There is one summary for H.R.6416. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (12/01/2016)

Jeff Miller and Richard Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2016

TITLE I--DISABILITY COMPENSATION MATTERS

This bill revises specified Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation provisions, including provisions concerning: (1) payment of survivors benefits, (2) review of claims processing performance by regional offices of the Veterans Benefits Administration, (3) staffing levels at VA regional offices under the National Work Queue, (4) a report on the VA's progress in implementing the Veterans Benefits Management System, (5) contract physicians, and (6) traumatic brain injury assessments.

TITLE II--UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS

The bill extends the temporary expansion of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims until January 1, 2021.

TITLE III--BURIAL BENEFITS AND OTHER MATTERS

The bill: (1) authorizes the VA to furnish a headstone or marker, or a medallion or other device to be attached to a headstone or marker furnished at private expense to signify an individual's veteran status, including status as a medal of honor recipient, to a deceased individual who served in the Armed Forces on or after April 6, 1917, and who is eligible for a headstone or marker or who would be eligible but for his or her date of death; and (2) requires studies on interring unclaimed remains of veterans in national cemeteries and on providing increased interments in veterans' cemeteries on Saturdays and Sundays.

TITLE IV--EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE AND VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 is amended to deem any member of the Armed Forces who died between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2005, to have died on January 1, 2006, in order to make that member's surviving spouse eligible for the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry scholarship.

The VA may prioritize vocational rehabilitation services based upon need.

The bill: (1) revises the Post-9/11 education assistance program, and (2) extends the period for certain qualifying work-study activities.

Specified education programs are deemed to be approved for veterans' education benefit purposes if a state approving agency determines that they qualify.

Licensure or certification program requirements necessary for VA approval are revised.

The VA shall contract with a non-government entity to conduct a survey of individuals who have used or are using their VA educational benefits.

The authorities under which a Reservist may regain lost payments and lost entitlement for educational programs when ordered to active duty shall include disaster service and service for a pre-planned mission in support of a combatant command.

TITLE V--SMALL BUSINESS AND EMPLOYMENT MATTERS

The bill revises ownership requirements for VA small business contracts and preferences.

Each state director for veterans' employment and training shall coordinate activities with the state departments of labor and veterans affairs.

TITLE VI--HEALTH CARE MATTERS

The bill revises specified VA health care provisions, including provisions concerning: (1) advance funding for the Medical Community Care account, (2) access to adult immunizations, (3) priority access for medal of honor recipients, (4) mental health care for veterans who served in classified missions, (5) examination and treatment for emergency medical treatment and women in labor, and (6) VA physicians and graduate medical residency positions.

The VA may carry out major medical facility projects in Reno, Nevada, and Long Beach, California.

The VA shall seek to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Medicine for an assessment of scientific research relating to the descendants of individuals with toxic exposure to a hazardous agent.

TITLE VII--HOMELESSNESS MATTERS

The bill expands the definition of "homeless veteran" for purposes of VA benefits.

The VA shall: (1) establish and operate the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, (2) assess comprehensive service programs for homeless veterans, and (3) provide case management services to improve the housing retention by veterans who were previously homeless and are transitioning to permanent housing and by veterans who are at risk of becoming homeless.

The bill eliminates the minimum continuous active duty service requirement for homeless veterans to receive certain VA benefits.

TITLE VIII--OTHER MATTERS

The bill requires the VA to: (1) use industry standards, standard designs, and best practices in carrying out medical facility construction; (2) provide for external forensic audits of certain medical facility construction projects; and (3) provide quarterly reports on super construction projects.