S. 1198 would codify the Solid Start program implemented in 2019 by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help veterans transition to civilian life. Under the program, VA aims to contact every veteran by phone three times during their first year after separating from the armed forces. On those outreach calls, veterans receive information about their eligibility for VA health care and benefits and the availability of mental health resources. The bill would require VA to tailor outreach calls to address the needs of each veteran’s situation, including customizing information specifically for women veterans.
To the extent that S. 1198 would expand the Solid Start program, VA would incur additional costs; however, on the basis of information provided by VA in detailed program plans and status reports, CBO estimates that those costs would total less than $500,000 over the 2021-2026 period. Such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.