Summary: H.R.1954 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.1954. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (04/05/2017)

Servicemembers and Veterans Empowerment and Support Act of 2017

This bill expands Department of Defense (DOD) sexual trauma counseling and treatment to include: (1) cyber harassment of a sexual nature, and (2) members of the Armed Forces on active duty for training or inactive duty training.

The bill sets forth the standard of proof, which may be rebutted, in the case of a veteran who claims that a covered mental health condition was incurred in or aggravated by military sexual trauma during active service. The reasons for granting or denying service-connection in each case shall be recorded in full.

DOD shall ensure that: (1) in a compensation claim for post-traumatic stress disorder based on sexual assault, battery, cyber harassment, or harassment experienced during active military service, non-DOD evidence may corroborate the veteran's account of such assault, battery, or harassment; and (2) behavior changes may be considered as corroborating evidence.

DOD shall: (1) report annually through 2027 on submitted claims to identify and track the consistency of decisions across regional offices, (2) inform members of the Armed Forces of their eligibility for services at Vet Centers, and (3) ensure that Sexual Assault Response Coordinators advise members of the Armed Forces who report instances of military sexual trauma about their eligibility for Vet Center services.