SAN DIEGO - A local assemblyman says there are thousands of women who are missing out on military benefits because of the way a question is worded in applications.
Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, who represents the 76th District which includes Camp Pendleton, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside and Vista, says there are 18,000 women in California who are not getting the military benefits they deserve.
"You served in the military. Let's say you need a place to stay because you're getting older. You could be able to go apply for those benefits, but a lot of people don't realize that because they don't consider themselves veterans," said Chavez.
Chavez says it is all because of the way a military service question is written on state applications. Right now, it asks if an applicant is a veteran.
"There are a lot of women veterans from World War II, from Korea, from the Cold War period that do not consider themselves veterans because they were never in combat, when in reality, they are veterans," he said.
So, Chavez is pushing for Assembly Bill 258, which would change that question to "Have you ever served in the United States military?"
So far, the bill has cleared through both the Assembly of Veterans Affairs Committee and Appropriations Committee with unanimous bipartisan support.
"It gets down to what's the right thing to do?" said Chavez.
The bill is now in the Senate, which is expected to vote on it this week.