VA Raises Payments for Vets Who Travel To Receive Care
The Department of Veterans Affairs on Thursday announced an increase in the mileage reimbursement for disabled veterans who travel to receive health care from 11 cents per mile to 28.5 cents per mile, the Helena Independent Record/Billings Gazette reports.
The increase, approved by VA Secretary James Peake, took effect on Friday. VA implemented the increase, the first since 1977, as part of the fiscal year 2008 defense authorization bill that President Bush signed last month.
Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee member Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who proposed the increase with Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), said, "This is a historic day for disabled veterans," adding, "Way back when, in 1977 ... gas was a little over 60 cents a gallon. It didn't cost me much to fill my Vega up then. A lot has changed since then, and it's time for the VA to start catching up" (Kidston, Helena Independent Record/Billings Gazette, 2/1).