of luck, and thanks for your service.

  11. All Military transitioning from Uniform into Civilian attire for work and Veterans desiring Federal Jobs, particularly with the Dept of Veterans Affairs, Please visit Veteran Employment Services Office (VESO).

    Veterans requiring assistance with Veterans Disability Benefits and Legal matters, Please contact; NOVA – National Organization of Veterans Advocates

  12. What was the date the VDPA 2010 was signed into law?

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