Maloney lauds Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act

May 18, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today praised legislation to reduce homelessness among veterans. The Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act excludes payments that disabled veterans receive for in-home aid and attendance from being considered as income when determining eligibility for HUD housing assistance. Under current law, in-home aid and attendance payments were wrongly counted as “disposable income,” making it difficult for severely disabled veterans to qualify for federal housing assistance.

“The Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act will bring a measure of fairness to our government’s treatment of severely disabled veterans,” said Maloney. “Veterans who returned home with terrible injuries shouldn’t have to choose between in-home support to help manage a disability and housing assistance. This legislation addresses a terrible injustice in our current law and will reduce homelessness among the veteran population.”

The Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act was introduced by Congressman Joe Heck (NV-03) and today passed the House of Representatives unanimously.

Background:

According to the VA, veterans eligible for the aid and attendance benefit are defined as those requiring the aid of another person in order to perform his or her activities of daily living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, using the restroom, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting themselves from the hazards of their daily environment.

In order to receive aid and attendance benefits, severely disabled veterans must first establish their eligibility for a low income pension which requires an adjusted gross annual income of less than $12,256 for a single veteran with no dependents. Once eligibility is determined, that same veteran (single, no dependents) can receive $8,191 in aid and attendance benefits annually to supplement the cost of their medical care.

According to the VA, there are more than 60,000 homeless veterans living in the United States.