Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro walked into the Seacrest Retirement Center to a round of applause from seniors and veterans, who were awaiting her proposed legislation that would protect their homes.
In 2013, an error by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs had mistakenly been placing veterans in rest home facilities that weren't authorized under the options available to veterans who need full-time nursing care.
Navy veteran Vincent Lynch was in jeopardy of losing his place at Seacrest.
“I wasn't sure whether I could afford to stay here or whether I was going to have to seek housing on my own,” said Lynch.
Lynch was able to stay temporarily after DeLauro talked to the VA. Now, the congresswoman is proposing a permanent solution for all vets.
The Veterans Residential Care Choice Act would allow the VA to pay for eligible veterans to live at residential care facilities. Right now, many veterans and their families are paying for that care.
“It will allow veterans to choose where they live, the type of environment they live in and the care they receive. So it eliminates the financial burdens on veterans or their families,” said DeLauro. “This is the least that we can do to be able to repay a debt that we owe to all of our veterans.”
For veterans at Seacrest, it also eliminates the burden of wondering where they'll live.
“It's going to be a permanent solution to my problem,” said Lynch.
The VA is reviewing the legislation.
Walinda West, deputy director of media relations for the VA, addressed the legislation in the following statement:
"The Department of Veterans Affairs will examine proposed legislation on all matters affecting VA operations. It would be premature to take a definitive position until we have thoroughly reviewed the bill.”