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Metro Creative Connection

Cuomo signs legislation removing barriers for veterans to access care

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Tue, Jun 1st 2021 11:50 am

Veterans able to be diagnosed by any state-licensed health care provider

√ Builds on 2019 Restoration of Honor Act; previously, veterans had to receive diagnosis from VA provider

√ Qualifying diagnoses include post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, or a disclosure of military sexual trauma

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation (S.448/A.2014) allowing veterans to qualify for state benefits after a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, a traumatic brain injury or disclosure of military sexual trauma from any person licensed to provide health care services in New York. Previously, veterans had to be diagnosed by a provider at the Department of Veteran Affairs.

A press release stated, “This legislation removes barriers from access to care for those who have given so much for our freedom, and builds on the Restoration of Honor Act, signed in 2019, that allowed additional discharged veterans to receive benefits for certain qualifying conditions.”

Cuomo said, "Our service members defend our country and protect our freedom, the least we can do is ensure they can access care as easily as possible once they leave active service. Making it easier for veterans to be diagnosed so they can receive state benefits is crucial in making sure they are able to undergo any mental health treatment they may need once they retire from service."

This year, along with this legislation, Cuomo has enacted several measures to expand access to services for veterans. In January, he extended the partnership between New York and HelloFresh that combats food insecurity among veterans in New York City. In March, Cuomo announced the completion of Veterans Outreach Center's Liberty Landing in Rochester that provides affordable, supportive housing for veterans in need. Earlier this month, the governor signed legislation expanding access to veterans treatment courts across New York, allowing qualifying justice-involved veterans in counties that lack a veterans treatment court to have their cases transferred into an existing venue in a neighboring county.

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