WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marking the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC) today released a fact sheet detailing the important role that caregivers play in the recovery of wounded servicemembers, whose ranks have increased dramatically since 2001.
“Improvements in medical care and technology have reduced the risk of death in combat for our men and women serving in harm’s way,” said Vice Chairman designate Casey. “At the same time, the number of veteran patients with disabilities has nearly tripled since 2001. As we give thanks for every soldier who returns home, we must honor their sacrifice with a commitment to provide every resource possible to help them recover from injuries incurred during their service. Caregivers are an essential part of the recovery of wounded veterans, and FMLA will continue to ensure caregivers of veterans have access to job-protected leave to support our heroes.”
FMLA ensures caregivers for veterans have access to job-protected unpaid leave from their employer to care for a servicemember with a serious injury illness if the eligible caregiver is the servicemember’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin.
The need for caregivers has grown as the number of veterans with serious injuries has increased from 482,000 in 2001 to 1.3 million in 2012. Congress expanded provisions of FMLA in 2008 and 2009 to increase the amount of unpaid job-protected FMLA leave military caregivers are eligible for from 12 weeks to 26 weeks in a 12 month period.
The full fact sheet is available here.