BROOKLYN, NY – Today, Representative Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) applauded President Biden for signing the Veterans and Family Information Act into law. The bill will improve non-English language accessibility for veterans, their families and caregivers.
Specifically, the legislation directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to make versions of all its fact sheets available in the ten most commonly spoken languages other than English in the United States, including Spanish and Tagalog. Approximately 2.4 million veterans are either foreign-born or children of immigrants.
“It is our duty to fully support our veterans regardless of the language they speak. Providing veterans and their caregivers information without the burden or delay of translation will empower them to best access the benefits earned through their service to our nation,” said Rep. Jeffries. “I applaud President Biden for signing this important bill into law and thank my colleague, Congresswoman Young Kim, for joining me in championing this bipartisan legislation.”
The VA provides incredibly valuable and critical information to veterans and their caregivers relating to life after service. Those resources relate to physical and mental health benefits, vocational rehabilitation, education, employment and home loans among others. Until now, there was no consistency in the availability of that information in languages other than English, but this bill changes that.
New York’s Eighth Congressional District is home to over 18,000 veterans of diverse backgrounds and as the country’s veterans continue to become more diverse, this bill is a great step toward making the services and information from the VA accessible to all.
The bill also directs the VA to establish a website that links to all the fact sheets of the Veterans Benefits Administration, Veterans Health Administration and the National Cemetery Administration.