Illinois Congressman Sorensen Introduces Bill to Support Disabled Veterans
Today, Congressman Eric Sorensen (IL-17) and Ranking Member Mark Takano (CA-39) introduced the Autonomy for All Disabled Veterans Act, which will help disabled veterans make accessibility improvements to their homes.
“Making sure our veterans can live comfortably after serving is one of the ways we can show our gratitude for their sacrifices,” said Sorensen. “This bill helps veterans who need this critical support transition smoothly from their time bravely serving our nation.”
“Over the last few years during the Democratic majority, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs passed legislation that made significant improvements for accessibility for disabled veterans. The Autonomy for All Disabled Veterans Act that Congressman Sorensen and I are introducing today builds on our efforts. The HISA grant no longer covers what it takes to adequately renovate a house. I joined Congressman Sorensen just last week at the Laurent House in Rockford, IL where we saw how VA support and grants like the HISA grant can give a disabled veteran the life they deserve. If we send Americans into combat, we better be ready to pay the price. And that means taking care of veterans and giving them the best quality of life when they come home,” said Ranking Member Takano.
“HISA grants are a critical resource for disabled veterans who want to safely live independent lives in their own homes. Unfortunately, Congress has not adjusted the grant rates for over a decade, even though the cost of home modifications and labor has risen more than 50 percent during the same timeframe. PVA thanks Congressman Sorensen for the introduction of this legislation, which raises HISA grant rates to more closely match the housing modification needs of disabled veterans,” said Heather Ansley, Associate Executive Director for Government Relations.
The Department of Veteran Affairs Home Improvements and Structural Alterations program (HISA) offers funds to help eligible disabled veterans alter their homes to better accommodate their needs. Sorensen and Takano’s bill will increase the amount available under this program to up to $10,000 for veterans with both service-connected and non-service-connected conditions. This raises the current ceiling offered from $6,800 for those with service-connected conditions and $2,000 to those with non-service-connected conditions.
Introduction of the Autonomy for All Disabled Veterans Act comes after Sorensen and Takano’s visit to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Laurent House in Rockford. The Laurent House was built for disabled WWII veteran Kenneth Laurent through Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grants.
Text of the legislation can be found here.
You can view and download footage of Congressman Sorensen speaking at Laurent House here.