Sending Office: Honorable Nydia M. Velazquez
Support the Hear our Heroes Act of 2019
115th Co-Sponsors : Rep. Aumua Amata C. Radewagen, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, Rep. Pallone, Rep. Soto, Rep. Cohen, Rep. Engel, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. Serrano, Rep. Soto, Rep. Pallone, Rep. Norton, Rep.
Ro Khanna, Rep. Pramila Jayapal
116th Co-sponsors: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. Frank Pallone, Rep. Pramila Jayapal
The Hear our Heroes Act of 2019 will provide crucial health benefits for veterans injured while fighting for our country, they deserve not only our respect but policy that demonstrates said respect. I hope you will join me and provide veterans with
the healthcare that they deserve.
While in the line of duty, blast explosions are the leading cause of battlefield injuries. Physical injuries include brain trauma affecting nearly half of all blast victims, blindness, deafness, burns, and lost limbs.
Additionally, about 50 percent of blast victims suffer from PTSD or other mental health issue. Sadly, some of these injuries sustained by blast explosions, both mental and physical, are not immediately detected when checked by a medic. Thus, the presumption
of service connection benefits, which is the basis in which the Veterans Administration presumes that specific disabilities diagnosed in certain veterans were caused by their military service, are not available later in life unless an individual present’s
specific documentation to VA doctors that their injury is derived from the blast explosion.
Veterans currently would have to prove that their injury derives from a blast exposure when they exhibit sustained injuries 5, 10, or 15 years after their service. Given the extreme mental and physical repercussions, those who suffer these injuries while
in the line of duty deserve better health coverage; the Hear our Heroes Act of 2019
will ensure veterans receive the care that they deserve.
The Hear our Heroes Act of 2019 will amend Chapter 11 (Compensation for Service Connected Disability and Death) of Title 38 – Veterans Benefits, specifically will amend Section 1111, granting service connection on a presumptive basis for any veteran
diagnosed after a discharge with hearing loss or tinnitus. In general, blast victims will receive a temporary loss of hearing, lasting for hours or even days. However, for some the loss of hearing can be permeant, leaving the victim deaf. In the fiscal year
2011, 7.5% of all United States veterans who received compensation from the government experienced some sort of hearing loss. Additionally, the bill will amend the Schedule for Rating Disabilities to provide a minimum compensable evaluation for any service
connected hearing loss for which a hearing aid is medically indicated.
If you have any questions or would like to co-sponsor these important pieces of legislation, please contact Monica Garay on my staff at Monica.Garay@Mail.House.Gov. Thank you for your consideration.
Nydia M. Velázquez
Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0