Biden’s plan includes providing an additional allowance for families living below the poverty line, creating a $5,000 tax credit for informal caregivers, and offering military spouses professional and economic opportunities.
Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, whose son Beau Biden served in the Delaware Army National Guard and was deployed on a tour of Iraq from 2008 to 2009, has laid out an ambitious plan to provide support to military veterans and their families, as some struggle to make ends meet and lack quality childcare.
With this plan, the ex vice president could undo some of the damage done by President Donald Trump to military families when he canceled more than 120 projects, including housing for the military, and diverted $3.6 billion in congressionally approved military construction funds to build the border wall that would ostensibly keep the “bad hombres” out.
Biden’s Plan Includes:
- Modernizing compensation to provide struggling military families the opportunity to thrive in today’s economy. Biden’s plan includes supporting legislation which, in the meantime, will provide an additional allowance for families living below the poverty line.
- Providing military spouses professional and economic opportunity. Due in part to frequent relocations, military spouses have an unemployment rate of around 30%. Biden’s plan includes investing $500 million in a 3-year Department of Defense (DoD) military spouse entrepreneurship pilot program that will provide micro-grants, mentorship, and technical assistance to military spouses, among other benefits. This includes ensuring that LGBTQ military spouses have the support they need to pursue successful careers.
- Creating family stability by increasing time between Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves, while meeting national security demands. Loss of career opportunities, disruption to military child education and the inability to sustain supportive social networks are just three ways frequent relocation affects military families.
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- Ending the financial burdens caused by the Survivor Benefit Plan/Dependency Indemnity Compensation Offset (SBP/DIC Offset) or “Widow’s Tax” that financially affects the families of those who died in service to their country.
- Helping caregivers of wounded, ill, injured, or elderly veterans pay for long-term care. The ex-vice president proposes to do this by creating a $5,000 tax credit for informal caregivers. This tax credit will be in addition to the financial support provided by the VA Caregiver program.
- Increasing funding for and expanding access to telehealth for military families, particularly in areas that are not able to access timely care, as well as increasing the number of free, non-medical Military OneSource counseling sessions for military families from 12 sessions to 18, and expanding access to Coast Guard families regardless of activation status.
- Investing in recruiting and retaining behavioral health care professionals in military treatment facilities to ensure there are enough clinicians to support the needs of active duty force as well as military dependents.
- Guaranteeing safe housing by enforcing a comprehensive and standardized tenant bill of rights for all military families, and ensuring DoD senior leadership enforces compliance. This will require regular published reporting of military family satisfaction and concerns from all housing.
- Working with Congress to repeal decades-old authorizations for the use of military force and replacing them with a framework that will ensure Americans are “protected from terrorist threats while ending the forever wars,” the platform says.