Washington, D.C., Feb. 1 – As a nonpartisan national nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so people with disabilities can participate fully in all aspects of community, RespectAbility has invited all candidates in the presidential race on both sides of the aisle to submit their answers to a 2020 Disability Voter Candidate Questionnaire. Question 13 in the Questionnaire was: “What are your plans to ensure that the bureaucracy of the Veterans Administration supports and serves veterans with disabilities? What is your plan to support veterans with disabilities, especially female veterans with disabilities?”
Below, read the answers from the five candidates who responded:
Mayor Pete Buttigieg
“Many of our veterans return home with wounds—visible and invisible—only to experience challenges in accessing the benefits that were promised to them for their service. To change this, my plan for veterans shares how my approach to providing veteran services will be laser-focused on the needs of veterans and their families, especially those with disabilities.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
“As President, Senator Klobuchar will provide the Veterans Health Administration the full resources it needs to provide the highest level of care to our veterans and address staffing shortages. She will consult with our veterans and expand Congressional oversight on the implementation of the MISSION Act to make sure our veterans are receiving the best possible care.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders
“No one who was injured through their military service should be denied benefits because of complicated bureaucracy, period. We have seen too many veterans struggle to get the benefits to which they are rightly entitled. Worse still, veterans who have fought for and won these benefits have them taken away when their health improves. Bernie believes that veterans must be compensated for the disabilities connected to their service without being penalized for working hard to make improvements in their health.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
“As president, I’ll prioritize the unique challenges that face veterans with disabilities. I have committed to substantially increasing funding for the EEOC to uphold the rights of veterans with disabilities at work and to enforcing protection against work discrimination of disabled veterans. A Warren administration will invest in the VA, not further dismantle it. And under Medicare for All, veterans will all have high-quality health coverage that gives them the option to seek care from non-VA doctors and hospitals for no additional cost.”
Mr. Andrew Yang
“Andrew believes veterans should be better prepared for reintegration into civilian life and will establish a reverse boot camp that teaches veterans life skills such as financial literacy and finding a new career outside of the military. Andrew will work with state licensing boards, and other organizations that are involved in certifications, to ensure that those who are trained by the military can seamlessly transition to a job in the civilian economy by modernizing and streamlining the application and payment system so that our veterans don’t need to jump through additional hoops in order to use their GI Bill.”
RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of their communities. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes as voters go to the polls. RespectAbility has reached out to all of the presidential campaigns and will be posting all responses on The RespectAbility Report. View more coverage of 2020 presidential candidates.
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