Summary: S.2640 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.2640. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (02/14/2008)

Veterans' Benefits Enhancement Act of 2008 - Revises veterans' insurance benefits matters to: (1) direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Secretary) to grant level-premium term life insurance to certain service-disabled veterans; (2) increase the maximum amount of supplemental service disabled veterans' insurance for totally disabled veterans; (3) provide retroactive traumatic injury coverage under the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program for certain members of the Armed Forces who incurred a traumatic injury in the line of duty; (4) provide for the designation of a recipient of funds for traumatic injury coverage when the member is mentally incapacitated or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness; and (5) increase the maximum loan guarantee amount under the veterans' mortgage life insurance program.

Revises veterans' housing benefits matters to: (1) allow home improvements and structural alterations for totally disabled members likely to be discharged or released from service; (2) make eligible for specially adapted housing benefits and assistance members with certain severe service-connected disabilities and veterans with such disabilities residing outside the United States; (3) authorize the provision of such assistance for veterans with a severe burn disability and disabled veterans residing temporarily in housing owned by a family member; and (4) increase specially adapted housing benefits for disabled veterans.

Revises veterans' employment and education matters to: (1) require coordination of veterans' educational course approval activities with those performed by the Departments of Labor and Education and other appropriate entities; (2) enhance the authority for reimbursing expenses of state approving agencies; (3) waive the residency requirement for a Director for Veterans' Employment and Training; (4) extend through 2009 an increase in benefits for veterans pursuing apprenticeships or on-job training; and (5) increase supplemental educational assistance for members of the Selected Reserve with certain skills or specialties.

Deems certain service performed with the military forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Scouts as active U.S. military service for purposes of eligibility for veterans' benefits. Entitles children of such Filipino veterans to the same rate of educational assistance entitlement as children of other veterans.

Revises provisions concerning the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims to: (1) eliminate the service limit for retired judges who voluntarily return to the Court; (2) remove the annual limit on Court registration and practice fees; and (3) require reports on Court workloads and expansion of Court facilities.

Revises veterans' compensation and pension matters to: (1) add osteoporosis to the disabilities presumed to be service-connected in former prisoners of war with post-traumatic stress disorder; and (2) provide an annual cost-of-living adjustment to temporary dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) payable to surviving spouses with dependent children under 18 years old.

Provides an annual adjustment for veterans' burial benefits.

Increases eligibility for, and the amount of, assistance provided to disabled veterans for the purchase of automobiles and adaptive equipment.

Allows for the termination or suspension of cellular phone contracts for members undergoing deployments of 90 days or more outside the United States.

Provides for the maintenance, management, and availability for research of assets of the Air Force Health Study.

Requires: (1) a study on the risk of developing multiple sclerosis as a result of certain military service; and (2) a report on the adequacy of DIC to support survivors of veterans who die from service-connected disabilities.