Summary: H.R.6935 — 93rd Congress (1973-1974)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (08/22/1974)

(LATEST SUMMARY)

Veterans Drug and Alcohol Treatment and Rehabilitation Act - Defines "disability" for purposes of hospital, domicilary and medical care for veterans so as to include alcoholism and drug dependence.

Makes veterans with undesirable or bad conduct discharges generally eligible for veterans assistance care and makes such care available to those discharged as conscientious objectors, for refusing to obey a lawful order, for desertion, or on resignation from officer status, which discharge the Administrator determines is a product of any disability incurred during services.

Defines the term "rehabilitative services" so as to include such services as professional counseling, educational and vocational guidance, education, training and job referral and placement and such other intensive, skilled services applied, on an inpatient or out-patient basis, over a protracted period as may be necessary to assist the individual disabled veteran to achieve maximum utilization of his potential and to return, as soon and as completely as practicable, to his or her family and community as a productive, self-respecting, and self-sustaining member of society.

Extends the presumption of service-connected active psychoses to three years and provides that this section shall cover "neuroses" and "personality of character disorders."

Provides for special medical treatments and rehabilitation services for alcoholism, drug dependence, and alcohol and drug abuse disabilities for any veteran regardless of the nature of his discharge.

Directs the Administrator of Veterans Affairs to furnish the most comprehensive treatment and rehabilitative services for such disabilities of a new veteran, regardless of the nature of his discharge or of any determination of service-connected. Provides that the treatment and rehabilitation shall be provided in VA facilities or other Government facilities (Public Health Service or Department of Defense). Provides that when Federal facilities are not available, the Administrator is required to contract with community facilities with special priority, wherever feasible, for community-based multiple modality treatment programs utilizing former addict counselors and stressing outreach efforts to identify and counsel veterans eligible for treatment and rehabilitation under the Act.

Directs the Administrator to use all available resources in an outreach effort aimed at attracting into treatment addicted veterans eligible for treatment and rehabilitation under the Act. Authorizes the Administrator to enter into personal services contracts or employ directly former addict veterans to work as counselors in treatment and rehabilitation programs. Authorizes the Administrator to do so without regard to the classification laws and regulations of the Civil Service.

Establishes an entitlement to the full benefits of the vocational rehabilitation program under chapter 31 of title 38 of the U.S. Code for veterans accepting treatment and rehabilitation under the Act but only for so long as the veteran countinues to receive such treatment and rehabilitation and for up to one year after he is discharged from the rehabilitation program as recovered. Authorizes the Administrator to arrange for training facilities for vocational rehabilitation trainees in all the following ways: by utilizing and extending VA facilities and those of any other Federal or joint Federal-State agency; by contracting with public or private institutions or establishments for additional suitable facilities; and by cooperating with and utilizing other governmental and State employment agencies for job referral and placement.

Provides that each such veteran receive for a maximum of 36 months all necessary counseling, training, and education and a subsistence allowance during the period of treatment and rehabilitation and for up to one year after he is discharged from the rehabilitation program as recovered.

Provides that participation in this program will not affect any other rights and interests of a veteran. Directs that a veteran with less than an honorable discharge who has received treatment and rehabilitation under the Act and who the Administrator finds has been successfully recovered for at least one year after his discharge from the rehabilitation program will be deemed as a matter of law to have been discharged from the Armed Forces under honorable conditions for the purpose of establishing eligibility for all title 38 Veterans Administration benefits.

Requires the Administrator to offer alternative modalities of treatment under this Act to each veteran depending upon his individual needs. Requires that funds for the VA treatment and rehabilitation program for alcoholism, drug dependence, or alcohol or drug abuse disabilities be set forth in a line item in the VA budget estimate.

Provides for the transfer, subject to reimbursement to the VA, to VA hospitals of active military, naval or air servicemen during their tours of duty for treatment pursuant to the Act under terms agreed upon between the Administrator and the Service Secretaries. Requires the Administrator to make periodic progress reports to the appropriate "Service" Secretary on treatment of servicemen transferred to the VA under this Act and to return such servicemen to the appropriate Secretary when the servicemen refuse to cooperate or treatment would otherwise be of not further benefit.