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2005 blog


Keeping up with Jewish officeholders

Coleman wants increased death 
benefits for service families

Also seeks VA 'outreach' to unenrolled vets
,  Jan. 25, 2005

The families of military killed in action would receive a $100,000 death benefit from the United States government instead of the $12,000 they now receive, under legislation that has been introduced by Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn).

The children of service personnel killed in action, under Coleman's bill, would continue to have medical coverage until they are 21 years old, or to 23 if they are in school. Currently, "these children are only eligible to receive the military’s TRICARE healthcare benefit for three years following their parent’s death," Coleman said.

"Our brave men and women serving in the armed forces risk their lives everyday for the cause of liberty and freedom," Coleman said. "We must continue to do everything we can to provide them with the best equipment and training in order to keep them safe. However, when a service man or women falls in the field of battle, we must also come to the assistance of their grieving and often financially struggling family. We need to increase the military death benefit now." 

In addition, Coleman and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark) are co-sponsoring a bill that would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct outreach operations to inform an estimated 600,000 veterans around the country who are not enrolled in VA programs that they are entitled to various benefits.

“When we ask men and women in uniform to fight for freedom, our nation promises in return to take care of them when they return,” Coleman said. “Providing basic health care is the least a grateful nation can do, and we do it gladly for our veterans. Tragically, there are veterans suffering from injuries inflicted on the battlefield that are not receiving the assistance they need and deserve because they simply don’t know about the benefits available to them. It is clear that we need to do a better job of reaching out to veterans so they get the benefits they need. This bipartisan bill is an important step forward in solving this very serious problem and I am pleased to be working with my good friend Senator Pryor to make it happen.” 
 —Donald H. Harrison