S.2091 - 21st Century Veterans Benefits Delivery Act113th Congress (2013-2014)
|Sponsor:||Sen. Heller, Dean [R-NV] (Introduced 03/06/2014)|
|Committees:||Senate - Veterans' Affairs|
|Latest Action:||03/06/2014 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. (All Actions)|
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Summary: S.2091 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)
Introduced in Senate (03/06/2014)
21st Century Veterans Benefits Delivery Act - Revises or adds provisions concerning the submission of veterans' claims for benefits administered through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including by:
- modifying the Transition Assistance Program to enable online participation;
- adding a requirement to encourage claimants to use appropriate forms;
- requiring specified communications to users of the eBenefits website;
- extending through FY2020 VA authority for the retroactive dating of awards upon the filing of fully developed claims;
- requiring claim decisions to explain the benefits of filing claim appeals within 180 days;
- requiring the use of a specified VA form in regional offices for filing notices of disagreement with claim decisions; and
- requiring hearings before the Board of Veterans' Appeals to be conducted, as the Board considers appropriate or, upon request by an appellant, as the appellant considers appropriate, in person or through picture and voice transmission by electronic or other means.
Revises or adds provisions concerning the practices of VA regional offices, including by:
- requiring the Comptroller General to complete an audit of Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) regional offices,
- requiring the VA Secretary to complete a study on service-connected disabilities that worsen with age,
- extending the authority for the performance of medical disability examinations by contract physicians,
- requiring the Secretary to develop and implement a plan to establish a uniform mail processing and scanning system throughout the regional offices,
- requiring the VA Inspector General to conduct a review of the practices of regional offices regarding the use of suspense dates during the disability claim assessment process,
- requiring the Secretary to submit semiannual reports on progress in implementing the Veterans Benefits Management System,
- requiring the Secretary to submit an annual report on VBA capacity to process benefits claims,
- requiring the Secretary to include in each Monday Morning Workload Report the number of claims for benefits that have been received by a regional office and that are pending a decision, and
- requiring the Secretary to make the VA reports entitled "Appeals Pending" and "Appeals Workload By Station" available to the public on a VA website.
Requires the Secretary of Defense (DOD), the Commissioner of Social Security, and the Archivist of the United States to appoint individuals to act as liaisons with the VA to expedite the timely provision to the VA Secretary of information required to process veterans benefits claims.
Requires the DOD and VA Secretaries to jointly submit a report that sets forth a time line with milestones for achieving interoperability between DOD's and VA's electronic health records systems.