State lawmakers want New York veterans to receive access to benefit information when they apply for a driver's license or a state-issued identification.
A new bill backed by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara would allow service members, including reservists, to seek a free veteran designation on a driver's license or a non-driver identification card. The move would enable them to receive information about benefits they are entitled to under both state and federal law.
The state Department of Motor Vehicles would be required to gather the information.
“The service-members who have bravely served our country deserve all the support they need when they return home,” said Santabarbara, himself a veteran. “Unfortunately, many military members are unaware or unsure of the many benefits that are available to them. This bill will help ensure that the Division of Veterans’ Affairs receives veterans’ information from the DMV, ultimately helping more former service-members receive their much-deserved benefits.”
The legislation comes after the $212 billion state budget included $5 million in funding for the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Project. That effort is meant to aid returning veterans who are facing PTSD, traumatic brain injuries or other mental health issues.