The Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvements Act of 2020 was signed by the President last week, expanding benefits to more Guardsmen and their families.

President Trump signed the legislation on January 5, narrowly missing an accidental “pocket veto.” Had he not signed it when he did, the measure would not have become law unless the new Congress passed similar legislation.

One of the legislation’s many new benefits is 12 months of fully paid maternity leave for drill-status women in the Guard and Reserve. They will also receive retirement points. This closely mirrors the same program women on active-duty have had since 2016.

(The National Defense Authorization Act for 2021 also included health benefits for Guardsmen by providing six-months of transitional medical coverage for Guardsmen and their families after Title 32 coronavirus response missions. In the past, Guardsmen had received transitional coverage, after overseas assignments, to cover any lingering medical issues. Yet, this is the first time that they receive coverage after a domestic mission.)