Lift the Cap

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, wants to remove the cap on the number of veterans that can enroll each year in the VA’s independent living program. He has introduced new legislation, the Training and Rehabilitation for Disabled Veterans Enhancement Act of 2008 to “enable VA to provide rehabilitative services to more veterans who are severely disabled, and clarify that improving a veterans’ quality of life is an important objective of rehabilitation,” said Akaka in an April 15 statement. In a floor statement, he acknowledged that during the program’s infancy, the VA needed to cap the number of enrollees—set at 500 in 1980 and raised to 2,500 in 2001—but he believes now that with increased demand “it makes sense to lift the cap altogether.”