“I will continue to advocate for our nation’s veterans and armed forces. Just as our nation’s veterans have kept their promises, so too should we keep ours.”
The County is at the front lines of providing services to our nation’s veterans.
Currently, Los Angeles County has the highest concentration of homeless vets in the country with over 6,300. If elected Supervisor, Hilda has the experience necessary to effectively work with congressional and senate representatives, including Veteran’s Affairs (VA) to help bring about positive solutions for homeless veterans. Hilda Solis will fight for permanent supportive housing, with on-site medical, mental health and substance abuse treatment programs. She is dedicated to working with the L.A. County Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs to make sure those who have served our country have our full support when they come home.
Ensuring Appropriate Health Care, Increasing Access to Mental Health Services
While in Congress, Hilda Solis introduced legislation to ensure veterans receive care and support in the language of their choice. The bill required the VA to conduct a thorough assessment of the language needs of the military population receiving health services, including identifying non-English language needs. This bill provided for the development and implementation of a language assistance program, ensuring that each and every veteran could obtain meaningful access to VA services. Hilda also supported legislation that addressed the increasing instances of traumatic brain injuries amongst veterans, putting in place brain screenings and treatment programs.
Improving Military Retirees and Returning Servicemembers’ Health Coverage
Hilda will continue her work and advocacy on behalf of veterans and push for legislation that would allow for health insurance premiums to be paid on a pretax basis and provide health care for defense dependents through a managed care system. She also supports legislation that would help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. This legislation would extend health care coverage to discharged combat service members, as often times a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder is not immediately evident.
Benefit Rating Acceleration for Veteran Entitlements
Hilda Solis is an original cosponsor of legislation that would cut the bureaucratic process for disabled veterans who wish to seek Social Security disability benefits. This legislation would do away with the duplicative medical evaluation process for these veterans, as these servicemen have already been evaluated by the VA.
Increasing Financial Assistance for Families
We must support the families of those who serve this country during their time of sorrow. That is why Hilda voted to increase financial assistance to military families to help cover burial costs, funeral costs, and plot allowances for veterans.
Making the Resources Known
Veterans deserve their benefits. So Hilda supported legislation allowing the VA to partner with state and local governments to reach out to veterans and their families to ensure they are aware of the benefits they are eligible to receive and to assist them in completing their claims. As Supervisor, she will play an active role and work to improve the outreach and services the County has provided to our Veterans by working closely with the VA and using this legislation to support those efforts.
An End to the Widows Tax
Over one million military retirees pay premiums in anticipation that upon their death their spouses will receive 55 percent of their retirement benefit. However, under current law, spousal benefits drop to 35 percent when the spouse reaches age 62. Hilda Solis voted for a new law that would eliminate this penalty over the next four years, giving families one year to sign up and end this penalty on military families.
Citizenship and Family Protection – Help for Servicemen, Women and Families
At least 50,000 legal permanent residents currently serve in the U.S. military and reserves. In Congress, Hilda introduced the Naturalization and Family Protection for Military Members Act to ease access to naturalization for members of the U.S. military and to ensure immigration protections for the family members of soldiers killed in combat. The majority of these provisions were signed into law, making the path to citizenship for U.S. servicemen and women more accessible.