Vets and the fiscal cliff: Effect of sequestration on benefits

WASHINGTON – This Veterans Day weekend, there’s a push to get veterans better health care – including mental health care.

But many veterans and their families are eyeing the fiscal cliff and the possibility that sequestration may cut into their benefits.

Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairs the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans Affairs. He says veterans don’t have to worry.

“The good thing is that the law states and the president has agreed that veterans dollars and their benefits are off the table as it relates to the sequestration,” Miller says. “The only area that VA is vulnerable in is in some of the administrative areas or some of the areas that [Department of Defense] actually handles, like Arlington Cemetery.”

Miller is among those pushing for the VA to hire more mental health professionals to help cut into the statistic of 18 veterans committing suicide each day.

There is still a push to get more funding to the VA and to help veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues as well.

WTOP’s Max Smith contributed to this report. Follow @amaxsmith and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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