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.
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 renaming these post offices in their honor would be a fitting tribute to their legacy,” the legislators wrote. In addition to Klobuchar and Smith, the letter was signed by Representatives Angie Craig (D-MN), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), Pete Stauber (R-MN), and the late Representative Jim Hagedorn (R-MN). In December, Klobuchar and Smith introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to rename the Avon Post Office in honor of Army National Guard Warrant Officer Candidate Kort M. Plantenberg; the Perham Post Office after Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Charles P. Nord; and the Winsted Post Office in honor of Chief Warrant Officer James A. Rogers Jr. Companion legislation was introduced in the House by Representatives Tom Emmer (R-MN) and Michelle Fischbach (R-MN). Full text of the letter can be found HERE and below: Dear Chairman Peters, Chairwoman Maloney, Ranking Member Johnson, and
Senator Tina Smith Introduces Bill to Help Veterans Get Care for Hearing Loss, Their Most Common Service-Related Health Issue
WASHINGTON [2.1.22] — Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduced legislation to reduce the red tape many veterans face when trying to get care for hearing loss as a result of their service—something many veterans say is an enormous burden despite being the most common service-connected ailment. Sen. Smith heard about this problem through her office’s veterans’ health care tour, which visited some 10 communities throughout Minnesota to hear what health challenges veterans are facing. “If you’ve served our country and experienced a health related issue because of it, it’s our job to take care of you. That’s the agreement for the men and women who serve in our military,” said Sen. Smith. “When I realized how widespread hearing loss is among veterans, and heard from Minnesotans about how many hoops they have to jump through to access care, it was clear this needed to be fixed. I’ve introduced this bill to make sure veterans get the care they deserve.” Currently, veterans receiving benefits through the VA must document hearing loss or tinnitus incurred while in the line of duty in order to qualify for benefits when seeking treatment for these conditions. However, many veterans are not diagnosed until after they are discharged. This places a significant burden on veterans to prove that their hearing loss or tinnitus is the result of their time in the military. Sen. Smith’s legislation—the Veterans Hearing Benefit Act of 2022—would provide presumption for hearing loss and tinnitus to veterans who served in combat or in a military specialty
U.S. Senator Tina Smith Presses VA for Answers After Hearing From Minnesota Veterans to be Hit by Bills for Medical Expenses Incurred During Pandemic Billing Moratorium
WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/22/20]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) is pressing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for answers after hearing from veterans who are set to receive medical bills for accrued copay and medical costs incurred during a VA billing moratorium issued in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Earlier this year, the VA suspended copay and other medical billing through December 31 to help veterans weather the hardships of COVID-19. Now, Sen. Smith is hearing from veterans who say they have received word from the VA that come January, they will receive bills for costs during the billing
Klobuchar, Smith Urge Administration to Increase Access to Counseling Services for Veterans, Servicemembers, their Families
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) called on the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to increase access to Readjustment Counseling Services to help Minnesota veterans, servicemembers, and their families transition to both military and civilian life. In the letter, Klobuchar and Smith also highlighted the importance of mental health services – particularly in rural Minnesota – to combat Minnesota’s rising veteran suicide rate. “It is critical that the Department address the shortage of behavioral health providers and expand access to these services for our veterans,” Klobuchar and Smith wrote. “For over forty years, Readjustment Counseling Services
Ahead of Veterans Day, U.S. Senator Tina Smith Introduces Bill to Help Veterans Get Care for Hearing Loss, Their Most Common Service-Related Health Issue
WASHINGTON, D.C. [11/07/19]—With Veterans Day around the corner, today U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduced legislation to reduce the red tape many veterans face when trying to get care for hearing loss as a result of their service—something many veterans say is an enormous burden despite being the most common service-connected ailment. Sen. Smith heard about this problem through her office’s veterans’ health care tour last year, which visited some 10 communities throughout Minnesota to hear what health challenges veterans face. You can access a summary of the bill here and text of the bill here. Currently, veterans receiving benefits through the VA must
Sens. Tina Smith, Thom Tillis Lead Bipartisan Introduction of Bill to Support Health Care for “Atomic Veterans”
WASHINGTON, D.C. [05/11/18]—U.S. Senators Tina Smith and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) have introduced a bipartisan measure to support health care benefits for “Atomic Veterans” who were exposed to harmful radiation when they cleaned up nuclear testing sites during the late 1970s. 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 healthcare 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