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Record number of women vets in CT get VA disability benefits

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Miyah Gray

Right now, over 700,000 women veterans across the country are receiving disability compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs — a record high compared to just five years ago.

In Connecticut, more than 3,200 women have been awarded disability benefits, a 33% jump from 2019 according Terrence Hayes, VA press secretary.

Officials attributed the increase to an expanded outreach program and hiring more staff.

“These historic statistics are a direct result of our concerted efforts to bring women veterans to VA to encourage them to apply for the benefits that they've earned, and to build a VA that meets women veterans where they are rather than asking them to come to us,” said Josh Jacobs, the VA undersecretary for benefits.

Similarly, more veterans are enrolling in VA health care, which officials said is due to the passage of the PACT Act in 2022. The sweeping legislation dramatically expanded VA benefits for veterans exposed to toxins.

"Women veterans have fought in every war since the beginning of our nation, and it's our job at VA to do everything in our power to serve them," Jacobs said.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.