Text: H.R.1739 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (04/25/2013)


113th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 1739

To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to pay provisional benefits for certain nonadjudicated claims, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 25, 2013

Mr. Enyart (for himself and Mr. Israel) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs


A BILL

To amend title 38, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to pay provisional benefits for certain nonadjudicated claims, 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. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Veterans Backlog Reduction Act”.

SEC. 2. Provisional payment of certain nonadjudicated claims for benefits under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

(a) Authority To make payments.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Subchapter III of chapter 51 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

§ 5127. Payment of provisional benefits for certain nonadjudicated claims

“(a) In general.—In the case of any claim for disability compensation under chapter 11 of this title that is not adjudicated before the date that is 125 days after the date of the submittal of the claim, the Secretary shall pay to the claimant provisional benefits under this section for the period beginning on the date that is 125 days after the date of the submittal of the claim and ending on the date on which a final decision is made with respect to the claim.

“(b) Amount of benefits.—The amount of the provisional benefits payable to a claimant under this section is an amount equal to the lesser of the following:

“(1) The average amount payable to a person who receives payments of compensation for the type of disability for which the claimant submitted the claim.

“(2) The amount payable to a person who receives payments of compensation for a disability rated at 40 percent under the schedule for rating disabilities under section 1155 of this title.

“(c) Adjudication.—(1) Upon the adjudication of a claim for which the claimant receives payments of provisional benefits under this section, the Secretary shall reduce the amount owed to the claimant for the period between the effective date of the award of the benefits and the date of the adjudication of the claim by the amount of provisional benefits paid to the claimant under this section.

“(2) If, upon the adjudication of such a claim, the claim is denied or the monthly amount of the disability compensation benefits awarded to the claimant is less than the monthly amount of provisional benefits paid to the claimant under this section, there shall be no recovery of the overpayments unless the Secretary determines that there exists in connection with the claim an indication of fraud, misrepresentation, or bad faith on the part of the claimant.”.

(2) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.—The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end of the items relating to such subchapter the following new item:


“5127. Payment of provisional benefits for certain nonadjudicated claims.”.

(b) Effective date.—Section 5127 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall apply with respect to a new claim for benefits submitted after the date of the enactment of this Act.