Veterans

The men and women who have honorably served our nation in uniform deserve our utmost respect, and when they return home we need to make sure our veterans get the benefits and care they earned. Sen. Tina Smith believes this includes ensuring they’re able to pursue higher education, find housing and good jobs, and helping them heal from the wounds of war and access health care. It also means making sure veterans receive quality, timely care, and that we actively seek out legislative fixes when we find gaps in the law that prevent them from receiving the benefits they’ve justly earned.

In order to do this, Sen. Smith encourages you to reach out to her when you hear about a veteran who needs assistance. Whether it be helping to connect them to services, advocating on their behalf, or working to fix a legislative issues, Sen. Smith is here to help.

Latest Releases

Klobuchar, Smith Push for Improved Veteran Emergency Care

Washington, D.C.— Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith (both D-MN) and the entire Minnesota delegation sent a bicameral, bipartisan letter to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough urging the agency to improve veterans’ ability to receive emergency care. Specifically, the letter asks VA Secretary McDonough to revise existing rules to treat all emergency transport reimbursements the same way, regardless of a veteran’s service-connected disability rating. “By processing emergency transportation services as beneficiary travel, the VA leaves a large group of veterans with unpaid emergency transportation bills,” wrote the lawmakers. “This places an unjust burden on a population already facing rising medical costs across the board. From 2017 to 2020 alone, the cost to cover charges for emergency transportation services has risen at a rate of almost 18 percent.” “In light of the sacrifices our veterans have made, we must fulfill our obligation to provide those who have served this country with a high standard of care,” they continued. “While the VHA has played a critical role in providing necessary benefits for veterans, we call on the Administration to amend [these] regulations to provide the coverage of emergency transportation services that was intended under the VA Mission Act.” Under the 2018 VA Mission Act, emergency transportation and treatment at in-network, non-VA facilities became eligible for reimbursement. However, the VA is currently processing emergency land or air ambulance service claims as beneficiary travel, which restricts coverage to veterans with a disability rating (that is, the designation given to the severity of a

Senator Smith’s Bipartisan Legislation to Secure Health Care for Veterans Exposed to Radiation Passes Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. [8.3.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that her bipartisan legislation securing health care benefits for “Atomic Veterans” who were exposed to harmful radiation has passed the Senate and is headed to President Biden’s desk. The bill was passed as part of the historic Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act, which ensures millions of veterans exposed to noxious fumes emanating from burn pits will have access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care and benefits. It is co-led by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC). The Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act would allow veterans who participated in the cleanup of Enewetak Atoll on the Marshall Islands to receive the same health care and benefits given to other servicemembers who were involved in active nuclear tests. From 1946 to 1958, the U.S. military conducted more than 40 nuclear tests in the islands, but the thousands of servicemembers who cleaned up the area were never made eligible to receive health benefits under the Radiation Compensation Exposure Act. “We have a solemn duty to take care of the men and women who serve in our armed forces. A big part of that is ensuring they can get the health care they need both during and after their service,” said Sen. Smith. “Americans who cleaned up the radiation-exposed Marshall Islands—where more than 40 nuclear tests took place in the 20th century—have been fighting for proper care for a long time. I’m proud to see this legislation become law

Senator Smith Announces Passage of Historic Bill to Ensure Veterans Receive the Health Care They’ve Earned

WASHINGTON, D.C. [8.3.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) announced the Senate passed the most significant expansion of benefits and health services for veterans in more than 30 years. The historic Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act ensures millions of veterans exposed to noxious fumes emanating from burn pits will have access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care and benefits.  The bill’s passage comes after Senate Republicans voted to block the bipartisan deal last week, which many of them had previously voted for. The bill will now head to President Biden’s desk where it will

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Announces Hearing Aimed at Addressing Homelessness

WASHINGTON, D.C. [07/14/22]—Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) – Chair of the Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development (HTCD) – announced she will be leading a hearing on homelessness and opportunities to support veterans and others who face challenges with housing. Members of the subcommittee will hear from Ms. Ann Oliva, Chief Executive Officer, National Alliance to End Homelessness; Ms. Kathryn Monet, Chief Executive Officer, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans; Ms. Cathy ten Broeke, Assistant Commissioner and Executive Director, Minnesota Interagency Council on Homelessness (MICH); Ms. Isabel McDevitt, Co-Founder and Board President Work Works America; and Ms. Jamie Kirsch, Board Member,

Klobuchar, Smith Secure Federal Funding to Help Servicemembers and Veterans Pursue Education at Alexandria Technical and Community College

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that they have secured $1.1 million in federal funding to help military servicemembers and veterans pursue their education at Alexandria Technical & Community College. This funding will go towards launching a pilot platform for a Global Military Learning Network, which will award credits for military learning and occupational experiences, streamline military admissions processes, develop a secure military-friendly enrollment portal, eliminate the cost of remedial coursework, and increase the number of military graduates available to meet workforce needs. “This federal funding makes an important investment in our state’s veterans

Klobuchar, Smith, Minnesota Delegation Push Legislation to Rename Local Post Offices in Honor of Fallen Minnesota Guardsmen

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) led the entire Minnesota Congressional delegation in a letter to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the House Oversight and Reform Committee urging the Committees to take action on their bipartisan, bicameral legislation to rename three Minnesota US Postal Service (USPS) facilities in honor of three Minnesota National Guardsmen who were tragically killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in 2019. “These National Guardsmen made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the safety and security of our nation. We are grateful for their sacrifice and believe that

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