The Coronavirus pandemic is increasingly affecting the day-to-day operations of many governmental bodies and organizations, including the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). With COVID-19 causing disruption and increasing the demand for medical services, many organizations are calling for more resources to help deal with an influx of Coronavirus cases.
In response to COVID-19, the Senate recently approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act provides nearly $20 billion in funding for VA support, information technology, and veterans’ medical services. The bill is intended to help proactively fight the spread of COVID-19 and treat those already affected.
$14.4 billion of the support funds will go toward increasing healthcare services, including those provided at VA facilities and through Telehealth, an electronic health service provider. This will allow treatment facilities to purchase more protective equipment, testing kits, and other necessary medical supplies. Some funds may also be used to support VA nursing homes and community living centers.
The CARES Act also provides over $2 billion to support the increased demand at facilities such as emergency rooms and other urgent care providers. An additional $100 million will be provided to support the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) emergency management. This includes funding for supplies, training, and travel to better support the Coronavirus response.
Other provisions provided in the CARES Act may maintain or increase VA’s ability to provide medical care to former servicemembers. Some provisions of the bill allow for increases in staff support to help meet the rising hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Specifically, the CARES Act allows for some veterans seeking home care to hire local caregivers under VA coverage. Similarly, the CARES Act is temporarily waiving overtime pay caps for VA staff working during the pandemic.
Many veterans may have difficulty understanding how the impact that COVID-19 has on VA’s operations may affect them. Our team will continue to monitor the Coronavirus situation and update our site with any major information as it becomes available. To talk to a VA-accredited attorney to learn more, contact VetLaw today.