A bill meant to strengthen access to care for veterans in New York was approved Thursday by Gov. Kathy Hochul. 

The measure will require care facilities to ask patients about their veteran status on intake forms as a way of improving communication between providers and patients, while also ensuring people get the benefits they need. 

“Our Veterans and their family members deserve all of the high-quality benefits available by federal and state law,” said Sen. Peter Harckham. “I thank Governor Hochul for signing my bill that will ensure healthcare and residential care providers establish a person’s veteran status on their intake forms. For many, this will increase healthcare coverage availability and help determine eligibility for appropriate services—a simple inquiry that will support the well-being of our Veterans and save lives in the long run.”

The new law will cover hospitals, primary care facilities nursing homes, assisted living residences as well as homeless shelters. They will be required to ask an applicant or client's military status by asking if they or anyone in their household served in the military.