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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

Rep. Gus Bilirakis Introduces Bill to Improve POW Disability Compensation

February 28, 2007
Press Release

Legislation would add additional medical conditions that are eligible for disability compensation  

March, 1, 2007

Washington, D.C.
- Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-Palm Harbor) proudly announces the introduction of H.R. 1197, the Prisoners of War (POW) Benefits Act.

H.R. 1197 establishes presumptions for disability compensation for several diseases, including Type II Diabetes and Osteoporosis. This will allow former POWs to claim these disabilities as service-connected and qualify them for disability compensation.

Additionally, this legislation establishes a system by which the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) can determine future presumption conditions for former POWs. Under H.R. 1197, the VA Secretary would have to review the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Former Prisoners of War and all other sound medical and scientific information and analysis available to him when making these determinations. This allows greater responsiveness and flexibility for the VA in addressing the medical and disability concerns of the brave men and women who have served in America's Armed Forces.

"During my campaign I promised veterans across America that I would be a strong advocate for their causes," Rep. Bilirakis said. "The sacrifices these men and women made will never be forgotten, and providing them with the best possible medical services is only one step in honoring them."