This week, President Obama signed into law Senator Boozman’s (R-AR) legislation to improve rehabilitative services for our nation’s veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The Veterans’ Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitative Services’ Improvements Act of 2011, (S. 957 as amended) was part of a larger package to improve veterans’ benefits (Sec 107 of H.R. 1627).
Due to ambiguities in current law, TBI treatment at the Department of Veterans Affairs narrowly focuses care on physical restoration. Boozman’s bicameral, bipartisan legislation clarifies the definition of rehabilitation so veterans are guaranteed care that adequately addresses their physical and mental health needs, as well as quality of life and prospects for long-term recovery and success.
The Veterans’ Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitative Services Improvements Act of 2011 would ensure wounded warriors suffering from TBI receive a more comprehensive and holistic rehabilitation plan that focuses on physical restoration, mental health, independence, and quality of life. It would also help veterans in maintaining the gains they have made during initial phases of treatment by requiring the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to develop rehabilitation plans that stress improved physical, cognitive and vocational functioning in the long term.