NEW JERSEY – Senator Joe Pennacchio’s legislation that would streamline the application process for veterans benefits cleared the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“The men and women who served our nation in the armed forces deserve to have access to the benefits they earned without having to go through excessive government red tape,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “Currently, there are numerous statutory definitions of the terms ‘veteran’ and ’disabled veteran.’ This makes it extremely difficult for some service members to apply for benefits. In fact, there are over 20 definitions of the word ‘veteran’ alone. My legislation will reduce the number of definitions so that the brave men and women who served our country can more easily access the benefits they deserve.”
The bill, S-2227, creates a permanent commission to study various statutory definitions of ‘veteran,’ ‘disabled veteran,’ and ‘service-disabled veteran.’ The purpose of the commission would be to recommend changes to the definitions so that they will be less restrictive and more inclusive. This will make the process of applying for veterans benefits less complex.
“No one who served in the military should have to come home and decipher which type of veteran they are,” Pennacchio said. “A veteran is a veteran. We don’t need fifty different definitions on the books—it just makes the benefits application process more confusing.”