The House Veterans' Affairs Committee last week voted to advance several measures that would expand benefits for veteran military personnel and reservists.
The Reserve Component Vocational Rehabilitation Parity Act (H.R. 5538), introduced by Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., would expand eligibility for vocational rehabilitation and employment programs to reservists called into active service under involuntary deployment orders to the site of a national emergency or for pre-planned combat support missions.
Currently, such deployments, which occur under 12404(a) or 12304(b) orders, do not count toward reservists' and guardsmen’s time of service. Last year, Congress approved a broad expansion of the GI Bill that included closing a similar loophole for other educational benefits.
“Our guardsmen and reservists serve honorably in support of combat missions,” Peters said in a statement. “They have earned the same employment and education benefits as any other reservist through their service, regardless of the authority under which they were deployed.”