S.2152 - Agent Orange Benefits Act of 1996104th Congress (1995-1996)
|Sponsor:||Sen. Simpson, Alan K. [R-WY] (Introduced 09/27/1996)(by request)|
|Committees:||Senate - Veterans' Affairs|
|Latest Action:||Senate - 09/27/1996 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans. (All Actions)|
This bill has the status Introduced
Here are the steps for Status of Legislation:
Text: S.2152 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)
There is one version of the bill.
Text available as:
- PDF (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip?
Introduced in Senate (09/27/1996)
[Congressional Bills 104th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [S. 2152 Introduced in Senate (IS)] 104th CONGRESS 2d Session S. 2152 To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide benefits for certain children of Vietnam veterans who are born with spina bifida and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES September 27, 1996 Mr. Simpson (by request) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide benefits for certain children of Vietnam veterans who are born with spina bifida and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE. Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of title 38, United States Code. SEC. 2. BENEFITS FOR THE CHILDREN OF VIETNAM VETERANS WHO ARE BORN WITH SPINA BIFIDA. (a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the ``Agent Orange Benefits Act of 1996''. (b) Establishment of New Chapter 18.--Part II is amended by inserting after chapter 17 the following new chapter: ``CHAPTER 18--BENEFITS FOR THE CHILDREN OF VIETNAM VETERANS WHO ARE BORN WITH SPINA BIFIDA ``Sec. ``1801. Purpose. ``1802. Definitions. ``1803. Health care. ``1804. Vocational training. ``1805. Monetary allowance. ``Sec. 1801. Purpose ``The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the special needs of certain children of Vietnam veterans who were born with the birth defect spina bifida, possibly as the result of the exposure of one or both parents to herbicides during active service in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era, through the provision of health care, vocational training, and monetary benefits. ``Sec. 1802. Definitions ``For the purposes of this chapter: ``(1) The term `child' means a natural child of a Vietnam veteran, regardless of age or marital status, who was conceived after the date on which the veteran first entered the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era. ``(2) The term `Vietnam veteran' means a veteran who, during active military, naval, or air service, served in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era. ``(3) the term `spina bifida' means all forms of spina bifida other than spina bifida occulta. ``Sec. 1803. Health care ``(a) In accordance with regulations the Secretary shall prescribe, the Secretary shall provide such health care under this chapter as the Secretary determines is needed to a child of a Vietnam veteran who is suffering from spina bifida, for any disability associated with such condition. ``(b) The Secretary may provide health care under this section directly or by contract or other arrangement with a health care provider. ``(c) For the purposes of this section: ``(1) The term `health care' means home care, hospital care, nursing home care, outpatient care, preventive care, habilitative and rehabilitative care, case management, and respite care, and includes the training of appropriate members of a child's family or household in the care of the child and provision of such pharmaceuticals, supplies, equipment, devices, appliances, assistive technology, direct transportation costs to and from approved sources of health care authorized under this section, and other materials as the Secretary determines to be necessary. ``(2) The term `health care provider' includes, but is not limited to, specialized spina bifida clinics, healthcare plans, insurers, organizations, institutions, or any other entity or individual who furnishes health care services that the Secretary determines are covered under this section. ``(3) The term `home care' means outpatient care, habilitative and rehabilitative care, preventive health services, and health-related services furnished to an individual in the individual's home or other place of residence. ``(4) The term `hospital care' means care and treatment for a disability furnished to an individual who has been admitted to a hospital as a patient. ``(5) The term `nursing home care' means care and treatment for a disability furnished to an individual who has been admitted to a nursing home as a resident. ``(6) The term `outpatient care' means care and treatment of a disability, and preventive health services, furnished to an individual other than hospital care or nursing home care. ``(7) The term `preventive care' means care and treatment furnished to prevent disability or illness, including periodic examinations, immunizations, patient health education, and such other services as the Secretary determines are necessary to provide effective and economical preventive health care. ``(8) The term `habilitative and rehabilitative care' means such professional, counseling, and guidance services and treatment programs (other than vocational training under section 1804 of this title) as are necessary to develop, maintain, or restore, to the maximum extent, the functioning of a disabled person. ``(9) The term `respite care' means care furnished on an intermittent basis in a Department facility for a limited period to an individual who resides primarily in a private residence when such care will help the individual to continue residing in such private residence. ``Sec. 1804. Vocational training ``(a) Pursuant to such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, the Secretary may provide vocational training under this section to a child of a Vietnam veteran who is suffering from spina bifida if the Secretary determines that the achievement of a vocational goal by such child is reasonably feasible. ``(b)(1) If a child elects to pursue a program of vocational training under this section, the program shall be designed in consultation with the child in order to meet the child's individual needs and shall be set forth in an individualized written plan of vocational rehabilitation. ``(2)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, a vocational training program under this subsection shall consist of such vocationally oriented services and assistance, including such placement and post-placement services and personal and work adjustment training, as the Secretary determines are necessary to enable the child to prepare for and participate in vocational training or employment. ``(B) A vocational training program under this subsection-- ``(i) may not exceed 24 months unless, based on a determination by the Secretary that an extension is necessary in order for the child to achieve a vocational goal identified (before the end of the first 24 months of such program) in the written plan formulated for the child, the Secretary grants an extension for a period not to exceed 24 months; ``(ii) may not include the provision of any loan or subsistence allowance or any automobile adaptive equipment; and ``(iii) may include a program of education at an institution of higher learning only in a case in which the Secretary determines that the program involved is predominantly vocational in content. ``(c)(1) A child who is pursuing a program of vocational training under this section who is also eligible for assistance under a program under chapter 35 of this title may not receive assistance under both of such programs concurrently but shall elect (in such form and manner as the Secretary may prescribe) under which program to receive assistance. ``(2) The aggregate period for which a child may receive assistance under this section and chapter 35 of this title may not exceed 48 months (or the part-time equivalent thereof). ``Sec. 1805. Monetary allowance ``(a) The Secretary shall pay a monthly allowance under this chapter to any child of a Vietnam veteran for disability resulting from spina bifida suffered by such child. ``(b) The amount of the allowance paid under this section shall be based on the degree of disability suffered by a child as determined in accordance with such schedule for rating disabilities resulting from spina bifida as the Secretary may prescribe. The Secretary shall, in prescribing the rating schedule for the purposes of this section, establish three levels of disability upon which the amount of the allowance provided by this section shall be based. The allowance shall be ($200) per month for the lowest level of disability prescribed, ($700) per month for the intermediate level of disability prescribed, and ($1,200) per month for the highest level of disability prescribed. ``(c)(1) Whenever there is an increase in benefit amounts payable under title II of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 401 et seq.) as a result of a determination under section 215(i) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 415(i)), the Secretary shall, effective on the date of such increase in benefit amounts, increase each rate of allowance under this section, as such rates were in effect immediately prior to the date of such increase in benefits payable under title II of the Social Security Act, by the same percentage as the percentage by which such benefit amounts are increased. ``(2) Whenever there is an increase in the rates of the allowance payable under this section, the Secretary shall publish such rates in the Federal Register. ``(3) Whenever such rates are so increased, the Secretary may round such rates in such manner as the Secretary considers equitable and appropriate for ease of administration. ``(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, receipt by a child of an allowance under this section shall not impair, infringe, or otherwise affect the right of such child to receive any other benefit to which the child may otherwise be entitled under any law administered by the Secretary, nor shall such receipt impair, infringe, or otherwise affect the right of any individual to receive any benefit to which he or she is entitled under any law administered by the Secretary that is based on the child's relationship to such individual. ``(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the allowance paid to a child under this section shall not be considered income or resources in determining eligibility for or the amount of benefits under any Federal or federally assisted program.''. (b) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall become effective on October 1, 1996. (c) Clerical Amendment.--The tables of chapters before part I and at the beginning of part II are each amended by inserting after the item referring to chapter 17 the following new item: ``18. Benefits for children of Vietnam veterans who are born 1801''. with spina bifida. SEC. 3. CLARIFICATION OF ENTITLEMENT FOR BENEFITS FOR DISABILITY RESULTING FROM TREATMENT OF VOCATIONAL SERVICES PROVIDED BY DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS. (a) Section 1151 is amended-- (1) by striking out the first sentence and inserting in lieu thereof the following: ``(a) Compensation under this chapter and dependency and indemnity compensation under chapter 13 of this title shall be awarded for qualifying additional disability to or death of a veteran in the same manner as if such additional disability or death were service- connected. For purposes of this section, additional disability or death is qualifying only if it was not the result of the veteran's willful misconduct and-- ``(1) it was caused by hospital care, medical or surgical treatment, or examination furnished the veteran under any law administered by the Secretary, either by a Department employee or in a Department facility as defined in section 1701(3)(A) of this title, where the additional disability or death proximately resulted-- ``(A) from carelessness, negligence, lack of proper skill, error in judgment, or similar instance of fault on the part of the Department in furnishing the hospital care, medical or surgical treatment, or ``(B) from an event not reasonably foreseeable; or ``(2) it was incurred as a proximate result of the provision of training and rehabilitation services by the Secretary (including by a service-provider used by the Secretary for such purpose under section 3115 of this title) as part of an approved rehabilitation program under chapter 31 of this title.''; and (2) in the second sentence-- (A) by redesignating that sentence as subsection (b); (B) by striking out ``, aggravation,'' both places it appears; and (C) by striking out ``sentence'' and substituting in lieu thereof ``subsection''. (b) The amendments made by subsection (a) shall govern all administrative and judicial determinations of eligibility for benefits under section 1151 of title 38, United States Code, made with respect to claims filed on or after the date of enactment of this Act, including those based on original applications and applications seeking to reopen, revise, reconsider, or otherwise readjudicate on any basis claims for benefits under section 1151 of that title or predecessor provisions of law. <all>