Looking out over the crowd of people at the American Legion Department of Texas Annual State Convention this month, there was likely no doubt in Gov. Rick Perry's mind that there were a lot of people in the state who had served their country in their lifetime. But despite their valiant service, many disabled veterans in the state are still waiting to receive benefits in the extensive backlog through the Veteran's Administration.
For readers of our blog who may not know, this backlog is no only preventing many disabled people from collecting benefits but is creating frustration across the state. In hopes of giving additional aid to those who sustained injury during their service and are currently unable to work--and even veterans who may not have been injured but are still qualified for federal and state benefits--Gov. Perry has signed several new laws that should assist Texas veterans more this year than any other year.
One of the laws grants a total property tax exemption to the surviving spouse of a military member killed in action. Another similar law will allow partially disabled veterans, who have had a home donated to them by a charitable organization, claim partial property tax exemption on that property. Perhaps the most substantial was the one that will provide veterans with special license plates that give them certain parking privileges such as access to certain parking meters free of charge.
The key to the success of these laws will be in getting the word out and letting disabled veterans know that they have these rights now in the state of Texas. The next big step will be to clear out the backlog and provide needed benefits to servicemen and their families. Putting these two efforts together will ensure that veterans are well-informed about their government benefits and have proper access to them down the road.
Source: The Cyprus Creek Mirror, "Gov. Perry speaks at American Legion Texas annual state convention," July 13, 2013