Casey Applauds Passage of Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008

WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today applauded the passage of the Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008, which improves a variety of employment, education and disability benefits programs for our veterans.  Included in the legislation are two provisions written by Senator Casey that will help protect disabled veterans from losing their homes to foreclosure and will ensure that servicemembers and veterans are promptly reinstated in their civilian jobs when they return from tours abroad. 

“The brave men and women serving our country already sacrifice time away from their families, jobs and their lives.  The least we can do is help ensure that they are given every opportunity to succeed when they return home and resume their civilian lives,” said Senator Casey.   “I am pleased to have supported this important bill, which will go a long way to ensuring that veterans receive the benefits and assistance they need when they return.”

Earlier this year, Senators Casey and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) introduced a bipartisan bill to prevent injured veterans from losing their homes while awaiting adjudication on their disability claims.  The Disabled Veterans Homeownership Preservation Act would help disabled veterans who are caught up in the extensive backlog of claims pending in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by providing for a one-year period of protection against mortgage foreclosure for certain disabled or severely injured servicemembers.  

Also included in the package is a provision clarifying that there is no statute of limitations to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), the statute under which reservists and veterans can sue to have their civilian jobs returned to them after they have served on active duty.  Senator Casey introduced S. 3432 with Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Barack Obama (D-IL) this year.  The bill passed today includes the same provision, as well as further improvements to the enforcement of the statute.