Action Center

Improve Benefits and Care for MST Survivors
The Servicemembers and Veterans Empowerment and Support Act of 2023 aims to expand the evidentiary standard for survivors applying for disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to ensure military sexual trauma (MST) survivors are provided equal access to benefits and care. A large number of MST instances go unreported during service. The bill requires the VA to consider non-Department of Defense evidence sources when reviewing MST claims, such as statements from family members, roommates, other service members or veterans, and clergy. Additionally, the bill would expand the standard to all mental health conditions related to MST such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. When receiving an examination, a veteran would have the choice of examination location at a medical facility of the VA rather than at a contracted location. The bill would also ensure all former Guard and Reserve members can receive MST-related care and counseling from the VA. 

PVA Action:

We need Congress to pass the Servicemembers and Veterans Empowerment and Support Act of 2023 (S. 1028/H.R. 2441). This legislation would greatly expand and improve access to benefits for MST survivors by lessening the burden of evidence currently required for related disability claims.

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