March 26, 2009

Congressional Delegation Announces Federal Funds for RI Veterans

Eligible Veterans to receive $250 payment from VA

Washington, DC – Rhode Island’s Congressional Delegation announced today that $1.4 billion in federal funds will be made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for veterans and veteran facilities. With these federal funds, the Veterans Administration will make a one-time payment of $250 to eligible veterans. The delegation also announced that the Providence VA Medical Center will receive $11 million for renovations and modernization projects, and the Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol will receive $1.2 million for general renovations from the VA’s State Extended Care Facilities Stimulus program.

This money will help put people to work upgrading our VA facilities to ensure our veterans have access to quality care. It will also put money directly in the hands of men and women who have bravely served our country,” said Senator Jack Reed, a former Army Captain who serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.

“For veterans stretching their budgets in this tough economy, every dollar counts – and this extra help from the federal government could make the difference between housing and homelessness, and between health and sickness.” Whitehouse said. “The economic recovery bill also makes smart investments in health care for our veterans, especially improved health information technology infrastructure, that will pay dividends for a long, long time.”

“The federal recovery investments are critical to creating jobs and assisting Americans in this troubled economy. Assisting our nation’s veterans is the least we can do for their courageous service. As a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Administration and Related Agencies, I have worked to ensure the brave men and women who have protected our nation’s freedoms are not forgotten,” said Kennedy.

“I am pleased this stimulus funding is being delivered to Rhode Island so quickly, and in this case, directly to our veterans,” said Langevin, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “The VA is an extraordinary health care facility in our state and I am excited to see firsthand this funding put into action. I also look forward to visiting with the service members to learn more about their challenges and steps the federal government must take to deliver on the promises made to them by our nation.”

To be eligible for the $250 payment, VA beneficiaries must have received compensation, pension, dependency and indemnity compensation, or spina bifida benefits at any time between November 2008 and January 2009. Also, beneficiaries must reside within the United States or Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

No application is necessary for an individual’s one-time payment. The VA will use its existing payment records to determine eligibility to the $250 payment and VA beneficiaries who also receive benefits from the Social Security Administration or Railroad Retirement Board will be paid through those agencies, instead of the VA.. Beneficiaries will receive their payments in the same way they receive their monthly VA benefits (either by direct deposit or mail). The VA will inform beneficiaries and the public when releasing the payments. This payment does not count in determining eligibility for VA pension or Parents’ DIC, and the Internal Revenue Service cannot tax this payment.

For more information on these payments or other VA programs under the Recovery Act, please visit:

The Providence VA Medical Center will receive $11,050,00 for much-needed repairs and energy efficiency upgrades. Specifically, some of the upgrades include converting the high-pressure steam boilers to low-pressure steam boilers, and adding heating, air conditioning and ventilation to inpatient areas.

In addition to these payments for individuals and facilities, $50 million will be available nationally for Health Information Technology programs to improve care and treatment for veterans. $48.5 million will be used for project infrastructure, configuration management, application development, testing, training, operations, and new hires for the Chapter 33 program which provides educational assistance to veterans under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, $1.5 million will be used for network upgrades for Veterans Administration benefits infrastructure, and $100,000 will be used for modifications to existing compensation and pension payment programs. For more information on the Post 9/11 GI Bill, please visit:

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Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921