Text: S.674 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (04/09/2013)


113th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 674


To require prompt responses from the heads of covered Federal agencies when the Secretary of Veterans Affairs requests information necessary to adjudicate claims for benefits under laws administered by the Secretary, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

April 9, 2013

Mr. Heller introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs


A BILL

To require prompt responses from the heads of covered Federal agencies when the Secretary of Veterans Affairs requests information necessary to adjudicate claims for benefits under laws administered by the Secretary, 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 “Accountability for Veterans Act of 2013”.

SEC. 2. Requirement for prompt responses from covered agencies when Secretary of Veterans Affairs requests information necessary to adjudicate benefits claims.

(a) Initial requests for information.—Whenever the Secretary of Veterans Affairs submits a request to the head of a covered agency for information that the Secretary determines is necessary to adjudicate a claim for a benefit under a law administered by the Secretary, the head of the covered agency shall, not later than 30 days after receiving the request from the Secretary—

(1) furnish the Secretary with the information requested; or

(2) submit to the Secretary—

(A) an explanation as to why the head is unable to furnish the Secretary with the requested information within 30 days; and

(B) an estimate as to when the head will furnish the Secretary with the requested information.

(b) Continuous resubmittal of requests.—In each case in which the Secretary has submitted or resubmitted under this section a request to the head of a covered agency for information that the Secretary determines is necessary to adjudicate a claim for a benefit under a law administered by the Secretary, has received under this section in response to such request an estimate as to when the head will furnish the Secretary with the requested information, has not received such information on or before the date that is 15 days after the estimated date, and still requires such information to adjudicate the claim, the Secretary shall resubmit such request and the head of the covered agency receiving such request shall, not later than 30 days after receiving the resubmitted request from the Secretary—

(1) furnish the Secretary with the information requested; or

(2) submit to the Secretary—

(A) an explanation as to why the head has been unable to furnish the Secretary with the requested information; and

(B) an estimate as to when the head will furnish the Secretary with the requested information.

(c) Notice to claimants.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Each time the Secretary receives an explanation and a time estimate under subsection (a)(2) or (b)(2) from the head of a covered agency regarding information the Secretary requested to adjudicate a claim of a claimant, the Secretary shall, not later than 45 days after the Secretary submitted or resubmitted the request, notify the claimant—

(A) that the Secretary requires information from the covered agency to adjudicate the claim;

(B) in the case of receiving a time estimate under subsection (a)(2), that the covered agency was unable to furnish the information to the Secretary within 30 days of the request for the information;

(C) in the case of receiving a time estimate under subsection (b)(2), that the covered agency was unable to furnish the information to the Secretary before the previously estimated date; and

(D) of the current estimate of the head of the covered agency of the date by which the head will furnish the Secretary with the information requested.

(2) MANNER.—Notice provided under paragraph (1) shall be made by mail or by electronic means.

(d) Records.—The Secretary shall keep records of the time it takes to receive—

(1) responses from heads of covered agencies under this section; and

(2) the information requested from the heads of covered agencies under this section.

(e) Semiannual reports.—Not less frequently than once every six months, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report that summarizes the records kept under subsection (d) regarding the most recent six-month period.

(f) Covered agency defined.—In this section, the term “covered agency” includes the following:

(1) The Department of Defense.

(2) The Social Security Administration.

(3) The National Archives and Records Administration.


Share This