Bipartisan Legislation Ensures Veterans Receive Owed Benefits
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, and Congressman Jack Bergman (MI-01) today applauded the passage of their legislation, the Transparency for Wounded Warriors Act, which was included in H.R. 7105 the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020. Their legislation will ensure that injured servicemembers receive their benefits earned through service to our country.
The Traumatic Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (TSGLI) provides financial support to help eligible servicemembers recover from severe injuries. At times, servicemembers have been denied from receiving these benefits due to a lack of transparency and bureaucratic hurdles in the process. The Transparency for Wounded Warriors Act would make the TSGLI benefits process more transparent and minimize the potential for bureaucratic errors.
This legislation is a result of a local veteran in Congressman Kildee's district. In 2013, Sergeant First Class (SFC) Cameron Corder, of Clio, was injured while on active duty with the Michigan Army National Guard serving as a flight medic in Afghanistan. SFC Corder sustained severe injuries to his back during a medical evacuation flight. Despite his traumatic injury, the Army for years repeatedly denied SFC Corder's requests for the injury benefits to which he is entitled, including $100,000 from the TSGLI program. For years, Kildee fought to get SFC Corder his benefits, including bringing him to a presidential State of the Union Address to draw attention to his case. In November 2017, SFC Corder received his $100,000 in back-owed benefits.
"I am pleased that Congress passed this bipartisan legislation to cut the red tape and get our servicemembers the benefits they have earned through service to our country," said Congressman Kildee. "An injured servicemember should never have to go through a difficult and lengthy bureaucratic ordeal to get the benefits they deserve. Our men and women in uniform who defend our freedoms represent the best of this country and we owe them our full support when they return home. Just know, when it comes to my constituents, especially our veterans, I don't stop until I win."
"In keeping our promises to our Nation's Veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs needs to be clear, transparent, and accountable to members of the military community when issuing benefits decisions. The Transparency for Wounded Warriors Act achieves this goal, and I'm proud to have partnered in a bipartisan manner with my Michigan colleague Rep. Kildee to get it passed in the House," said Congressman Bergman.
"We are very grateful for all the help and assistance with the Army we've received from Congressman Kildee and his office, who refused to take no for an answer and kept working on our behalf to get things right," said SFC Corder in 2017.