After Walz Push, VA Expands Veterans Choice Card Eligibility
Walz sent a letter to Secretary McDonald earlier this month asking for greater flexibility for veterans
Washington, DC [3/24/15] – Today, after U.S. Representative Tim Walz (D-MN) asked the VA for greater flexibility in interpreting the 40 mile provision in the veterans choice card program, the VA announced that it is taking action to change the way it calculates eligibility to provide more flexibility and better serve veterans. Currently, eligibility criteria for the 40 mile calculation is measured using a straight line. Today’s announcement would change the criteria to driving distance.
“I applaud this move by Secretary McDonald today,” Rep. Walz said. “Like most new programs, there are bound to be needed improvements along the way. That is why earlier this month, after hearing from veterans in Minnesota, I asked the Secretary to provide a greater degree of flexibility in interpreting the 40 mile provision. While further improvements may be necessary, with this move today, the Secretary showed that he’s listening to the concerns of veterans and putting their care first. As we move forward, I will continue to work with my colleagues on the VA Committee, the Secretary, veterans, and their advocates to reform the VA and ensure veterans are able to get the care they need.”
According to VA, the change is expected to be made in the coming weeks and will roughly double the number of eligible Veterans.
Walz is the highest ranking enlisted soldier to ever serve in Congress and sits on the House Armed Services Committee, Veterans Affairs Committee, and Agriculture Committee.