Congress on July 7 approved a bill that would allow veterans to obtain official identification cards through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Supporters of the measure say the ID cards would contribute to reducing identify theft, along with making it easier for veterans to prove their veteran status.
Current federal law requires some veterans who do not receive VA health services to carry paperwork as proof of military service to employers or private businesses for discounts. The document, known as the DD-214, contains Social Security numbers and other personal information that could make veterans vulnerable to identity theft.
“At a time when many vets are struggling to reintegrate to society, we should be providing them with solutions, not paperwork. This bill will allow veterans to immediately prove their service to employers, thereby expanding their access to jobs and a number of other benefits,” said Dan Benishek, chairman of the Veterans Subcommittee on Health and Northern Michigan’s U.S. representative, who has co-sponsored the bill.
The VA currently issues ID cards to veterans who receive its benefits, mainly for health care. The new ID cards would not replace the cards already issued to veterans, nor can they be used as proof of eligibility for obtaining federal benefits. No time frame has been determined for when the first ID cards might be given out.
Veterans requesting the ID cards would have to pay a small fee, the amount to be decided by VA officials. The payments would fund the program. In Michigan, like in many other states, veterans already have the option to declare their veteran status on state driver’s licenses or IDs with no extra cost.
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC fights for veterans rights. We fight to make sure you get the benefits you deserve from the Department of Veterans Affairs. To learn more or contact a veterans attorney, visit http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com or call 800.693.4800