A California Bill Threatens a Veteran’s Right to Choose

A newly proposed piece of legislation, California Senate Bill 1124 (SB 1124), aimed at helping Veterans with their VA disability claims will in fact do the opposite, restricting their freedoms and leaving them with less help navigating a complicated system.

While we recognize the bill’s intentions may be intended to protect and serve, we believe it falls short of effectively addressing the needs of our Veteran community.

As an organization deeply committed to the welfare and rights of Veterans, we have firsthand experience with the complexities Veterans face upon their return to civilian life. Our Veterans find themselves navigating a maze of bureaucratic challenges when seeking the benefits they rightfully deserve. SB 1124, though well-intentioned, overlooks the critical importance of providing Veterans with a diverse range of support options, such as professional assistance, if they choose to do so.

We are particularly concerned that SB 1124, as it stands, may inadvertently limit the resources available to Veterans by imposing unnecessary restrictions on the organizations that have proven beneficial to our Veterans by stepping in where traditional structures have faltered. For instance, the unique challenges faced by Veterans require tailored support that understands their specific experiences and needs—a level of understanding that might not be available through traditional Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs), as supported by SB 1124.

In light of these concerns, we respectfully urge reconsideration of the bill’s current provisions. We believe that the private sector and VSOs can work collaboratively to develop a more inclusive approach that genuinely serves the best interests of all Veterans without compromising the quality and variety of support available to them. Our goal is to ensure that every Veteran has the freedom to choose the path that best suits their individual circumstances, thereby truly honoring their service and sacrifice.

We look forward to the opportunity to engage in constructive dialogue on how best to support our Veterans within the framework of SB 1124.