NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach County


New state funding will ensure all veterans in Florida have dental care

Wounded Veterans Relief Fund dental care.png
Posted at 6:27 PM, Nov 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-15 18:27:36-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Just off Veterans Day, Wounded Veterans Relief Fund is celebrating a win for Florida veterans.

A five year fight for dental benefits finally ended with state funding that will make sure all veterans in the Sunshine State get the dental care they need.

Wounded Veterans Relief Fund Executive Director Mike Durkee has been the tip of the spear, fighting for the funding.

“Right now, you have to be 100 percent disabled, according to the V.A., or sustained a service related oral disability or injury in order to get dental benefits through the V.A.," Durkee said. “That’s just so wrong, so we set out to change that.”

Durkee has been lobbying donors throughout the state to get money to cover dental bills for Florida veterans.

In May, Florida lawmakers listened. House Bill 635 passed both chambers establishing a dental care grant program. The goal is to contract with direct-support organizations like Wounded Veterans Relief Fund to get the money to the veterans who need the help the most.