Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Jean Stanfield (R – Burlington) and Senator Joseph Cryan (D – Union) that would expand benefits to military veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries was approved by the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sen. Jean Stanfield that would expand benefits to military veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries was approved by the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. (©iStock)
“Many veterans have received ‘less than honorable discharges,’ also known as bad papers, as a result of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or Military Sexual Trauma (MST),” said Stanfield (R-8). “Too many veterans have been shamed and left without the federal benefits they earned. These veterans also lost their rights to state benefits. This bill will align New Jersey with several states that have passed similar laws, and help ensure that our veterans receive the state benefits and respect that they deserve.”
Stanfield’s bill, S- 2314, requires the DMVA to establish a process so that veterans who qualify as a “discharged veteran with a qualifying condition” can receive certain veterans’ benefits.
“Discharged veteran with a qualifying condition” refers to a veteran who was discharged less than honorably from the Military and has a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or an experience of Military Sexual Trauma (MST).
“Veterans with less than honorable discharges, especially “Other Than Honorable” (OTH) discharges, are frequently prevented from accessing important services and benefits. This legislation will help rectify that,” Stanfield added.
The DMVA would create and maintain a database for this information and establish a consistent and uniform process to determine whether a veteran qualifies as a “discharged veteran with a qualifying condition,” including, at a minimum, standards for verifying a veteran’s status and a method of demonstrating eligibility.