Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown Wins Assembly Approval for Bill to Increase CalWORKs Benefits for Veterans
Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown (D-San Bernardino) is proud to announce that her bill, AB 1094, passed out of the Assembly with a bipartisan vote of 77 to 0. AB 1094 will expand the definition of disability-based unearned income to include veteran’s disability compensation and help California’s veterans get the assistance they need to care for their families.
“There is no reason that a veteran’s benefits should be treated differently than other federal assistance. Returning veterans are having a difficult time readjusting to life and it is our responsibility to help them in their transition,” said Assemblymember Brown.
California veterans returning home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now receiving both CalWORKs and other governmental benefits. Current law provides that $225 in disability-based unearned income is disregarded when computing the individual’s CalWORKs benefits. Unfortunately, veterans’ disability compensation is not currently eligible for the disregard due to an oversight in previous legislation. As a result, veterans enrolled in the CalWORKs program receive, on average, $200 less than other disabled recipients. AB 1094 would correct this oversight and allow veteran families to collect their full benefits.
“California is home to the largest veteran population in the country. The majority of veteran’s benefits are dispersed by the federal government. However, a massive backlog in claims have delayed many California veterans from receiving their benefits. This bill will help ease the financial burdens of veteran families in California. As a member of the Committee on Veterans Affairs, I look forward to continuing to find solutions that will help the service members in our state access the benefits they deserve,” concluded Assemblymember Brown.
The bill now moves to the Senate.