Memorial Day Marks Progress in Delivering COVID-19 Relief to Georgia Veterans

May 31, 2021

This Memorial Day, help is on the way for Georgia veterans thanks to COVID-19 relief secured by the Biden-Harris administration and Democrats in Congress.

The American Rescue Plan, signed by President Biden in March, allocates $17 billion in support of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) nationwide response to the pandemic. The package passed with crucial votes from Georgia Democrats, including Senators Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock, as well as Representatives Sanford Bishop, Carolyn Bourdeaux, Hank Johnson, Lucy McBath, David Scott, and Nikema Williams. 

“Our commitment to supporting our veterans is one of the most important responsibilities we have as Americans. This Memorial Day and every day, we owe it to our veterans to ensure they have the resources they need to thrive, from health care and housing to job training and financial support,” said Scott Hogan, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Georgia. “It’s shameful that not one Republican supported the American Rescue Plan, despite its critical funds to help veterans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. But while the GOP continues to obstruct and play politics with American lives, including those who have bravely served, Democrats will champion our veterans here in Georgia and across the country every step of the way.”

Specific provisions to help veterans outlined in the American Rescue Plan:

  • HEALTH CARE: $14.5 billion
    • 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. 
  • ECONOMIC RELIEF: $1 billion 
    • 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. 
  • HOUSING: $750 million 
    • 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.  
  • JOBS: $386 million 
    • 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. 
  • BENEFITS: $262 million
    • 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. 

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