CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, October 28, 2013, the House will consider H.R. 1405, a bill to Amend Title 38, United States Code, to Require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Include an Appeals Form in any Notice of Decision Issued for the Denial of a Benefit Sought, As Amended,under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on March 25, 2013, by Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, which ordered the bill reported by voice vote.
H.R. 1405 directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to include a form that may be used to file a notice of disagreement for any claimant that is given a notification of the decision to deny a benefit sought. Furthermore, this legislation honors as a veteran any person entitled to retired pay for non-regular service or who would be entitled to retired pay, but for age and would clarify that this honor would not confer any benefits solely due to recognition.
The bill also authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide veterans’ case-tracking information access to employees of a state or local government agency assisting veterans with benefit claims. However, the bill directs the Secretary to ensure that such access does not allow the employee to modify the data in the case-tracking system or include access to medical records, and requires such employees to complete a certification course on privacy issues before receiving access.
This legislation would also revise the process for the appointment of fiduciaries and would limit the Secretary of Veterans Affairs authority to pay only up to $345 million in awards or bonuses under chapter 45 or 53 of title 5, U.S. Code, or any other awards or bonuses authorized under such title.
For further information, please see the full bill report for H.R. 1405 here.
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 1405 would result in a net discretionary savings of $108 million over the 2014-2018 period, assuming appropriations actions consistent with the bill.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.