News Releases

Sen. Banks: House Approves Bill to Assist Veterans with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury

STATEHOUSE (March 3, 2014) —State Sen. Jim Banks’ (R-Columbia City) legislation to assist Hoosier veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury passed the House of Representatives today by a unanimous vote.

“It’s our duty as a nation to care for our veterans, both when they’re at home and overseas,” Banks said. “Half of our country’s veterans with PTSD never seek treatment, and with as many as 5,000 veterans committing suicide every year, we must do all we can to ensure these men and women get the help they need. Through this legislation, I believe Indiana will set a national standard for veterans care that other states will hopefully follow.”

As amended, Senate Bill 180 would establish several programs to create and fund services for veterans with these conditions, including:

  • The Veterans Disability Clinic Fund, which would provide grants to certain law schools that maintain a veterans disability clinic.
  • The Indiana Veteran Recovery Program and Fund, which would provide certain treatments and services to veterans with PTSD or a traumatic brain injury.
  • The Brain Injury Rehabilitation and Community Living Commission, which would establish a statewide plan to address the needs of those affected by a traumatic brain injury.

The legislation would also direct the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) to further study the implementation of these types of programs. The ISDH would be required to review the following topics:

  • The best treatments and therapies for PTSD and traumatic brain injury, as well as the types of health-care providers necessary to create this program
  • The estimated number of Hoosier veterans who have PTSD or traumatic brain injury
  • An analysis of available federal and state funding for this program
  • The costs of traumatic brain injury and PTSD among veterans and the economic impact of implementing this program

SB 180 now returns to the Senate for further consideration. State Rep. Dennis Zent (R-Angola) is the bill’s House sponsor.