Legislation by Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, ensuring transparency for residents of California’s six veterans homes was signed into law Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Assembly Bill 557 revises requirements for quarterly financial statements provided to the residents to ensure that the information provided in these statements is consistent with existing state law.
“AB 557 requires that the quarterly statements sent to residents are printed in a font that is 14-point or larger to assist residents in understanding the information necessary for residents to make informed financial decisions,” Yamada said.
“It is a companion bill to AB 1823, legislation I authored and which was signed into law last year, requiring veterans home residents to be provided adequate information about their obligations to pay for unreimbursed costs of care.”
Both bills were proposed by the Allied Council at the California Veterans Homes at Yountville, an organization that advocates on behalf of the residents. Two years ago, the widow of a former resident received notice from the state and had been largely unaware of existing law allowing for the recovery of unreimbursed costs of care.
AB 557 also provides technical changes to quarterly statements sent to veterans home residents so they are clearly informed of CalVet’s ability to recover their finances and personal property held outside the premises of the home in addition to assets held by the home.
The veterans homes provide essential care to disabled and elderly veterans, charging vets for the care provided according to their ability to pay. When an immediate family member survives the veteran, or the deceased veteran leaves an estate, the state may seek reimbursement from the heirs for the difference between the actual cost of the veteran’s care and the amount already paid, Yamada said.