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111th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     111-630

======================================================================



 
     VETERANS BENEFITS AND ECONOMIC WELFARE IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2010

                                _______
                                

 September 28, 2010.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Filner, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 6132]

  The Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 6132) to amend title 38, United States Code, to 
establish a transition program for new veterans, to improve the 
disability claim system, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommends that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     5
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     5
Hearings.........................................................    11
Committee Consideration..........................................    13
Committee Votes..................................................    13
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................    13
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............    13
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures    13
Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits.............................    13
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................    13
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................    13
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................    14
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................    14
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................    14
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................    14
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................    14
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............    16

  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Veterans Benefits 
and Economic Welfare Improvement Act of 2010''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Military transition program.
Sec. 3. Waiver of claim development period for claims under laws 
administered by Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 4. Tolling of timing of review for appeals of final decisions of 
Board of Veterans' Appeals.
Sec. 5. Exclusion of certain amounts from determination of annual 
income with respect to pensions for veterans and surviving spouses and 
children of veterans.
Sec. 6. Extension of authority of Secretary of Veterans Affairs to 
obtain certain income information from other agencies.
Sec. 7. VetStar Award program.
Sec. 8. Increase in amount of pension for Medal of Honor recipients.
Sec. 9. Conditions for treatment of certain persons as adjudicated 
mentally incompetent.

SEC. 2. MILITARY TRANSITION PROGRAM.

  (a) In General.--Chapter 41 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by inserting after section 4114 the following new section:

``Sec. 4115. Military transition program

  ``(a) Establishment; Eligibility.--(1) Subject to the availability of 
appropriations for such purpose, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and 
the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training 
shall jointly carry out a program of training to provide eligible 
veterans with skills relevant to the job market.
  ``(2) For purposes of this section, the term `eligible veteran' means 
any veteran whom the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines--
          ``(A) is not otherwise eligible for education or training 
        services under this title;
          ``(B) has not acquired a marketable skill since being 
        separated or released from service in the Armed Forces;
          ``(C) was discharged under honorable conditions; and
          ``(D)(i) has been unemployed for at least 90 days during the 
        180-day period preceding the date of application for the 
        program established under this section; or
          ``(ii) during such 180-day period received a maximum hourly 
        rate of pay of not more than 150 percent of the Federal minimum 
        wage.
  ``(b) Apprenticeship or On-the-job Training Program.--The program 
established under this section shall provide for payments to employers 
who provide for eligible veterans a program of apprenticeship or on-
the-job training if--
          ``(1) such program is approved as provided in paragraph (1) 
        or (2) of section 3687(a) of this title;
          ``(2) the rate of pay for veterans participating in the 
        program is not less than the rate of pay for nonveterans in 
        similar jobs; and
          ``(3) the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' 
        Employment and Training reasonably expects that--
                  ``(A) the veteran will be qualified for employment in 
                that field upon completion of training; and
                  ``(B) the employer providing the program will 
                continue to employ the veteran at the completion of 
                training.
  ``(c) Payments to Employers.--(1) Subject to the availability of 
appropriations for such purpose, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for 
Veterans' Employment and Training shall enter into contracts with 
employers to provide programs of apprenticeship or on-the-job training 
that meet the requirements of this section. Each such contract shall 
provide for the payment of the amounts described in paragraph (2) to 
employers whose programs meet such requirements.
  ``(2) The amount paid under this section with respect to any eligible 
veteran for any period shall be 50 percent of the wages paid by the 
employer to such veteran for such period. Wages shall be calculated on 
an hourly basis.
  ``(3)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B)--
          ``(i) the amount paid under this section with respect to a 
        veteran participating in the program established under this 
        section may not exceed $20,000 in the aggregate or $1,666.67 
        per month; and
          ``(ii) such payments may only be made during the first 12 
        months of such veteran's participation in the program.
  ``(B) In the case of a veteran participating in the program on a less 
than full-time basis, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' 
Employment and Training may extend the number of months of payments 
under subparagraph (A) and proportionally adjust the amount of such 
payments, but the aggregate amount paid with respect to such veteran 
may not exceed $20,000 and the maximum number of months of such 
payments may not exceed 24 months.
  ``(4) Payments under this section shall be made on a quarterly basis.
  ``(5) Each employer providing a program of apprenticeship or on-the-
job training pursuant to this section shall submit to the Assistant 
Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training on a quarterly 
basis a report certifying the wages paid to eligible veterans under 
such program (which shall be certified by the veteran as being correct) 
and containing such other information as the Assistant Secretary may 
specify. Such report shall be submitted in the form and manner required 
by the Assistant Secretary.
  ``(d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section $10,000,000 for each fiscal year 
for which the program is carried out.
  ``(e) Reporting.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in coordination 
with the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and 
Training, shall include a description of activities carried out under 
this section in the annual report prepared submitted under section 529 
of this title.
  ``(f) Termination.--The authority to carry out a program under this 
section shall terminate on September 30, 2016.''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 
4114 the following new item:

``4115. Military transition program.''.

  (c) Conforming Amendments.--(1) Subsection (a)(1) of section 3034 of 
such title is amended by striking ``and 3687'' and inserting ``3687, 
and 4115''.
  (2) Subsections (a)(1) and (c) of section 3241 of such title are each 
amended by striking ``section 3687'' and inserting ``sections 3687 and 
4115''.
  (3) Subsection (d)(1) of section 3672 of such title is amended by 
striking ``and 3687'' and inserting ``, 3687, and 4115''.
  (4) Paragraph (3) of section 4102A(b) of such title is amended by 
striking ``section 3687'' and inserting ``section 3687 or 4115''.
  (d) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall take 
effect on the date that is one year after the date of the enactment of 
this Act.

SEC. 3. WAIVER OF CLAIM DEVELOPMENT PERIOD FOR CLAIMS UNDER LAWS 
                    ADMINISTERED BY SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

  (a) In General.--Section 5101 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
  ``(d)(1) If a claimant submits to the Secretary a claim that the 
Secretary determines is a fully developed claim, the Secretary shall 
provide--
          ``(A) the claimant with the opportunity to waive any claim 
        development period otherwise made available by the Secretary 
        with respect to such claim; and
          ``(B) expeditious treatment to such claim.
  ``(2) If a person submits to the Secretary any written notification 
sufficient to inform the Secretary that the person plans to submit a 
fully developed claim and, not later than one year after submitting 
such notification submits to the Secretary a claim that the Secretary 
determines is a fully developed claim, the Secretary shall provide 
expeditious treatment to the claim.
  ``(3) If the Secretary determines that a claim submitted by a 
claimant as a fully developed claim is not fully developed, the 
Secretary shall provide such claimant with the notice described in 
section 5103(a) within 30 days after the Secretary makes such 
determination.
  ``(4) For purposes of this section:
          ``(A) The term `fully developed claim' means a claim--
                  ``(i) for which the claimant--
                          ``(I) received assistance from a veterans 
                        service officer, a State or county veterans 
                        service organization, an agent, or an attorney; 
                        or
                          ``(II) submits, together with the claim, an 
                        appropriate indication that the claimant does 
                        not intend to submit any additional information 
                        or evidence in support of the claim and does 
                        not require additional assistance with respect 
                        to the claim; and
                  ``(ii) for which the claimant or the claimant's 
                representative, if any, each signs, dates, and submits 
                a certification in writing stating that, as of such 
                date, no additional information or evidence is 
                available or needs to be submitted in order for the 
                claim to be adjudicated.
          ``(B) The term `expeditious treatment' means, with respect to 
        a claim for benefits under the laws administered by the 
        Secretary, treatment of such claim so that the claim is fully 
        processed and adjudicated within 90 days after the Secretary 
        receives an application for such claim.''.
  (b) Appeals Form Availability.--Subsection (b) of section 5104 of 
such title is amended--
          (1) by striking ``and (2)'' and inserting ``(2)''; and
          (2) by inserting before the period at the end the following: 
        ``, and (3) any form or application required by the Secretary 
        to appeal such decision''.
  (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall apply 
with respect to claims submitted on or after the date of the enactment 
of this Act.

SEC. 4. TOLLING OF TIMING OF REVIEW FOR APPEALS OF FINAL DECISIONS OF 
                    BOARD OF VETERANS' APPEALS.

  (a) In General.--Section 7266(a) of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended--
          (1) by striking ``In order'' and inserting ``(1) Except as 
        provided in paragraph (2), in order''; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
  ``(2)(A) The 120-day period described in paragraph (1) shall be 
extended upon a showing of good cause for such time as justice may 
require.
  ``(B) For purposes of this paragraph, it shall be considered good 
cause if a person was unable to file a notice of appeal within the 120-
day period because of the person's service-connected disability.''.
  (b) Applicability.--
          (1) In general.--Paragraph (2) of section 7266(a) of such 
        title, as added by subsection (a), shall apply to a notice of 
        appeal filed with respect to a final decision of the Board of 
        Veterans' Appeals that was issued on or after July 24, 2008.
          (2) Reinstatement.--Any petition for review filed with the 
        Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims that was dismissed by such 
        Court on or after July 24, 2008, as untimely, shall, upon the 
        filing of a petition by an adversely affected person filed not 
        later than six months after the date of the enactment of this 
        Act, be reinstated upon a showing that the petitioner had good 
        cause for filing the petition on the date it was filed.

SEC. 5. EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN AMOUNTS FROM DETERMINATION OF ANNUAL 
                    INCOME WITH RESPECT TO PENSIONS FOR VETERANS AND 
                    SURVIVING SPOUSES AND CHILDREN OF VETERANS.

  (a) Certain Amounts Paid for Reimbursements and for Pain and 
Suffering.--Paragraph (5) of section 1503(a) of title 38, United States 
Code, is amended to read as follows:
          ``(5) payments regarding--
                  ``(A) reimbursements of any kind (including insurance 
                settlement payments) for--
                          ``(i) expenses related to the repayment, 
                        replacement, or repair of equipment, vehicles, 
                        items, money, or property resulting from--
                                  ``(I) any accident (as defined in 
                                regulations which the Secretary shall 
                                prescribe), but the amount excluded 
                                under this subclause shall not exceed 
                                the greater of the fair market value or 
                                reasonable replacement value of the 
                                equipment or vehicle involved at the 
                                time immediately preceding the 
                                accident;
                                  ``(II) any theft or loss (as defined 
                                in regulations which the Secretary 
                                shall prescribe), but the amount 
                                excluded under this subclause shall not 
                                exceed the greater of the fair market 
                                value or reasonable replacement value 
                                of the item or the amount of the money 
                                (including legal tender of the United 
                                States or of a foreign country) 
                                involved at the time immediately 
                                preceding the theft or loss; or
                                  ``(III) any casualty loss (as defined 
                                in regulations which the Secretary 
                                shall prescribe), but the amount 
                                excluded under this subclause shall not 
                                exceed the greater of the fair market 
                                value or reasonable replacement value 
                                of the property involved at the time 
                                immediately preceding the casualty 
                                loss; and
                          ``(ii) medical expenses resulting from any 
                        accident, theft, loss, or casualty loss (as 
                        defined in regulations which the Secretary 
                        shall prescribe), but the amount excluded under 
                        this clause shall not exceed the costs of 
                        medical care provided to the victim of the 
                        accident, theft, loss, or casualty loss; and
                  ``(B) pain and suffering (including insurance 
                settlement payments and general damages awarded by a 
                court) related to an accident, theft, loss, or casualty 
                loss, but the amount excluded under this subparagraph 
                shall not exceed an amount determined by the Secretary 
                on a case-by-case basis;''.
  (b) Certain Amounts Paid by States and Municipalities as Veterans 
Benefits.--Section 1503(a) of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended--
          (1) by striking ``and'' at the end of paragraph (10);
          (2) by redesignating paragraph (11) as paragraph (12); and
          (3) by inserting after paragraph (10) the following new 
        paragraph (11):
          ``(11) payment of a monetary amount of up to $5,000 to a 
        veteran from a State or municipality that is paid as a 
        veterans' benefit due to injury or disease; and''.
  (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) 
shall apply with respect to determinations of income for calendar years 
beginning after October 1, 2011.

SEC. 6. EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY OF SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO 
                    OBTAIN CERTAIN INCOME INFORMATION FROM OTHER 
                    AGENCIES.

  Section 5317 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by striking 
``September 30, 2011'' and inserting ``September 30, 2015''.

SEC. 7. VETSTAR AWARD PROGRAM.

  (a) Establishment.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall establish 
an award program, to be known as the ``VetStar Award Program'', to 
annually recognize businesses for their contributions to veterans' 
employment.
  (b) Administration.--The Secretary shall establish a process for the 
administration of the award program, including criteria for--
          (1) categories and sectors of businesses eligible for 
        recognition each year; and
          (2) objective measures to be used in selecting businesses to 
        receive the award.
  (c) Veteran Defined.-- In this section, the term ``veteran'' has the 
meaning given that term in section 101(2) of title 38, United States 
Code.

SEC. 8. INCREASE IN AMOUNT OF PENSION FOR MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS.

  Section 1562(a) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by 
striking ``$1,000'' and inserting ``$2,000''.

SEC. 9. CONDITIONS FOR TREATMENT OF CERTAIN PERSONS AS ADJUDICATED 
                    MENTALLY INCOMPETENT.

  (a) In General.--Chapter 55 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``Sec. 5511. Conditions for treatment of certain persons as adjudicated 
                    mentally incompetent

  ``In any case arising out of the administration by the Secretary of 
laws and benefits under this title, a person who is mentally 
incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended 
loss of consciousness shall not be considered adjudicated as a mental 
defective for any purpose without the order or finding of a judge, 
magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that 
such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 55 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following 
new item:

``5511. Conditions for treatment of certain persons as adjudicated 
mentally incompetent.''.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 6132 was introduced on September 15, 2010, by 
Representative Filner of California, Chairman of the Committee 
on Veterans' Affairs. H.R. 6132, the Veterans Benefits and 
Economic Welfare Improvement Act of 2010, includes a number of 
provisions drawn from H.R. 929, H.R. 4541, H.R. 5064, H.R. 
5484, and H.R. 5549 considered by the Committee.

                  Background and Need for Legislation


Military transition program

    During the 110th Congress, Representative Peter Welch of 
Vermont introduced H.R. 6272 to reauthorize the Service Members 
Occupational Conversion and Training Act (SMOCTA). First 
implemented during the force reductions of the 1990s, this 
popular program successfully provided veterans with employment 
and training assistance after separating from the military. The 
program was designed to reimburse employers to offset the cost 
of training recently separated servicemembers to help them 
transition into permanent positions. H.R. 6272 was incorporated 
into H.R. 6221 which passed the House of Representatives on 
July 31, 2008. The Senate took no further action on the bill.
    Section 2 is derived from a measure introduced in the 111th 
Congress by Representative Welch and Representative John 
Boozman of Arkansas. The bill, H.R. 929, the Military 
Transition Program, is similar to SMOCTA but provides 
employment and training assistance to a broader spectrum of 
returning military personnel in a five-year pilot program. The 
program will be administered through a partnership between the 
Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Veterans 
Affairs (VA).

Waiver of claim development period for claims under laws administered 
        by Secretary of VA

    Section 3 is derived from H.R. 5549, the Rating and 
Processing Individuals' Claims Act or RAPID Claims Act, which 
was introduced on June 17, 2010, by Representative Joe Donnelly 
of Indiana. This section would codify expedited procedures for 
the consideration of fully developed claims for disability 
compensation and to adopt procedures aimed at clarifying the 
appeals process for disability claims.
    This section would codify VA's recently implemented Fully 
Developed Claims (FDC) program, in order to ensure that the 
Secretary of VA will waive the development period and will 
provide expedited treatment for such claims as outlined under 
section 221 of the Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2008, 
P.L. 110-389 (122 Stat. 4145). It also would require an 
informal placeholder claim to allow a veteran who intends to 
file a fully developed claim to mark the effective date as it 
is done for other claims. Finally, it would require the 
Secretary to provide notice within 30 days to those veterans 
filing fully developed claims in the instance that the 
Secretary determines that the claim is not fully developed as 
prescribed under section 5103 of title 38, United States Code. 
This section would also require that an appeals form be 
included with any decision by VA denying a requested benefit.
    The Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 which 
included the FDC pilot program, allows veterans filing fully 
developed claims for compensation benefits to waive the lengthy 
development period and receive expedited consideration. FDC was 
originally a one-year pilot program conducted at ten VA 
Regional Offices. Due to its success, the VA recently announced 
that it would implement the program nationwide. However, a few 
stakeholders raised concerns about whether the FDC program 
properly protects the effective date of veterans who file their 
claim under this program. This section seeks to protect a 
veteran's effective date for disability compensation benefits 
by allowing the filing of an informal claim before the FDC is 
formally filed. It also would ensure that a veteran who 
mistakenly files an unsubstantiated claim under the FDC program 
is given fair notice on what further evidence is needed 
consistent with section 5103(a) of title 38.
    When participating in the normal claims process, a veteran 
can submit a claim at any time--marking the claim's effective 
date. At that point the veteran still has up to one year to 
gather evidence. Understandably, some veterans will submit 
claims through the FDC process that VA will decide do not 
qualify for the program for a number of reasons, including 
missing evidence. If VA determines that a claim submitted 
through FDC is ineligible, VA can potentially fail to notify 
the veteran of what is needed to substantiate the claim. 
Instead, VA may process the claim prematurely without the 
necessary information.
    As many stakeholders have acknowledged during related 
hearings held in the 111th Congress, premature processing would 
likely cause more appeals and longer processing periods for 
veterans. This section would modify the FDC process to require 
VA to notify and assist the veteran to help substantiate such 
claims with a checklist.
    Finally, this section also has a provision targeted at 
easing the appeals process. If a veteran wishes to appeal after 
receiving a denial from VA under Section 5104 of title 38, 
United States Code, the VA will usually wait for the veteran to 
exercise the right to appeal and then may send out the 
appropriate form. This section would require that the VA 
Appeals form be included with any notice of decision issued by 
VA. The Committee finds that this requirement is not 
inconsistent with current law and reinforces notice 
requirements under section 5103(a) of title 38, United States 
Code.
    Unfortunately, VA's formal position was not provided at the 
July 1, 2010 legislative hearing and the Committee is still 
awaiting promised input.

Tolling of timing of review for appeals of final decisions of Board of 
        Veterans' Appeals

    This section is derived from H.R. 5064, the Fair Access to 
Veterans Benefits Act of 2010, which was introduced by 
Representative John H. Adler of New Jersey on April 16, 2010. 
This section would extend the 120-day limit for the filing of 
an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims 
(CAVC) after a final decision of the Board of Veterans' Appeals 
(Board) upon a showing of good cause for such time as justice 
may require. This section considers as good cause the inability 
of a person to file within the 120-day period due to a service-
connected disability. This section would make such extension 
applicable to appeals of final Board decisions issued on or 
after July 24, 2008. This section also requires the CAVC to 
reinstate untimely appeals already dismissed as a result of the 
court's failure to toll the filing period for good cause.
    Under the current system, the disability claims appeals 
process can be very difficult to navigate, especially since the 
majority of veterans are pro se at the beginning of this 
process. Additionally, as TBI and PTSD have been identified as 
the signature disability of the current conflicts, many 
veterans may be filing claims and appeals while suffering from 
a physical or mental disability related to these injuries. The 
imposition of rigid filing deadlines by the CAVC potentially 
has resulted in the improper denial of benefits for many 
veterans. This section seeks to rectify this issue by allowing 
the veteran to show ``good cause'' for missing the filing 
deadline if related to the veteran's service-connected 
disability. This process is also known as ``equitable tolling'' 
and the bill is in response to a decision rendered in Henderson 
v. Shinseki. See, Henderson v. Shinseki, 589 F. 3d 1201 (2009).
    Veteran service organizations wholeheartedly support this 
section. VA offered an alternative position that would permit 
the CAVC to extend the appeal period for up to an additional 
120 days from the expiration of the original 120-day appeal 
period upon a showing of good cause, provided that the 
appellant files a motion requesting extension within 120 days 
of expiration of the original 120-day period. VA claims this 
approach would eliminate the harsh results in extreme 
circumstances, while not unduly undermining the finality of 
Board decisions. The Committee believes that the Section as 
adopted by the Committee offers a better solution than that 
proposed by VA to restore the equity Congress intended before 
the recent ruling of the CAVC in Henderson v. Shinseki, 589 F. 
3d 1201 (2009). In Henderson, the Court of Appeals for Federal 
Circuit held that courts are prohibited from extending the 120-
day filing period for equitable tolling purposes as the 
timeline was delineated in statute by Congress and as such, 
must be strictly interpreted.

Exclusion of certain amounts from determination of annual income with 
        respect to pensions for veterans and surviving spouses and 
        children of veterans

    Elements of section 5 are derived from H.R. 4541, the 
Veterans Pension Protection Act of 2010, which was introduced 
by Representative Alcee L. Hastings of Florida on January 27, 
2010. This section would prevent the offset of pension benefits 
for veterans, surviving spouses and children of veterans due to 
the receipt of payments to reimburse expenses incurred after an 
accident, theft, loss, or casualty loss, related medical 
expenses or pain and suffering.
    Other elements of this section are derived from H.R. 3485, 
the Veterans Pension Protection Act of 2010, which was 
introduced by Representative Brian Higgins of New York on July 
31, 2009. This language would preclude the offset of the 
pension benefits up to $5,000 for income derived from the 
receipt of state or municipal payments awarded to veterans 
because of disability.
    Assessing a veteran's eligibility for a pension, the VA 
considers a variety of sources to determine a veteran's annual 
income. If such income exceeds the income limit set in law, the 
veteran may not qualify for a pension or may have the benefit 
reduced or lose it altogether in order to offset receipt of any 
additional ``income.'' Currently, reimbursements of expenses 
related to any type of casualty loss are exempt from income 
determinations. However, all other loss payments, such as those 
related to pain and suffering, are counted as income.
    If a veteran is seriously injured in an accident or the 
victim of a theft and receives insurance compensation to cover 
his or her medical expenses, the cost of replacement of the 
stolen items, or for pain and suffering, will likely result in 
a reduction of the pension benefit until fully offset dollar 
for dollar. This indicates that the law effectively punishes 
veterans when they suffer from an accident or theft and receive 
payments to be made ``whole'' again. Subsection (b) of this 
section would preclude the offset of these benefits up to 
$5,000 for income derived from the receipt of state or 
municipal benefits awarded to veterans because of disability. 
This section would ensure that pensions are issued to veterans 
who legitimately meet the income criteria and rely on such 
benefits to meet their living needs, without improper 
offsetting. The Committee does not consider the receipt of 
payments for reimbursable losses, medical expenses, pain and 
suffering awards or for monetary benefits received from States 
or municipalities to be considered income.

Extension of authority of Secretary of VA to obtain certain income 
        information from other agencies

    This section extends the authority of the Secretary of VA 
outlined under section 5317 of title 38, United States Code, to 
verify income information with other Federal agencies from 
September 30, 2011, to September 30, 2015. Section 6103 (I) (7) 
of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 requires the Secretary of 
the Treasury and the Commissioner of Social Security to 
disclose income verification information to VA for the purposes 
of administering its programs, including the VA pension 
program. Income verification also results in savings in 
mandatory and discretionary spending.
    Section 5317 of title 38, United States Code, is the 
controlling authority for VA's use of this information. VA's 
authority to obtain and use this information will expire on 
September 30, 2011. Section 6 would extend VA's income 
verification authority under section 5317 of title 38 until 
September 30, 2015.

VetStar Award program

    In the 111th Congress, the Subcommittee on Economic 
Opportunity conducted several hearings on the issues of 
employment and small business opportunities for military 
veterans. It was during the second half of the 111th Congress 
that the Subcommittee received feedback from veteran 
stakeholders concerned about the higher rate of unemployment 
among veterans when compared to their civilian counterparts, 
and the challenges faced by the small business community.
    A March 12, 2010, publication of the U.S. Bureau of Labor 
Statistics stated that the ``unemployment rate for veterans who 
served in the military since September 2001--a group referred 
to as Gulf War-era II veterans--was 10.2 percent in 2009, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The jobless 
rate for veterans of all eras combined was 8.1 percent. About 
21 percent of Gulf War-era II veterans reported having a 
service-connected disability in August 2009, compared with 
about 13 percent of all veterans.''
    This section would create an incentive for businesses to 
hire more veterans by directing the VA to develop a low-cost 
annual awards program to recognize businesses who hire 
veterans. The certificate of recognition, to be displayed by 
business owners, aims to help businesses build a strong 
reputation in the veteran community and increase business if 
they make strong efforts to work with and employ members of the 
veteran's community. The program requirements and selection 
process would be determined and run by the VA.

Increase in amount of pension for Medal of Honor recipients

    Section 8 is derived from H.R. 394, introduced on January 
9, 2009, by Representative Henry Brown of South Carolina, which 
would authorize the Secretary of VA to increase the amount of 
the Medal of Honor special pension provided under title 38, 
United States Code.
    This section would increase the special pension for Medal 
of Honor recipients from the current amount of $1,194 per month 
to $2000 per month. As the highest military award given by the 
United States to its servicemembers, the Medal of Honor is only 
awarded to those who have shown, ``conspicuous gallantry and 
intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of 
duty, in actual combat against an armed enemy force.''
    Since its initial presentation in 1863 to Private Jacob 
Parrott, 3,448 Americans have been awarded the Medal of Honor. 
Today, however, only 87 recipients with an average age of 77 
remain living. This pension has not been increased, other than 
cost-of-living adjustments, since 1998. The Committee finds 
that such an increase is long overdue to recognize the bravery 
and service of our nation's most honored heroes.

Conditions for treatment of certain persons as adjudicated mentally 
        incompetent

    Section 9 is derived in part from H.R. 2547, the Veterans 
2nd Amendment Protection Act, introduced by Representative 
Jerry Moran of Kansas on May 21, 2009. Section 9 would add a 
new section to chapter 55 of title 38, United States Code, to 
require a judicial proceeding in the case where veterans may be 
adjudicated as a mental defective.
    Veterans who receive payments from VA and who are 
determined to be unable to manage their own financial affairs 
are labeled as ``mentally incompetent.'' After review by a 
medical professional these individuals are usually appointed a 
fiduciary who will handle their financial affairs including 
their disability payments.
    Currently, veterans deemed by VA to be mentally incompetent 
by the Veterans Benefits Administration to manage their own 
affairs are reported to the National Instant Criminal 
Background Check System (NICS), and are then unable to purchase 
firearms under section 922 of title 18, United States Code. 
This provision would prevent the VA from reporting those 
veterans' names to NICS unless that person is deemed by a 
judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority with 
jurisdiction to be a danger to himself, herself, or others, and 
mentally incompetent.
    The Committee agrees that there is a non sequitur in 
rationale under current law in assuming that simply because a 
veteran, or other beneficiary, needs to have a fiduciary 
appointed, then the veteran is mentally defective and should go 
on the NICS list. The NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, 
P.L. 110-180 (121 Stat. 2559), allows those veterans whose 
names are given to NICS to appeal the action to the agency that 
made the decision.
    However, currently, if the VA does not take action on a 
NICS appeal, or the action is pending for 365 days with no 
final decision, then that appeal is deemed to be denied. The 
findings section of the NICS legislation indicates that these 
improvements were needed--particularly in response to the 
shootings in Lynbrook, New York, in 2002 and the Virginia Tech 
shootings in 2007 where better NICS reporting would have 
prevented these individuals from possessing firearms.
    Section 9 would change this process and require a separate 
judicial authority to determine that an applicable VA 
beneficiary poses a danger to themselves or others before the 
VA may send their names to the NICS list. Since 1999 over 
116,000 veterans, their spouses, and their children who receive 
VA benefits have been reported to NICS. VA's process does not 
determine whether they are a danger to themselves or others. By 
comparison, the Social Security Administration has assisted 
more than 5 million beneficiaries with their finances, but the 
Social Security Administration does not send these names to the 
FBI.

                                Hearings

    On July 1, 2010, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance 
and Memorial Affairs held a legislative hearing on several 
bills introduced during the 111th Congress, including H.R. 
4541, H.R. 5064, and H.R. 5549. The following witnesses 
testified: The Honorable Timothy J. Walz of Minnesota; The 
Honorable Alcee Hastings of Florida; The Honorable John H. 
Adler, of New Jersey; The Honorable Joe Donnelly of Indiana; 
Mr. Richard F. Weidman, Executive Director for Policy and 
Government Affairs, Vietnam Veterans of America; Mr. John L. 
Wilson, Assistant National Legislative Director, Disabled 
American Veterans; Barry A. Searle, Director, Veterans Affairs 
and Rehabilitation Commission, The American Legion; Mr. Eric A. 
Hilleman, Director, National Legislative Service, Veterans of 
Foreign Wars of the United States; and Mr. Thomas Pamperin, 
Associate Deputy Under Secretary for Policy and Program 
Management, Veterans Benefits Administrations, U.S. Department 
of Veterans Affairs accompanied by Mr. Richard J. Hipolit, 
Assistant General Counsel, Office of General Counsel, U.S. 
Department of Veterans Affairs. Those submitting statements for 
the record included: Mr. Michael P. Cline, Executive Director, 
Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United 
States; Captain Ike Puzon, USN (Ret.), Director of Government 
Affairs-Legislation, Association of the United States Navy; the 
Military Officers Association of America; Peter J. Duffy, 
Deputy Director of Legislation, National Guard Association of 
the United States; the Reserve Officers Association of the 
United States; the Reserve Enlisted Association; and, Master 
Sergeant Larry D. Madison, USAF (Ret.), Legislative Director, 
Washington Office, The Retired Enlisted Association.
    On June 10, 2010, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
held a legislative hearing on several bills introduced during 
the 111th Congress, including H.R. 5484. The following 
witnesses testified: The Honorable Peter DeFazio of Oregon; The 
Honorable Cliff Stearns of Florida; The Honorable Jeff 
Fortenberry of Nebraska; Mr. Richard Daley, Associate 
Legislation Director, Paralyzed Veterans of America; Ms. 
Catherine A. Trombley, Assistant Director, National Economic 
Commission, The American Legion; Mr. Eric A. Hilleman, 
Director, National Legislative Service, Veterans of Foreign 
Wars of the United States; Thomas Zampieri, Ph.D, Director of 
Government Relations, Blinded Veterans Association; Michael R., 
Duenas, O.D., Associate Director, Health Sciences and Policy, 
American Optometric Association; and Mr. Thomas J. Pamperin, 
Associate Deputy Under Secretary for Policy and Program 
Management, Veterans Benefits Administration, U.S. Department 
of Veterans Affairs accompanied by Mr. John Brizzi, Deputy 
Assistant General Counsel, Office of General Counsel, U.S. 
Department of Veterans Affairs and Mr. Joseph E. Simpson, 
Attorney, Office of General Counsel, U.S. Department of 
Veterans Affairs. Those submitting statements for the record 
included: The Honorable Frank J. Kratovil, Jr., Representative 
of Maryland and Mr. Raymond C. Kelly, National Legislative 
Director, American Veterans (AMVETS).
    On October 8, 2009, the Subcommittee on Disability 
Assistance and Memorial Affairs held a legislative hearing on 
several bills introduced during the 111th Congress, including 
H.R. 3485. The following witnesses testified: The Honorable 
Barney Frank of Massachusetts accompanied by Ms. Denise 
Anderson of Mansfield, Massachusetts; The Honorable Brian 
Higgins of New York; the Honorable Bruce E. Kasold, Judge, U.S. 
Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; Mr. Barton F. Stichman, 
Joint Executive Director, National Veterans Legal Services 
Program; Mr. John Wilson, Assistant National Legislative 
Director, Disabled American Veterans; Mr. Lesley Witter, 
Director of Political Affairs, National Funeral Directors 
Association; Mr. Richard F. Weidman, Executive Director for 
Policy and Government Affairs, Vietnam Veterans of America; 
Vivianne Cisneros Wersel, Au.D., Chair, Government Relations 
Committee, Gold Star Wives of America; Thomas Zampieri, Ph.D., 
Director of Government Relations, Blinded Veterans Association; 
Mr. Richard Paul Cohen, Executive Director, National 
Organization of Veterans' Advocates, Inc.; Mr. Steve L. Muro, 
Acting Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs, National Cemetery 
Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; The 
Honorable James P. Terry, Chairman, Board of Veterans' Appeals, 
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs accompanied by Mr. Richard 
Hipolit, Assistant General Counsel, U.S. Department of Veterans 
Affairs. Those submitting statements for the record included: 
The Honorable Bob Filner of California; The Honorable 
Christopher J. Lee of New York; the Military Officers 
Association of America; the National Military Family 
Association; the Paralyzed Veterans of America; and Mr. Deirdre 
Parke Holleman, Executive Director, The Retired Enlisted 
Association.
    On March 4, 2009, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity 
held a legislative hearing on several bills introduced during 
the 111th Congress, including H.R. 929. The following witnesses 
testified: The Honorable Steve Israel of New York; The 
Honorable Peter Welch of Vermont; The Honorable Lloyd Doggett 
of Texas; Mr. Justin Brown, Legislative Associate, National 
Legislative Service, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United 
States; Ms. Cheryl Beversdorf, RN, MHS, MA, President and Chief 
Executive Officer, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans; 
Mr. John L. Wilson, Associate National Legislative Director, 
Disabled American Veterans; Mr. Mark Walker, Assistant 
Director, National Economic Commission, The American Legion; 
Thomas Zampieri, Ph.D., Director of Government Relations, 
Blinded Veterans Association; Mr. Patrick H. Boulay, Chief, 
USERRA Unit, U.S. Office of Special Counsel; Mr. Keith M. 
Wilson, Director, Education Service, Veterans Benefits 
Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Those 
submitting statements for the record included: Mr. John M. 
McWilliam, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Veterans' Employment and 
Training Service, U.S. Department of Labor; The Honorable 
Rodney Alexander of Louisiana; The Honorable Steve Buyer of 
Indiana; The Honorable Bob Filner of California; Mr. David 
French, Vice President, Government Relations, International 
Franchise Association; Mr. Thomas S. Whitaker, President and 
Deputy Chairman, North Carolina Employment Security Commission, 
on behalf of the National Association of State Workforce 
Agencies; and the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

                        Committee Consideration

    On September 15, 2010, the full Committee met in an open 
markup session, a quorum being present, and ordered H.R. 6132 
reported favorably to the House of Representatives, by voice 
vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report the legislation and amendments thereto. 
There were no record votes taken on amendments or in connection 
with ordering H.R. 6132 reported to the House. A motion by Mr. 
Buyer of Indiana to order H.R. 6132 reported favorably to the 
House of Representatives was agreed to by voice vote.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goals and objectives are reflected in the descriptive portions 
of this report.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee will adopt as 
its own the estimate of new budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues contained in the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.

                  Earmarks and Tax and Tariff Benefits

    H.R. 6132 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee will adopt as its own the cost estimate on 
H.R. 6132 prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, a cost estimate for H.R. 6132 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 was not available 
when the Committee filed this report.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee will adopt as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates regarding H.R. 6132 prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 423 of the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act would be created by H.R. 
6132.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the 
Constitutional authority for H.R. 6132 is provided by Article 
I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United States.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides the short title of H.R. 6132 as the 
``Veterans Benefits and Economic Welfare Improvement Act of 
2010.''

Section 2. Military transition program

    This section would authorize the Secretary of the VA to 
determine eligibility of the program and the Assistant 
Secretary of the Department of Labor for Veterans Employment 
and Training Service to oversee the program.
    This section clarifies that eligible veterans are those not 
eligible for education or training programs, have not acquired 
a marketable skill since leaving the military, have been 
discharged under honorable conditions, and have been unemployed 
for at least 90 days during the 180-day period preceding the 
date of application for the program. It also clarifies that a 
maximum hourly rate of pay for such veteran during the 180-day 
period is not more than 150 percent of the Federal minimum 
wage.
    This section requires that employers, participating in an 
approved on-the-job training program, pay participating 
veterans no less than non-veterans employed in a similar job, 
and that there is a reasonable expectation that the veteran 
will be qualified for employment in the field upon completion 
of the program, and the employer will continue to employ the 
veteran after program completion.
    This section authorizes the Assistant Secretary of Labor 
for Employment and Training Service to enter into contracts 
with employers to provide on-the-job training to veterans. 
Employers participating will pay 50 percent of the wages paid 
to participating veterans to be calculated in an hourly wage. 
The paid amount may not exceed $20,000 in the aggregate and 
$1,666.67 per month. Such payments may only be paid for the 
first 12 months of program participation. In the case of a 
veteran who participates on a less than full-time basis, the 
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training 
Service is authorized to extend the number of months of 
payments to 24 months but the aggregate amount paid may not 
exceed $20,000.
    This section requires participating employers to report, to 
the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training 
Service, on a quarterly basis certifying the wage paid to 
participating veterans and other information requested by the 
Assistant Secretary.
    This section also would require that the Secretaries of VA 
and Labor publish a report on their activities carried out by 
this program in their annual report prepared by the Veterans 
Benefits Administration.
    Finally, this section authorizes $10,000,000 per year and 
expires on September 30, 2016. The effective date is one year 
after the date of enactment.

Section 3. Waiver of claim development period for claims under laws 
        administered by Secretary of VA

    This section 3 would amend section 5101 of title 38, United 
States Code, by making changes in the VA's Fully Developed 
Claims program, codifying it to ensure veterans with fully 
developed claims can waive the development period and have 
their claims receive expedited treatment. It also codifies an 
informal placeholder claim to allow a veteran who intends to 
file a fully-developed claim to mark the effective date just 
like it is done for other claims.
    Further, this section 3(b) would amend section 5104 of 
title 38, United States Code, by requiring that an appeals form 
be included with any decision by VA denying a sought benefit. 
The amendments made by this Section shall apply with respect to 
claims submitted on or after the date of the enactment of this 
legislation.

Section 4. Tolling of timing of review for appeals of final decisions 
        of Board of Veterans' Appeals

    Section 4 would amend 7266 (a) of title 38, United States 
Code, by requiring an extension of the 120-day limit for the 
filing of an appeal to the Court of Veterans Appeals after a 
final decision of the Board of Veterans' Appeals upon a showing 
of good cause for such time as justice may require. The bill 
considers as good cause the inability of a person to file 
within the 120-day period due to a service-connected 
disability.
    This section would also make such extension applicable to 
appeals of final Board decisions issued on or after July 24, 
2008. Finally, this section also requires the CAVC to reinstate 
untimely appeals already dismissed as a result of the court's 
failure to toll the filing period for good cause

Section 5. Exclusion of certain amounts from determination of annual 
        income with respect to pensions for veterans and surviving 
        spouses and children of veterans

    This section would amend section 1503 of title 38, United 
States Code, to exclude from income payments received to cover 
expenses incurred after an accident, theft, loss, or casualty 
loss for those receiving the non-service connected pension. 
Pain and suffering awards are also covered under this section.
    This section would also exclude from income determinations 
payments of up to $5,000 made by States and municipalities. 
Finally, this section would make amendments made by subsection 
(a) and (b) applicable with respect to determinations of income 
for calendar years beginning after October 1, 2011.

Section 6. Extension of authority of Secretary of VA to obtain certain 
        income information from other agencies

    This section would extend the authority of the Secretary to 
obtain income information from other agencies from September 
30, 2011, to September 30, 2015.

Section 7. VetStar Award program

    This section would authorize the VA to recognize businesses 
for their contributions to veterans' employment.

Section 8. Increase in amount of pension for Medal of Honor recipients

    This section would authorize the Secretary of VA to 
increase the amount of the Medal of Honor special pension 
provided under section 1562(a) of title 38 from $1,000 to 
$2,000.

Section 9. Conditions for treatment of certain persons as adjudicated 
        mentally incompetent

    This section would add a new section to Chapter 55 of title 
38 to require a judicial proceeding or appropriate adjudication 
in the case where veterans may be adjudicated as a mental 
defective.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART II--GENERAL BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


 CHAPTER 15--PENSION FOR NON-SERVICE-CONNECTED DISABILITY OR DEATH OR 
                              FOR SERVICE

SUBCHAPTER I--GENERAL

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 1503. Determinations with respect to annual income

  (a) In determining annual income under this chapter, all 
payments of any kind or from any source (including salary, 
retirement or annuity payments, or similar income, which has 
been waived, irrespective of whether the waiver was made 
pursuant to statute, contract, or otherwise) shall be included 
except--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          [(5) reimbursements of any kind for any casualty loss 
        (as defined in regulations which the Secretary shall 
        prescribe), but the amount excluded under this clause 
        may not exceed the greater of the fair market value or 
        reasonable replacement value of the property involved 
        at the time immediately preceding the loss;]
          (5) payments regarding--
                  (A) reimbursements of any kind (including 
                insurance settlement payments) for--
                          (i) expenses related to the 
                        repayment, replacement, or repair of 
                        equipment, vehicles, items, money, or 
                        property resulting from--
                                  (I) any accident (as defined 
                                in regulations which the 
                                Secretary shall prescribe), but 
                                the amount excluded under this 
                                subclause shall not exceed the 
                                greater of the fair market 
                                value or reasonable replacement 
                                value of the equipment or 
                                vehicle involved at the time 
                                immediately preceding the 
                                accident;
                                  (II) any theft or loss (as 
                                defined in regulations which 
                                the Secretary shall prescribe), 
                                but the amount excluded under 
                                this subclause shall not exceed 
                                the greater of the fair market 
                                value or reasonable replacement 
                                value of the item or the amount 
                                of the money (including legal 
                                tender of the United States or 
                                of a foreign country) involved 
                                at the time immediately 
                                preceding the theft or loss; or
                                  (III) any casualty loss (as 
                                defined in regulations which 
                                the Secretary shall prescribe), 
                                but the amount excluded under 
                                this subclause shall not exceed 
                                the greater of the fair market 
                                value or reasonable replacement 
                                value of the property involved 
                                at the time immediately 
                                preceding the casualty loss; 
                                and
                          (ii) medical expenses resulting from 
                        any accident, theft, loss, or casualty 
                        loss (as defined in regulations which 
                        the Secretary shall prescribe), but the 
                        amount excluded under this clause shall 
                        not exceed the costs of medical care 
                        provided to the victim of the accident, 
                        theft, loss, or casualty loss; and
                  (B) pain and suffering (including insurance 
                settlement payments and general damages awarded 
                by a court) related to an accident, theft, 
                loss, or casualty loss, but the amount excluded 
                under this subparagraph shall not exceed an 
                amount determined by the Secretary on a case-
                by-case basis;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (10) in the case of a child, any current-work income 
        received during the year, to the extent that the total 
        amount of such income does not exceed an amount equal 
        to the sum of--
                  (A) * * *
                  (B) if the child is pursuing a course of 
                postsecondary education or vocational 
                rehabilitation or training, the amount paid by 
                such child for such course of education or 
                vocational rehabilitation or training, 
                including the amount paid for tuition, fees, 
                books, and materials; [and]
          (11) payment of a monetary amount of up to $5,000 to 
        a veteran from a State or municipality that is paid as 
        a veterans' benefit due to injury or disease; and
          [(11)] (12) lump-sum proceeds of any life insurance 
        policy on a veteran, for purposes of pension under 
        subchapter III of this chapter.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


 SUBCHAPTER IV--ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, AND COAST GUARD MEDAL OF HONOR 
ROLL

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 1562. Special provisions relating to pension

  (a) The Secretary shall pay monthly to each person whose name 
has been entered on the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard 
Medal of Honor roll, and a copy of whose certificate has been 
delivered to the Secretary under subsection (c) of section 1561 
of this title, a special pension at the rate of [$1,000] 
$2,000, as adjusted from time to time under subsection (e), 
beginning as of the date of application therefor under section 
1560 of this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART III--READJUSTMENT AND RELATED BENEFITS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 30--ALL-VOLUNTEER FORCE EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER IV--TIME LIMITATION FOR USE OF ELIGIBILITY AND ENTITLEMENT; 
GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3034. Program administration

  (a)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the 
provisions of sections 3470, 3471, 3474, 3476, 3482(g), 3483, 
and 3485 of this title and the provisions of subchapters I and 
II of chapter 36 of this title (with the exception of sections 
3680(c), 3680(f), 3686(a), [and 3687] 3687, and 4115) shall be 
applicable to the provision of educational assistance under 
this chapter.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 32--POST-VIETNAM ERA VETERANS' EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                     SUBCHAPTER IV--ADMINISTRATION

Sec. 3241. Requirements

  (a)(1) The provisions of sections 3470, 3471, 3474, 3476, 
3483, 3485, and 3491(a)(1) of this title and the provisions of 
chapter 36 of this title (with the exception of [section 3687] 
sections 3687 and 4115) shall be applicable with respect to 
individuals who are pursuing programs of education while 
serving on active duty.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) The provisions of sections 3470, 3471, 3474, 3476, 3483, 
and 3491(a) (other than clause (1)) of this title and the 
provisions of chapter 36 of this title (with the exception of 
[section 3687] sections 3687 and 4115) shall be applicable with 
respect to individuals who are pursuing programs of education 
following discharge or release from active duty.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


           CHAPTER 36--ADMINISTRATION OF EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS

SUBCHAPTER I--STATE APPROVING AGENCIES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 3672. Approval of courses

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d)(1) Pursuant to regulations prescribed by the Secretary in 
consultation with the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary and 
State approving agencies shall actively promote the development 
of apprenticeship and on the job training programs for the 
purposes of sections 3677 [and 3687], 3687, and 4115 of this 
title and shall utilize the services of disabled veterans' 
outreach program specialists under section 4103A of this title 
to promote the development of such programs. The Secretary of 
Labor shall provide assistance and services to the Secretary, 
and to State approving agencies, to increase the use of 
apprenticeships.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    CHAPTER 41--JOB COUNSELING, TRAINING, AND PLACEMENT SERVICE FOR 
                                VETERANS

Sec.
4100. Findings.
     * * * * * * *
4115. Military transition program.
     * * * * * * *

Sec. 4102A. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and 
                    Training; program functions; Regional 
                    Administrators

  (a) * * *
  (b) Program Functions.--The Secretary shall carry out the 
following functions:
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) Ensure that maximum effectiveness and efficiency 
        are achieved in providing services and assistance to 
        eligible veterans under all such programs by 
        coordinating and consulting with the Secretary of 
        Veterans Affairs with respect to (A) programs conducted 
        under other provisions of this title, with particular 
        emphasis on coordination of such programs with 
        readjustment counseling activities carried out under 
        section 1712A of this title, apprenticeship or other 
        on-the-job training programs carried out under [section 
        3687] section 3687 or 4115 of this title, and 
        rehabilitation and training activities carried out 
        under chapter 31 of this title and (B) determinations 
        covering veteran population in a State.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 4115. Military transition program

  (a) Establishment; Eligibility.--(1) Subject to the 
availability of appropriations for such purpose, the Secretary 
of Veterans Affairs and the Assistant Secretary of Labor for 
Veterans' Employment and Training shall jointly carry out a 
program of training to provide eligible veterans with skills 
relevant to the job market.
  (2) For purposes of this section, the term ``eligible 
veteran'' means any veteran whom the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs determines--
          (A) is not otherwise eligible for education or 
        training services under this title;
          (B) has not acquired a marketable skill since being 
        separated or released from service in the Armed Forces;
          (C) was discharged under honorable conditions; and
          (D)(i) has been unemployed for at least 90 days 
        during the 180-day period preceding the date of 
        application for the program established under this 
        section; or
          (ii) during such 180-day period received a maximum 
        hourly rate of pay of not more than 150 percent of the 
        Federal minimum wage.
  (b) Apprenticeship or on-the-Job Training Program.--The 
program established under this section shall provide for 
payments to employers who provide for eligible veterans a 
program of apprenticeship or on-the-job training if--
          (1) such program is approved as provided in paragraph 
        (1) or (2) of section 3687(a) of this title;
          (2) the rate of pay for veterans participating in the 
        program is not less than the rate of pay for 
        nonveterans in similar jobs; and
          (3) the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' 
        Employment and Training reasonably expects that--
                  (A) the veteran will be qualified for 
                employment in that field upon completion of 
                training; and
                  (B) the employer providing the program will 
                continue to employ the veteran at the 
                completion of training.
  (c) Payments to Employers.--(1) Subject to the availability 
of appropriations for such purpose, the Assistant Secretary of 
Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training shall enter into 
contracts with employers to provide programs of apprenticeship 
or on-the-job training that meet the requirements of this 
section. Each such contract shall provide for the payment of 
the amounts described in paragraph (2) to employers whose 
programs meet such requirements.
  (2) The amount paid under this section with respect to any 
eligible veteran for any period shall be 50 percent of the 
wages paid by the employer to such veteran for such period. 
Wages shall be calculated on an hourly basis.
  (3)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B)--
          (i) the amount paid under this section with respect 
        to a veteran participating in the program established 
        under this section may not exceed $20,000 in the 
        aggregate or $1,666.67 per month; and
          (ii) such payments may only be made during the first 
        12 months of such veteran's participation in the 
        program.
  (B) In the case of a veteran participating in the program on 
a less than full-time basis, the Assistant Secretary of Labor 
for Veterans' Employment and Training may extend the number of 
months of payments under subparagraph (A) and proportionally 
adjust the amount of such payments, but the aggregate amount 
paid with respect to such veteran may not exceed $20,000 and 
the maximum number of months of such payments may not exceed 24 
months.
  (4) Payments under this section shall be made on a quarterly 
basis.
  (5) Each employer providing a program of apprenticeship or 
on-the-job training pursuant to this section shall submit to 
the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and 
Training on a quarterly basis a report certifying the wages 
paid to eligible veterans under such program (which shall be 
certified by the veteran as being correct) and containing such 
other information as the Assistant Secretary may specify. Such 
report shall be submitted in the form and manner required by 
the Assistant Secretary.
  (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to 
be appropriated to carry out this section $10,000,000 for each 
fiscal year for which the program is carried out.
  (e) Reporting.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in 
coordination with the Assistant Secretary of Labor for 
Veterans' Employment and Training, shall include a description 
of activities carried out under this section in the annual 
report prepared submitted under section 529 of this title.
  (f) Termination.--The authority to carry out a program under 
this section shall terminate on September 30, 2016.

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PART IV--GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

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           CHAPTER 51--CLAIMS, EFFECTIVE DATES, AND PAYMENTS

SUBCHAPTER I--CLAIMS

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Sec. 5101. Claims and forms

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d)(1) If a claimant submits to the Secretary a claim that 
the Secretary determines is a fully developed claim, the 
Secretary shall provide--
          (A) the claimant with the opportunity to waive any 
        claim development period otherwise made available by 
        the Secretary with respect to such claim; and
          (B) expeditious treatment to such claim.
  (2) If a person submits to the Secretary any written 
notification sufficient to inform the Secretary that the person 
plans to submit a fully developed claim and, not later than one 
year after submitting such notification submits to the 
Secretary a claim that the Secretary determines is a fully 
developed claim, the Secretary shall provide expeditious 
treatment to the claim.
  (3) If the Secretary determines that a claim submitted by a 
claimant as a fully developed claim is not fully developed, the 
Secretary shall provide such claimant with the notice described 
in section 5103(a) within 30 days after the Secretary makes 
such determination.
  (4) For purposes of this section:
          (A) The term ``fully developed claim'' means a 
        claim--
                  (i) for which the claimant--
                          (I) received assistance from a 
                        veterans service officer, a State or 
                        county veterans service organization, 
                        an agent, or an attorney; or
                          (II) submits, together with the 
                        claim, an appropriate indication that 
                        the claimant does not intend to submit 
                        any additional information or evidence 
                        in support of the claim and does not 
                        require additional assistance with 
                        respect to the claim; and
                  (ii) for which the claimant or the claimant's 
                representative, if any, each signs, dates, and 
                submits a certification in writing stating 
                that, as of such date, no additional 
                information or evidence is available or needs 
                to be submitted in order for the claim to be 
                adjudicated.
          (B) The term ``expeditious treatment'' means, with 
        respect to a claim for benefits under the laws 
        administered by the Secretary, treatment of such claim 
        so that the claim is fully processed and adjudicated 
        within 90 days after the Secretary receives an 
        application for such claim.

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Sec. 5104. Decisions and notices of decisions

  (a) * * *
  (b) In any case where the Secretary denies a benefit sought, 
the notice required by subsection (a) shall also include (1) a 
statement of the reasons for the decision, [and (2)]   (2)   a 
summary of the evidence considered by the Secretary, and (3) 
any form or application required by the Secretary to appeal 
such decision.

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CHAPTER 53--SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO BENEFITS

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Sec. 5317. Use of income information from other agencies: notice and 
                    verification

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (g) The authority of the Secretary to obtain information from 
the Secretary of the Treasury or the Commissioner of Social 
Security under section 6103(l)(7)(D)(viii) of the Internal 
Revenue Code of 1986 expires on [September 30, 2011] September 
30, 2015.

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           CHAPTER 55--MINORS, INCOMPETENTS, AND OTHER WARDS

Sec.
5501. Commitment actions.
     * * * * * * *
5511. Conditions for treatment of certain persons as adjudicated 
          mentally incompetent.
     * * * * * * *

Sec. 5511. Conditions for treatment of certain persons as adjudicated 
                    mentally incompetent

  In any case arising out of the administration by the 
Secretary of laws and benefits under this title, a person who 
is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or 
experiencing an extended loss of consciousness shall not be 
considered adjudicated as a mental defective for any purpose 
without the order or finding of a judge, magistrate, or other 
judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person 
is a danger to himself or herself or others.

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PART V--BOARDS, ADMINISTRATIONS, AND SERVICES

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CHAPTER 72--UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS

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SUBCHAPTER II--PROCEDURE

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Sec. 7266. Notice of appeal

  (a) [In order] (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), in 
order to obtain review by the Court of Appeals for Veterans 
Claims of a final decision of the Board of Veterans' Appeals, a 
person adversely affected by such decision shall file a notice 
of appeal with the Court within 120 days after the date on 
which notice of the decision is mailed pursuant to section 
7104(e) of this title.
  (2)(A) The 120-day period described in paragraph (1) shall be 
extended upon a showing of good cause for such time as justice 
may require.
  (B) For purposes of this paragraph, it shall be considered 
good cause if a person was unable to file a notice of appeal 
within the 120-day period because of the person's service-
connected disability.

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