This Veteran’s Day, we’re proud to celebrate the billions of dollars invested into Michigan veterans by way of the American Rescue Plan. Thanks to tireless work of President Biden, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, and House Democrats, veterans are recovering from COVID-19.
“Supporting our veterans is one of the most important responsibilities we have as Americans. This Veteran’s Day we show our commitment to the almost 600,000 veterans who call Michigan home by fighting to ensure they have access to the resources they need to thrive, from housing to job assistance,” said Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes. “While Republicans repeatedly attempted to block critical funding for veterans programs in the American Rescue Plan, Democrats have delivered to ensure veterans in Michigan have the resources and support needed to recover from the pandemic.”
As the Department of Veterans Affairs outlined, the American Rescue Plan has supported veterans by providing:
- $14.5 billion for COVID-19 related health care, including information technology and facility requirements, ensuring access for 9.2 million enrolled veterans who may have delayed care or have more complex health care needs as a result of the pandemic, as well as resources for veterans currently receiving housing support and an estimated 37,000 homeless veterans.
- $1 billion for economic relief, including debt forgiveness related to copayments or other cost sharing veterans paid for VA health care and to reimburse veterans who paid a copay or other cost sharing, for care and prescriptions provided from April 6, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2021.
- $750 million towards housing, including construction grants ($500 million) and payments ($250 million) to State Homes to greatly improve the living conditions of our most vulnerable veterans who reside in these facilities.
- $386 million towards jobs, including COVID-19 Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program that provides up to 12 months of training and employment assistance for unemployed Veterans to enter high demand occupations.
- $262 million for veterans benefits, including an initiative to to reduce the backlog of compensation and pension claims, which has grown from 76,000 in March 2020 to more than 212,000 in March 2021.