Legislation sponsored by Senator Kristin Corrado and approved today by the Senate will help more New Jersey veterans struggling with service-connected mental health issues qualify for help.
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Kristin Corrado and approved by the Senate will help more New Jersey veterans struggling with service-connected mental health issues qualify for help. (Flickr)
Currently, the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs (DMAVA) distributes material to all public agencies of the availability of assistance and helps provide assistance to former service members who were separated from the service with a general or other than honorable discharge due solely to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Corrado’s bill, S-2383, expands the assistance to include former service members diagnosed with service-connected mental health conditions.
“Too many veterans are wrestling with mental health conditions related to their service, but they are abandoned because they received ‘other than honorable’ discharges for any number of reasons,” said Corrado (R-40). “Discharge designations shouldn’t stand in the way of potentially life-changing professional assistance for those who served.”
To ensure all vets regardless of discharge designation could get the mental health help they need, the bill would require DMAVA to assist them with the necessary forms and conditions required to petition the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to upgrade discharge papers.
“These veterans served our nation, and as a result they are struggling. Once their designations are changed, they will be eligible for the same assistance currently offered to their honorably discharged colleagues,” Corrado noted. “The priority is getting them the help they need.”