Spanberger Backs Bipartisan Legislation to Support National Guardsmen with Disabilities

National Guard Members Are Currently Ineligible for Federal Military Health & Disability Benefits if Injured on State Active Duty

HENRICO, V.A. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger recently signed on to bipartisan legislation to extend federal benefits to members of the National Guard who become disabled while performing state active duty.

The Supporting Disabled National Guardsmen Act would ensure that National Guard soldiers and airmen who become disabled while serving on state active duty are able to access healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs and disability benefits through the Department of Defense.

As it stands, members of the National Guard are unable to access Veterans Affairs health benefits and ineligible for Department of Defense disability pensions if they can no longer serve due to injuries sustained while on state active duty. Members must instead rely on state workers’ compensation plans, which are often inferior to traditional military health and disability benefits.

“Often with very little notice, members of the National Guard leave their homes and families to safeguard our nation at home and abroad,” said Spanberger. “Over the past few years, we have seen these servicemembers go above and beyond to serve — boosting our efforts against COVID-19, securing the U.S. Capitol, and assisting our mission to temporarily house Afghan evacuees. It’s our duty as a nation to provide the best care possible to all those who answer the call. That is why I am proud to support this long overdue legislation to provide all our heroes with the high-quality support they have earned in service to our country.”

The legislation is endorsed by several prominent national military associations, including the National Guard Association of the United States, the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States of America, and the Reserve Officers Association.

Click here for the full bill text.

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