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.
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. Senators Tina Smith, John Boozman Push New Measure to Improve Mental Health Services for Veterans
WASHINGTON, D.C. [11/04/21]—Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) continued their push to ensure that veterans across the country – especially those in underserved areas – get the mental health services they need. On Thursday, the Senators introduced their bipartisan “Vet Center Support Act,” which would provide better identification, intervention, and effective care to veterans struggling with mental health issues in underserved areas. The measure also removes barriers preventing the construction of Vet Centers. The bipartisan legislation is also supported by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Tim Kaine (D-VA). Representative Dean Phillips (D-MN2) introduced a House version of the bill, H.R. 3674. “We know that so many Americans, including many veterans, often struggle with mental health issues,” said Sen. Smith. “Our Vet Center Support Act will ensure veterans in Minnesota and across the country, our servicemembers, and their families can all get the vital mental healthcare and counseling services they need.” “Vet Centers have proven to be a critical component in providing mental health services to our veterans. Arkansas veterans should have reasonable access to these services and I’m concerned the two Centers in our state lack capacity to support the number of veterans in need. The Vet Center Support Act will review and ensure Vet Centers have the resources to deliver critical care and benefits so we can continue upholding our commitment to those who serve in our nation’s uniform,” said Sen. Boozman, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Approximately 17 veterans take
Sen. Tina Smith Introduces Bill to Help Veterans Get Care for Hearing Loss, Their Most Common Service-Related Health Issue
WASHINGTON [07/18/18]—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. You can access a summary of the bill here and text of the bill here. Currently, veterans receiving benefits through the VA must document hearing loss or tinnitus incurred while in
WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/03/18]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) is helping to lead a bipartisan push to get the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to quickly clarify how it intends to “make whole” the more than 360,000 veterans in Minnesota and across the country who are at risk of being denied the full housing benefits they’ve earned. In response to recent reports that the VA plans to withhold retroactive payments for missed or underpaid monthly housing benefits from some veterans because it would create a backlog, Sen. Smith joined 12 of her Congressional colleagues in asking the VA’s Inspector General to investigate
Sens. Tina Smith, Thom Tillis Lead Bipartisan Reintroduction of Bill to Support Health Care for “Atomic Veterans”
Sens. Tina Smith, Thom Tillis Lead Bipartisan Reintroduction of Bill to Support Health Care for “Atomic Veterans” Senators Smith and Tillis, Congresswoman Meng Reintroduce Bill To Ensure Radiation-Exposed Veterans Who Cleaned Up Nuclear Testing Sites in Marshall Islands Receive Health Benefits WASHINGTON, D.C. [02/26/19]—Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) reintroduced their bipartisan legislation to secure health care benefits for “Atomic Veterans” who were exposed to harmful radiation when they cleaned up nuclear testing sites during the late 1970s. U.S. Representative Grace Meng (N-NY) reintroduced the House companion bill, and the Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act would allow veterans who participated
U.S. Senator Tina Smith Fights to Protect Veterans’ Economic Security Bipartisan Reform Amends Current Bankruptcy Law to Better Support Veterans and Their Families Experiencing Financial Hardship WASHINGTON, D.C. [03/07/19]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) pushed for reforms to current bankruptcy law in order to protect veterans experiencing financial hardship in Minnesota and across the country. The bipartisan Honoring American Veterans in Extreme Need (HAVEN) Act, led by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.) excludes Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense disability benefits from veterans’ monthly income calculations, preventing those funds from being taken by creditors. “Disability benefits are not a luxury. They are essential for ensuring veterans are