Legislation for the Economic Empowerment of Women Veterans
Women service members and veterans are essential to our nation's defense. However, they face unique economic empowerment and employment challenges upon leaving the military. Fortunately, recent legislation has been enacted to address these issues and provide support.
The "Servicemembers and Veterans Empowerment and Support Act of 2023" is one such law. This act expands the evidentiary standard for survivors applying for a disability following military sexual trauma1. By making it easier for survivors to apply for disability benefits, this act can help women veterans achieve greater financial stability.
The "Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act" also plays a significant role. While its primary focus is on health care, the Act recognizes that good health is foundational to economic stability and employment2. It expands and improves health care services for women veterans, particularly those recently separated and minority group members.
Another significant piece of legislation is the "Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012". This act expands VA benefits for more than 3.5 million veterans living with illnesses linked to toxic exposure during their military service3. By improving access to healthcare, the Act indirectly contributes to women veterans' employability and economic independence.
The "Deborah Sampson Act" is a comprehensive measure to eliminate barriers and expand services for women veterans4. The Act includes provisions to enhance legal and supportive services, improve housing and homelessness programs, and expand healthcare services. These improvements aim to equip women veterans for successful integration into civilian employment.
The "Veteran Employment Transition Act" or "VET Act" introduced in 2021, aims to create a tax credit for businesses that hire veterans, encouraging the employment of veterans, including women5.
The "Improving the VA’s Service to Women Veterans Act" introduced in 2021, aims to study and identify the barriers women veterans face when trying to access benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs6. The findings could lead to more tailored services that help women veterans become economically empowered.
While these laws are steps in the right direction, it's crucial to continue advocating for legislation supporting women veterans' economic empowerment and employment. They have served our country with courage and honor; it's only fitting that we serve them in return.