Tour kicks off with stops in New Richmond, Wausau, Green Bay, and Racine
WISCONSIN – On Monday, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is launching her “Delivering for Our Veterans Tour” to highlight her work to support Wisconsin veterans, including expanding health care services, protecting earned benefits, and fighting to expand veterans’ services. Senator Baldwin will be hosting a series of roundtable discussions across the state to discuss her work to increase health care and disability benefits for Wisconsin veterans who have been harmed by toxic exposure while serving in the military. Veterans are now eligible for these benefits because of the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act (PACT) of 2022 that Senator Baldwin helped pass into law. Senator Baldwin will be joined by local veterans, their survivors, and advocates to bring attention to the benefits veterans may be newly eligible to apply for.
“We have a commitment to do right by those who bravely defended our freedom, and that includes ensuring they all are able to get the health care and benefits they earned,” said Senator Baldwin. “We know that our veterans who were exposed to burn pits and other toxins while serving are at risk for some very serious health outcomes, including cancer, and it was simply wrong for the VA to deny them health care and disability benefits. The PACT Act helps fulfill our promise to take care of those who served and ensures our veterans have access to the care and benefits they deserve. I look forward to hearing from some of Wisconsin’s veterans on the impact of this legislation and discuss the work we still have to do support those who served us.”
Details of each event will be released at a later date.
The PACT Act has expanded and extended eligibility for VA health care to over 3.5 million toxic-exposed and post-9/11 combat veterans. Since the passage of the bill, the VA has received nearly 550,000 claims for toxic exposure-related benefits under the PACT Act, awarded more than $1 billion in earned benefits to veterans and survivors who filed a PACT Act-related claim, and more than 3 million veterans have received the VA’s new toxic exposure screenings.
Senator Baldwin will also discuss her bipartisan legislation, the Commitment to Veteran Support and Outreach Act, that would expand and support County Veterans Service Officers (CVSO), the community-based employees who work directly with veterans to inform them of eligibility for VA programs and services, file pension and compensation claims, and help them enroll in job, housing, disability, and education benefits. CVSOs play a critical role in conducting outreach and informing and connecting veterans with the care and benefits they are owed, particularly in Native and rural communities. The legislation passed the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and now awaits a vote of the full Senate.