Veterans services and support
Ensure a world class VA health system
The Veterans Administration must have the resources necessary to meet the increasing needs of veterans and enable it to serve effectively as the medical home of every veteran in its care. Community care and related private sector programs must supplement and coordinate with VA services, not replace them—and private sector services must not result in gaps, delays, or defunding of essential VA care.
Address veterans mental health, TBI and PTSD
A significant percentage of veterans, especially those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, suffer from major depression, PTSD, or TBI. The VA must have sufficient resources for veteran outreach to identify those who need help and to perform the essential research that enables prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment. VA resources should be coordinated with innovative private sector services (e.g., telehealth) when appropriate.
End veteran homelessness
While there was a 2.1% decline in veteran homelessness nationwide in 2019, at one point, over 37,000 were still experiencing homelessness. No veteran should ever be without shelter. That’s why Dean supports fully funding existing homelessness programs and expanding coordinated efforts in local communities to identify veterans at risk and to help provide solutions to their housing challenges.
Simplify the administrative process
Many veterans struggle to understand and navigate the VA system to apply for and receive the benefits to which they are entitled. The VA should place a priority on simplifying and streamlining the eligibility, benefits, and related administrative processes.
Enhance veterans’ education benefits
America built its middle class post-WWII in large part with a generous and effective GI Bill. Those education benefits have eroded in the ensuing years, presenting less opportunity to today’s veterans. America owes opportunity to those who have served honorably and must provide sufficient education benefits that enable our returning veterans to reintegrate into civilian life and continue to make contributions to American society.