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Titles (2)

Short Titles

Short Titles - Senate

Short Titles as Introduced

Veterans' Administration Adjudication Procedure and Judicial Review Act

Official Titles

Official Titles - Senate

Official Titles as Introduced

A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to establish certain procedures for the adjudication of claims for benefits under laws administered by the Veterans' Administration; to apply the provisions of section 553 of title 5, United States Code, to rulemaking procedures of the Veterans Administration; to provide for judicial review of certain final decisions of the Administrator of Veterans' affairs; to provide for the payment of reasonable fees to attorneys for rendering legal representation to individuals claiming benefits under laws administered by the Veterans' Administration; and for other purposes

Actions Overview (3)

07/30/1985Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate without amendment by Voice Vote.
07/08/1985Committee on Veterans. Reported to Senate by Senator Murkowski without amendment. With written report No. 99-100.
01/31/1985Introduced in Senate

All Actions (7)

Date Chamber
07/31/1985HouseReferred to House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
07/30/1985SenatePassed Senate without amendment by Voice Vote.
07/08/1985SenatePlaced on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 219.
07/08/1985SenateCommittee on Veterans. Reported to Senate by Senator Murkowski without amendment. With written report No. 99-100.
Action By: Committee on Veterans' Affairs
06/12/1985SenateCommittee on Veterans. Ordered to be reported without amendment favorably.
Action By: Committee on Veterans' Affairs
02/04/1985SenateCommittee on Veterans requested executive comment from VA, OMB.
Action By: Committee on Veterans' Affairs
01/31/1985SenateRead twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans.

Cosponsors (38)

* = Original cosponsor
CosponsorDate Cosponsored
Sen. Cranston, Alan [D-CA]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Murkowski, Frank H. [R-AK]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Simpson, Alan K. [R-WY]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Matsunaga, Spark M. [D-HI]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Hollings, Ernest F. [D-SC]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Specter, Arlen [R-PA]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Sasser, Jim [D-TN]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Andrews, Mark [R-ND]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Levin, Carl [D-MI]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Cohen, William S. [R-ME]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Chiles, Lawton [D-FL]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Stafford, Robert T. [R-VT]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Biden, Joseph R., Jr. [D-DE]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Domenici, Pete V. [R-NM]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Leahy, Patrick J. [D-VT]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Durenberger, Dave [R-MN]* 01/31/1985
Sen. DeConcini, Dennis [D-AZ]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Kennedy, Edward M. [D-MA]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Sarbanes, Paul S. [D-MD]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Riegle, Donald W., Jr. [D-MI]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Melcher, John [D-MT]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Pell, Claiborne [D-RI]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Johnston, J. Bennett [D-LA]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Burdick, Quentin N. [D-ND]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Mitchell, George J. [D-ME]* 01/31/1985
Sen. Wilson, Pete [R-CA] 02/05/1985
Sen. Bumpers, Dale [D-AR] 02/05/1985
Sen. Exon, J. James [D-NE] 02/05/1985
Sen. Simon, Paul [D-IL] 02/19/1985
Sen. Bingaman, Jeff [D-NM] 02/19/1985
Sen. Denton, Jeremiah [R-AL] 02/19/1985
Sen. Kerry, John F. [D-MA] 02/19/1985
Sen. Hawkins, Paula [R-FL] 03/07/1985
Sen. Glenn, John H., Jr. [D-OH] 03/07/1985
Sen. Pressler, Larry [R-SD] 03/07/1985
Sen. Gore, Albert, Jr. [D-TN] 03/26/1985
Sen. Rockefeller, John D., IV [D-WV] 06/27/1985
Sen. Heinz, John [R-PA] 07/19/1985

Committees (2)

Committees, subcommittees and links to reports associated with this bill are listed here, as well as the nature and date of committee activity and Congressional report number.

Committee / Subcommittee Date Activity Reports
Senate Veterans' Affairs01/31/1985 Referred to
06/12/1985 Markup by
07/08/1985 Reported by S.Rept 99-100
House Veterans' Affairs07/31/1985 Referred to

No related bill information was received for S.367.

Latest Summary (1)

There is one summary for S.367. View summaries

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (01/31/1985)

Veterans' Administration Adjudication Procedure and Judicial Review Act - Title I: Adjudication Procedures - Codifies, for Veterans Administration (VA) adjudication purposes, the burden of proof and reasonable doubt standards currently provided for by VA regulation. States that a claimant has the burden of submitting sufficient evidence to justify his or her claim, and that if an approximate balance of positive and negative evidence exists regarding the merits of a claim, the VA is to resolve such doubt in favor of the claimant.

States that VA subpoenas may be served either by personal delivery or by registered or certified mail.

Requires the chairman of the Board of Veterans' Appeals to submit an annual report to the appropriate congressional committees concerning the Board's current handling of cases and projections for the subsequent fiscal year.

Requires the Board to: (1) provide notice to a claimant and an opportunity for a hearing before a decision may be based on "additional official information" received after a Board decision has previously been made; and (2) make its decision exclusively on evidence and material of record in the proceeding.

Removes the requirement that new material sufficient to allow the Board to reopen a previously disallowed claim be in the form of official reports.

Provides that the Board's discretionary authority to reopen a claim will not be diminished by a judicial decision following an appeal as provided for by this Act.

Requires the Board to mail to the claimant notice of its decision and the reasons for such decision.

Provides that, upon the request of a claimant, the Board shall provide an independent advisory medical opinion when there exists substantial medical disagreement with respect to a material issue in a veteran's appeal.

Sets forth new procedural rules for adjudication hearings regarding: (1) oaths, affirmations, and witness examination; (2) admissibility of evidence; (3) procedural rights of claimants; (4) disqualification of a hearing officer; (5) the record of the proceedings and the claimant's right to examine and obtain a copy of such record; and (6) the exclusiveness of veterans' adjudication procedures and rights prescribed by the Administrator.

Requires the Administrator to provide at each stage of the appeal proceedings written notice to a claimant of the claimant's procedural rights.

Authorizes the Administrator to conduct a study of two alternative claims resolution methods: one a new intermediate-level adjudication process; the other an enhanced schedule of formal Appeals Board hearings. Directs the Administrator to report to the Congress on such studies.

Title II: Veterans Administration Rule Making - Includes the VA's rulemaking procedures under the relevant provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Title III: Judicial Review - Provides for judicial review of VA decisions in the Federal court system.

States with regard to jurisdiction: (1) the definition of final decision; (2) that judicial review of a final decision in a claim for benefits may be obtained in a civil action brought within 180 days of the Board's mailing of notice of its decision, and that such action shall be brought in Federal district court; (3) that the VA shall file the various materials constituting the record in a case together with its answer to the claimant's complaint; (4) that the court may render a decision on the pleadings; and (5) that the judicial review procedures established under this Act shall not apply to insurance and home loans.

States, with regard to the reviewing court's scope of review, that such court: (1) shall decide questions of law and interpret constitutional, statutory, and regulatory provisions, but that questions of fact (unless unsupported by substantial evidence) will not be subject to a trial de novo; and (2) in reviewing a final decision of the VA which is adverse to a party solely because such party failed to comply with VA procedures, may only review questions concerning such procedures.

Sets out provisions regarding remand, survival of actions, and appellate review.

Title IV: Attorneys' Fees - Authorizes the Administrator to allow attorneys' fees above the present $10 maximum if the appealing party's claim is allowed by the VA after an initial denial. States that such fee shall be the lesser of: (1) the fee agreed upon by the party and attorney; (2) $500, unless the Administrator approves a greater amount; or (3) if the party and attorney have entered into a contingent-fee agreement, not more than 25 percent of the total of any past-due benefits awarded on the basis of such party's claim.

Provides for the approval of attorneys' fees in successful veterans' claims brought before a court as provided for under this Act. States that such fees shall be determined by such court, and in contingent-fee agreements such fees shall not exceed 25 percent of the total of any past-due benefits awarded on the basis of such claim. Authorizes attorneys' fees of up to $750 in certain unsuccessful veterans' claims.

Prohibits the VA from authorizing payment to a claimant's attorney based on past-due benefits unless such benefits are owed as of the date of the VA's or a court's award.

States that such provisions regarding attorneys' fees shall only apply to claims for benefits under the laws administered by the VA and shall not apply in cases in which the VA is the plaintiff or in which other attorneys' fees statutes are otherwise controlling.

Title V: Effective Dates - Sets forth the effective dates for this Act.