Veterans' Affairs

The bravery and devotion veterans have shown throughout our history have helped build this great country, and each of us owes them—and their families—a debt of gratitude.

Congressman Cohen believes the federal government has a responsibility to ensure that veterans receive all of the benefits they have earned.

In furtherance of this, Congressman Cohen continues to work with the Memphis VA Medical Center (VAMC) to ensure that our veterans are receiving both appropriate and excellent care at the Memphis VA. Congressman Cohen has also introduced the Putting Our Veterans Back to Work Act. This bill reauthorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Labor’s Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), which provided up to 12 months of training assistance to nearly 76,000 eligible unemployed veterans between July 2012 when it rolled out and March 2014 when it expired.  The bill also directs the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General to award grants to hire veterans as firefighters and law enforcement officers.  The legislation is supported by the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and the Military Officers Association of America.

The Congressman is a cosponsor of the Veteran Urgent Access to Mental Healthcare Act which provides initial mental health assessments and urgent mental health care services to veterans at risk of suicide or harming others, as well as the Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act. This bipartisan bill expands the eligibility for the Department of Veterans Affairss family caregiver program to include families of veterans who were seriously injured or became ill prior to September 11, 2001.

Congressman Cohen has cosponsored the Reduce Unemployment for Veterans of All Ages Act to lift the arbitrary 12-year limit to qualify for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program, a program to help veterans with service-connected disabilities obtain and keep meaningful employment and achieve maximum independence through job training, employment accommodations, resume development and job seeking skills coaching.

Congressman Cohen is also a cosponsor of a bill to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to furnish dental care in the same manner as any other medical service.

The Congressman Cohen has also cosponsored the Medical Cannabis Research Act to increases the number of manufactures registered under the Controlled Substances Act to manufacture cannabis for legitimate research purposes and authorizes health care providers of the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide recommendations to veterans regarding participation in federally-approved cannabis clinical trials, and the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act to authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct and support research on the efficacy and safety of certain forms of cannabis and cannabis delivery for veterans enrolled in the VA health care system diagnosed with conditions such as chronic pain or post-traumatic stress disorder.

More on Veterans' Affairs

May 22, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) released the following statement today in recognition of Memorial Day on Monday:

April 9, 2020 Press Release

MEMPHIS -- Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) yesterday joined his colleagues in a resolution recognizing the harmful health disparities faced by minority communities during the coronavirus pandemic and urging immediate action to address the ongoing situation. The resolution will be introduced soon.

March 16, 2020 Press Release

Coronavirus Update


In an effort to keep TN-09 constituents up to date on the coronavirus situation, I will share updates with important information.  I hope you’ll take some time to look at this information.  As always, if you need to reach my office please call 901-544-4131 for the Memphis office and 202-225-3265 for the D.C. office. Updates will be posted on my website: www.Cohen.House.Gov. 

February 5, 2020 Press Release


WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today voted for and the House passed the PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act. The measure calls for the Veterans Administration to establish a five-year pilot program to make grants available to appropriate non-governmental entities for the purpose of assessing the effectiveness of addressing post-deployment mental health and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms through a therapeutic medium of training service dogs for veterans with disabilities.

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

November 12, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today hosted his 11th annual Veterans Day event at the Kroc Center, thanking veterans for their service and listening to their ideas about how better to address veterans’ needs. He was joined by the Trezevant High School Junior ROTC Color Guard and guests Captain Alonza J. Ross, commander, Naval Support Activity Mid-South; Terrell Owens, chief of police, VA Medical Center; David K. Dunning, director, Memphis VA Medical Center; and Dr. Michael C. Ellis Sr., Office of Community Engagement and Outreach Division of Community Services.

November 10, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON -- Congressman Steve Cohen released the following statement commemorating this year’s Veterans Day:  

“Each November, we pause to pay special tribute to the brave men and women who have served our country in uniform. This year, we also commemorate the 101st anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.   

October 23, 2019 Press Release

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today introduced the Putting Our Veterans Back to Work Act to help reduce veteran unemployment and train our nation’s heroes for good-paying, high-demand jobs. Congressman Cohen’s legislation would reauthorize the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), which helps train unemployed veterans for careers in high-demand occupations, through 2021. VRAP expired in March 2014.

August 26, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) was pleased to see that his bill, the National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act, has been signed into law.

July 23, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today hailed House passage of the National Guard and Reservists Debt Relief Extension Act that he introduced in June with Representatives Ben Cline (R-VA), Tim Burchett (R-TN) and Madeleine Dean (D-PA). The vote was 417 to 1.

The bill ensures that certain members of the National Guard and Reserves can obtain bankruptcy relief without the burden of the “means test” under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. 

July 11, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Judiciary Committee voted to advance Congressman Steve Cohen’s (TN-09) bill to ensure that certain members of the National Guard and Reserves can obtain bankruptcy relief without filing substantial paperwork required by the “means test” under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. With the Committee’s vote today, the bill is headed to the House floor.