VA to refine construction grant rules to better serve veterans in rural areas

To increase accessibility for veterans living in remote areas, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin recently announced that the VA intends to suggest State Veterans Home Construction Grant Program modifications this year.

The changes aim to make it easier to construct facilities to aid veterans in rural areas, a VA release said.

At present, regulations revolve around demographics in addition to demand, so far-flung areas sometimes remain outside the reach of resources in terms of competition for the construction grants, the release said. VA officials said that designated nursing homes can be as far as 500 miles apart, making services hard to reach for rural residents.

“We want to remove the red tape,” Shulkin said in the release. “Veterans in rural areas need to be able to get nursing home care when it’s needed as close as possible to their homes, families and friends. Changes in VA regulations can save families from having to travel long distances to visit a loved one in a facility far from home. ”

The release said revisions to the program requirements will be fully completed by the end of the 2017 calendar year.

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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

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