Legislation for Women Veterans and their Family and Children
The most common subjects where legislation affects veterans and their families are when it comes to dependency and indemnity compensation, caregiving benefits, or benefits related to toxic exposure. But no other legislation directly targeted the needs of women veterans than the Deborah Sampson Act included in H.R. 7105 - Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020.
The Deborah Sampson Act is something that has been in the works for women veterans’ healthcare for many years. But this act also included a provision of reintegration and readjustment services to veterans and family members in group retreat settings, programs on assistance for childcare for certain veterans, and a study on infertility services furnished at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
One of the most important points of this act is childcare. Women veterans are more likely to be single parents than male veterans, and finding affordable childcare for everyday needs can be difficult, much less for doctors’ appointments. It’s no wonder that “About 67 percent of women veterans find their financial transition from the military difficult, compared to 47 percent of men.” Now that the availability of childcare does sound great, it is important to read the fine print of the Deborah Sampson Act portion of H.R. 7105. For example, childcare will not be available until at least five years after the enactment of the Act. So that would be tentatively 2026. Also, the only veterans that will be eligible for childcare services are those that are primary caretakers of the children and receive mental health services.