Duty To Assist
From: "Bruce K. Melson" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 15:12:41 -0500
To: "Tommy Dorris" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Jack Swaren"
Subject: COMMITTEE PASSES MEASURE MANDATING VA ASSISTANCE TO VETERANS FILING
Subj: COMMITTEE PASSES MEASURE MANDATING VA ASSISTANCE TO
VETERANS FILING CLAIMS
Date: 07/21/2000 11:38:10 AM Central Daylight Time
Tommy, could you forward this to our guys? I think it is an important
July 20, 2000
COMMITTEE PASSES MEASURE MANDATING VA ASSISTANCE TO VETERANS FILING CLAIMS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House Committee on Veterans' Affairs approved
legislation Thursday providing a cost of living adjustment, enhanced
compensation and benefits programs, and improved claims process.
VA Committee Chairman Bob Stump (R-AZ) said both bills, along with a third
measure designating the name of a Rome, NY outpatient clinic, hopefully would
go to the full House floor for a vote Tuesday, July 25th.
The Veterans Benefits Act of 2000, H.R. 4850, would increase, effective December
1, 2000, the rates of disability compensation for veterans with
service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity
compensation for survivors of certain disabled veterans.
The measure would consider a stroke or heart attack suffered or aggravated by
a reservist during inactive duty training as service-connected. H.R.
4850 would also provide a special monthly compensation for the
service-connected loss of one or both breasts due to a radical mastectomy, at
the same rate as that for a service-connected "loss or loss of use of one
or more creative organs." Finally, H.R. 4850 will permit
certain members of the Individual Ready Reserve to participate in the
Servicemembers Group Life Insurance program.
The Veterans Claims Assistance Act of 2000, H.R. 4864, would eliminate the
requirement that a claimant first submit a "well-grounded claim"
before receiving assistance from the VA Secretary. A well-grounded
claim for service-connected disability benefits would be one that included
supporting medical opinion and evidence "Our action on this legislation
demonstrates the VA Committee's bipartisan dedication to fair treatment of
veterans," Chairman Stump said. "There is a long history of
assisting veterans to obtain government and other records which may
substantiate their claim for benefits, and this bill reaffirms the
government's obligation to continue that practice."
"It has been a classic Catch-22," said Congressman Lane Evans
(D-IL), the VA Committee's Ranking Democrat. "If you can prove
you've got a good case, the VA will help you prove you've got a good case.
If you need help, they can't help you. We've added some additional useful
ideas to the legislation I introduced last year, we've got wide-spread
bipartisan support, and the House Veterans' Affairs Committee has adopted it.
We're an important step closer to eliminating this obstacle for America's
The measure would require the VA Secretary to make a reasonable effort to
obtain relevant records identified and authorized by the claimant.
The VA Secretary would also have to provide a medical examination if
warranted. H.R. 4864 would permit veterans who had claims denied or dismissed
by the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims to request a review of those
claims within two years of enactment. Finally, H.R. 4864 would
require other federal agencies to furnish relevant records to the VA at no
cost to the claimant
For more information:
Post message: Vet_Central@egroups.com
List owner: Vet_Centralemail@example.com