Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (06/21/2016)

Veteran Engagement Teams Act or the VET Act

(Sec. 2) This bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), beginning not later than October 1, 2016, to carry out a three-year pilot program under which the VA shall carry out Veteran Engagement Team events to assist veterans in completing VA disability and pension claims.

Such events shall be carried out:

  • during the first year, at least once a month within the jurisdiction of each of 10 VA regional offices, including at least 2 regional offices in each of the 5 districts of the Veterans Benefits Administration;
  • during each of the second and third years, at least once a month within the jurisdiction of each of 15 VA regional offices, including at least 3 regional offices in each district;
  • at different locations within each regional office's jurisdiction and at least 50 miles from any regional office;
  • during the sponsoring regional office's normal business hours; and
  • with a sufficient number of physicians (to be available for opinions only), veteran service and rating representatives, and other appropriate claims personnel to initiate, update, and finalize the completion and adjudication of claims.

Amounts shall be paid to a VA employee for event work only from amounts otherwise available for the employee's salary. No additional appropriations are authorized for such payments.

The VA shall: (1) collect and analyze event-satisfaction information from attending veterans, and (2) report annually to Congress on event implementation.

The VA may not permanently transfer any Veterans Health Administration physician to staff an event.

(Sec. 3) The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 is amended to reduce the aggregate amount of awards and bonuses that may be paid by the VA in FY2017.