The Iowa Senate has unanimously passed a bill to expand the kinds of expenses covered by a special Iowa veterans trust fund for injured soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Senator Jeff Danielson, a Democrat from Waterloo says, "We’re cutting a little red tape here today and we’re serving the veterans in better ways."
Families of wounded Iowa veterans have been receiving state grants for miscellaneous expenses. The bill that cleared the Iowa Senate expands the list of covered expenses by, for example, helping some returning soldiers who have ended up paying their own emergency room bills.
"There are veterans who under V.A. health care system who go to a hospital for an emergency and then have to foot the bill entirely because of the current rules that (direct) them to go to a V.A. facility," Danielson says. "There are some veterans who are caught in that loophole and it adds to their substantial personal debt."
But it goes beyond health care costs, though. Danielson says wounded veterans in rehab often can’t work, but everyday expenses weigh them down and that’s where this fund can help. "We allow for home repair and auto repair in dire need, emergency circumstances to the veteran can get back on their feet," Danielson says. Families of wounded veterans from Iowa have been eligible for grants of up to $10,000 for the last few years.