WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), along with Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (MI-07), introduced the bipartisan Justice For ALS Veterans Act, which would ensure that families of service members diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) receive critical assistance. The bill removes a key bureaucratic barrier that has so far prevented many families of ALS-diagnosed service members from receiving certain benefits. Senators Mike Rounds (SD) and Chris Coons (DE) have introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
“ALS is a brutal disease that affects thousands of Americans each year, including those who have served our nation in uniform,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “I’m proud to join a bipartisan group of colleagues on the Justice for ALS Veterans Act to ensure that families of our veterans receive the benefits they deserve.”
“The spouse or family of a veteran with ALS should never be denied assistance, but that’s precisely what our current policy does,” said Congresswoman Slotkin. “This is a straight-forward reform to existing law that will have a tremendous impact on the loved ones of veterans who have been diagnosed with this awful disease. This bill targets ALS cases directly, finally removing a bureaucratic barrier so surviving families may receive the vital benefits and support they deserve.”
The legislation is endorsed by the ALS Association and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA).
“Our military veterans have a significantly higher risk of developing ALS and we need to support our military families affected by ALS,” said Calaneet Balas, President and CEO of the ALS Association. “We applaud Representatives Slotkin and Fitzpatrick for introducing this important legislation. The Justice for ALS Veterans Act will ensure veterans and their families receive the benefits they deserve and are no longer penalized from receiving increased compensation due to the fast progression of ALS.”
“Denying benefits to the surviving spouses of ALS veterans because they were unable to survive long enough to meet an arbitrary timeline is a disservice to the veteran community and their families," said Heather Ansley, Associate Executive Director for Government Relations, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). "PVA thanks Representatives Slotkin and Fitzpatrick for the reintroduction of the Justice for ALS Veterans Act which would ensure that ALS survivors are able to receive the additional compensation afforded to other survivors."