Summary: H.R.245 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.245. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (01/09/2015)

Describes an "informal claim" for a veterans' benefit as a communication in writing requesting a determination of entitlement or evidencing a belief in entitlement to such benefit that is submitted by a claimant, or an authorized party on the claimant's behalf, in a format other than on an application form submitted by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA). Requires an informal claim to also indicate an intent to apply for an identified benefit.

Requires the Secretary to:

  • provide a claimant who submits an informal claim with an application form on which to submit a formal claim;
  • maintain in the claimant's claim file a dated copy of the letter accompanying that application form; and
  • consider an application to have been filed, for benefit purposes, on the date on which an informal communication relating to such benefit is submitted, unless the claimant fails to file the application form within 180 days after the Secretary provides that form.

Requires an informal request for increasing or reopening a claim to be accepted and treated in the same manner as a formal claim.

Defines a "reasonably raised claim" for a veterans' benefit as evidence of an entitlement to such benefit that is not explicitly raised in a claim but is logically placed at issue upon a sympathetic reading of the claim and the record developed with respect to the claim.

Directs the Secretary to identify, address, and adjudicate reasonably raised claims that are placed at issue in the course of addressing or adjudicating any claim, including evidence relating to entirely separate conditions never identified as part of a formal claim.