NEW JERSEY – U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) Wednesday hosted a briefing call with North Jersey veterans and stakeholder groups to outline:
- Federal resources and economic assistance available to help them;
- Ongoing efforts to protect residents and staff in New Jersey’s veterans homes and long-term care facilities;
- Continued work to combat the coronavirus pandemic in North Jersey; and
- To provide updates on the recently enacted bipartisan interim emergency package that further funds the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan small business and nonprofit assistance programs — resources for our health systems and front-line medical workers, and a ramp up in testing capabilities.
“I want to thank our veterans and veteran organizations for joining me today, so I could answer specific questions on what we are doing at the federal level to help the Fifth-District fight the coronavirus. I continue to be focused on fighting to protect our veterans and seniors in veterans homes, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities across the Fifth District,” Gottheimer said. “There is no commitment more sacred than the one our nation has to those who have served and protected our country. As your Representative, one of my bedrock responsibilities is to always have the backs of those who’ve had ours. That is to me, the most important part of my oath”
“My team and I are continuing to work with veterans every day to help them get the benefits they have earned. Since I took office in 2017, we have resolved hundreds of constituent cases for residents all throughout the Fifth District, leading to veterans receiving VA benefits, Service Connected Disability ratings, medals, and other benefits they’ve rightly earned. As always, please reach out to my office if we can help,” Gottheimer said.
Gottheimer highlighted several pieces of bipartisan federal legislation passed over the past two months that have been getting resources, support, and equipment out to help veterans and to protect our communities, businesses, workers, hospitals, families, and front-line health care workers.
Gottheimer noted recent Congressional action to support veterans:
- On March 19th, Congress passed legislation to allow veterans on the GI Bill to continue receiving full benefits as universities move classes online to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- On March 27th, Congress passed the bipartisan CARES Act rescue and relief package that provided nearly $20 billion dollars in support for our nation’s veterans, including:
- $14.4 billion for essential medical and protective equipment including the purchase of testing kits, PPE, and medical supplies;
- $2.1 billion to support increased demand for care in the community, especially at emergency rooms and urgent care facilities;
- $2.15 billion to bolster telehealth capabilities through increased telework and call center capabilities and help mitigate the risk of virus transmission;
- $13 million to ensure VA can provide earned benefits by enhancing telework capabilities for the Veterans Benefits Administration; and
- $150 million to assist State Veterans Homes in their response to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.
Gottheimer was joined by New Jersey American Legion State Commander Bob Newell, Bergen County Veterans Services Director AJ Luna, Sussex County Community College Veteran Services Coordinator Jay Christy, Project Help Executive Director Sandy Mitchell, Tony Gallopo of the Newton American Legion, Frank Arminio of Vietnam Veterans Chapter 327, Adjutant Disabled American Veterans Post 78; Veterans Home Care Regional Manager Beth O’Connor, and Catholic Charities Veterans Services Assistant Director David Pearson, among others.