(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Herb Conaway M.D., Daniel R. Benson, Cleopatra Tucker and Troy Singleton to increase for the first time in decades the allowance paid to veterans with wartime service-connected disabilities was recently approved 79-0 by the Assembly.
The state pays an annual allowance to soldiers and veterans with wartime service-connected disabilities.
A blind veteran has received $750 annually under the Blind Veterans’ Allowance Program since 1971.
A veteran with other described disabilities has received $750 annually under the Paraplegic and Hemiplegic Veterans’ Allowance Program since 1981.
This bill (A-2184) increases these payments to $1,200.
“We need to more appropriately assist permanently disabled veterans suffering from catastrophic injuries incurred defending our freedom,” said Conaway (D-Burlington). “It’s been too long since they were provided an increase to help meet their needs.”
“It’s hard to conceive that veterans have gone without an increase for so long,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “Everything else has become much more expensive. We need to do all we can to help these heroes during these difficult economic times.”
“Veterans deserve the best we can give them, and this increase is the right thing to do,” said Tucker (D-Essex), who chairs the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee that released the bill. “This is a start toward providing a more helpful allowance to those who have sacrificed their health and quality of life to protect our freedom.”
“Our veterans quite simply deserve better,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “Leaving these allowances unchanged for 30 and 40 years was wrong, but we’re now headed in the right direction for the benefit of the brave and courageous veterans who defended liberty and freedom.”
The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.