Veterans Travel Reimbursement Increasing

WASHINGTON, January 31 - Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a member of the Senate veterans committee, announced today that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will raise travel reimbursement rates from 11 cents a mile to 28.5 cents a mile, effective tomorrow.

The mileage reimbursement rate has not been increased for 30 years. As a member of the veterans committee, Sanders fought for increased funding in the VA budget to make the increase possible.

Sanders said, "At a time when gas prices are now at $3.15 a gallon, this increase in the VA's mileage reimbursement rate is long overdue. The cost of travel should not discourage our veterans from seeking the health care benefits they have earned through their service. In rural states like Vermont, this is an especially important issue. As a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, I will continue to push for even more improvements in veterans benefits."

Sanders had written VA Secretary James Peake to encourage him to take this action after the senator and others were successful in pushing to make funding available. Senator Sanders has cosponsored legislation to tie the VA's reimbursement rate to the rate at which the federal government reimburses its employees for mileage, currently 48.5 cents a mile.