H.R. 2189: To Establish a Commission or Task Force to Evaluate the Backlog of Disability Claims of the Department of Veterans Affairs, As Amended

H.R. 2189

To Establish a Commission or Task Force to Evaluate the Backlog of Disability Claims of the Department of Veterans Affairs, As Amended

Date
October 28, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, October 28, 2013, the House will consider H.R. 2189, a bill to Establish a Commission or Task Force to Evaluate the Backlog of Disability Claims of the Department of Veterans Affairs, As Amended,under a suspension of the rules.  The bill was introduced on May 23, 2013 by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) and referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, which reported the bill reported by voice vote.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2189 directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to commission a task force to evaluate the backlog of claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in addition to the appeals process of claims.  This includes the current process to evaluate claims and appeals, the applicable laws and regulations governing the process, and the appeals process.  Furthermore, this legislation directs the commission to analyze potential improvements to the claims process and submit a report to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that outlines potential solutions to current backlog.  Finally, this legislation requires the Secretary to implement solutions detailed in the report that are deemed appropriate and submit a report to Congress providing justification for those solutions not implemented.

For further information, please see the full bill report for H.R. 2189 here.

 

Background

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) defines backlogged claims as, “claims pending longer than 125 days.”[1]  As of October 19, 2013, the VA reports 411,704 backlogged claims.[2]  According to the VA, “67% of pending claims come from Veterans filing supplemental claims for additional benefits.”  The remainder of backlog comprises of first time claims filers.[3]

Cost

CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2189 would decrease net direct spending by $412 million over the 2014-2018 period and $471 over the 2014-2023 period.  Enacting this legislation would have a discretionary cost of $126 million over the 2014-2018 period, subject to the availability of appropriations.[1] 

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.