TRENTON — Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday signed into law a measure that increases annual payments from the state of New Jersey to its military veterans with certain disabilities from $750 to $1,800.

The bill, sponsored by Sens. Linda Greenstein and Michael Testa and Assembly members Daniel Benson, Raj Mukherji, and Anthony Verrelli and co-sponsored by a slew of others, is made possible through funding allotted for in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget and will take effect on Jan. 1, according to a release from the governor's office.

Eligible conditions include loss of sight, amputation of hands, feet, or limbs, osteochondritis, multiple sclerosis, and permanent paralysis in limbs or elsewhere.

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Approximately 200 veterans in the Garden State will have their benefits enhanced by the bill becoming law, the governor's office said.

According to the release, prior to Thursday, not since 1981 had payouts covered under the Paraplegic and Hemiplegic Veterans' Allowance Program been bumped up in the state.

The delay had been even longer — since 1971 — with regard to the Blind Veterans' Allowance Program.

"This legislation will more than double the amount veterans receive under current law and help account for inflation and rising health care costs," Testa said in a release. "These benefits are hard-earned and well-deserved for those who have sacrificed so much to protect our country."

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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