Section 4201(a) of the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 (PL 116-315) authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to use appropriated funds for life-saving food, shelter, goods, and services for homeless Veterans or those participating in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program during the Coronavirus pandemic public health emergencies. In December 2021, VA sent a total of $20 million in American Rescue Plan funds to VA Medical Centers across the country to maximize the number of Veterans assisted under this authority.
By providing essential food, shelter, goods, and services, the Veterans Health Care and Benefits Act of 2020 aims to minimize the risk of harmful outcomes to Veterans such as loss of housing or continuation of homelessness, hunger, hypothermia, poor hygiene, unemployment, missed health care and service appointments, social isolation, exacerbation of physical and mental health symptoms, or contracting or spreading COVID-19.
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