< Back to H.R. 4088 (103rd Congress, 1993–1994)

Text of the Veterans’ Adjudication Improvements Act of 1994

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on August 8, 1994 but was never passed by the Senate. The text of the bill below is as of Aug 4, 1994 (Reported by House Committee).

Source: GPO

HR 4088 RH

Union Calendar No. 363

103d CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4088

[Report No. 103-668]

To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide a cost-of-living adjustment in the rates of disability compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for survivors of such veterans.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 17, 1994

Mr. SLATTERY introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

AUGUST 4, 1994

Additional sponsors: Mr. KING, Mr. BISHOP, Mr. HEFNER, Mr. RICHARDSON, Mr. STENHOLM, Mr. PAYNE of Virginia, Mr. PARKER, Mr. BILIRAKIS, Mr. EVANS, Mr. CRAMER, Mr. MONTGOMERY, and Mr. Stump

AUGUST 4, 1994

Reported with amendments, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed

[Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic]

[For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on March 17, 1994]


A BILL

To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide a cost-of-living adjustment in the rates of disability compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for survivors of such veterans.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE.

    (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the ‘Veterans’ Benefits Act of 1994’.

    (b) REFERENCES- Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of title 38, United States Code.

TITLE I--COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENT IN RATES OF COMPENSATION AND DEPENDENCY AND INDEMNITY COMPENSATION

SEC. 101. DISABILITY COMPENSATION.

    Section 1114 is amended--

      (1) by striking out ‘$87’ in subsection (a) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$89’;

      (2) by striking out ‘$166’ in subsection (b) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$170’;

      (3) by striking out ‘$253’ in subsection (c) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$260’;

      (4) by striking out ‘$361’ in subsection (d) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$371’;

      (5) by striking out ‘$515’ in subsection (e) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$530’;

      (6) by striking out ‘$648’ in subsection (f) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$667’;

      (7) by striking out ‘$819’ in subsection (g) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$843’;

      (8) by striking out ‘$948’ in subsection (h) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$976’;

      (9) by striking out ‘$1,067’ in subsection (i) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$1,099’;

      (10) by striking out ‘$1,774’ in subsection (j) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$1,827’;

      (11) by striking out ‘$2,207’ and ‘$3,093’ in subsection (k) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$2,273’ and ‘$3,187’, respectively;

      (12) by striking out ‘$2,207’ in subsection (l) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$2,273’;

      (13) by striking out ‘$2,432’ in subsection (m) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$2,504’;

      (14) by striking out ‘$2,768’ in subsection (n) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$2,851’;

      (15) by striking out ‘$3,093’ each place it appears in subsections (o) and (p) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$3,185’;

      (16) by striking out ‘$1,328’ and ‘$1,978’ in subsection (r) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$1,367’ and ‘$2,037’, respectively; and

      (17) by striking out ‘$1,985’ in subsection (s) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$2,044’.

SEC. 102. ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR DEPENDENTS.

    Section 1115(1) is amended--

      (1) by striking out ‘$105’ in subparagraph (A) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$108’;

      (2) by striking out ‘$178’ and ‘$55’ in subparagraph (B) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$183’ and ‘$56’, respectively;

      (3) by striking out ‘$72’ and ‘$55’ in subparagraph (C) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$74’ and ‘$56’, respectively;

      (4) by striking out ‘$84’ in subparagraph (D) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$86’;

      (5) by striking out ‘$195’ in subparagraph (E) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$200’; and

      (6) by striking out ‘$164’ in subparagraph (F) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$168’.

SEC. 103. CLOTHING ALLOWANCE FOR CERTAIN DISABLED VETERANS.

    Section 1162 is amended by striking out ‘$478’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$492’.

SEC. 104. DEPENDENCY AND INDEMNITY COMPENSATION FOR SURVIVING SPOUSES.

    Section 1311 is amended--

      (1) in subsection (a)(1), by striking out ‘$769’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$792’;

      (2) in subsection (a)(2), by striking out ‘$169’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$174’;

      (3) in subsection (a)(3), by striking out the table therein and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

-----------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------------
           Monthly           Monthly  
‘Pay grade rate Pay grade rate
E-7 $817 O-3 $923 E-8 863 O-4 976 E-9 1 901 O-5 1,075 W-1 836 O-6 1,212 W-2 869 O-7 1,309 W-3 895 O-8 1,433 W-4 947 O-9 1,536 O-1 836 O-10 2 1,685 O-2 863 -----------------------------------------------
      (4) in subsection (c), by striking out ‘$195’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$200’; and

      (5) in subsection (d), by striking out ‘$95’ in subsection (c) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$97’.

SEC. 105. DEPENDENCY AND INDEMNITY COMPENSATION FOR CHILDREN.

    (a) DIC FOR ORPHAN CHILDREN- Section 1313(a) is amended--

      (1) by striking out ‘$327’ in paragraph (1) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$336’;

      (2) by striking out ‘$471’ in paragraph (2) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$485’;

      (3) by striking out ‘$610’ in paragraph (3) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$628’; and

      (4) by striking out ‘$610’ and ‘$120’ in paragraph (4) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$628’ and ‘$123’, respectively.

    (b) SUPPLEMENTAL DIC FOR DISABLED ADULT CHILDREN- Section 1314 is amended--

      (1) by striking out ‘$195’ in subsection (a) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$200’;

      (2) by striking out ‘$327’ in subsection (b) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$336’; and

      (3) by striking out ‘$166’ in subsection (c) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘$170’.

SEC. 106. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    The amendments made by this title shall take effect on December 1, 1994.

TITLE II--DISABILITIES RESULTING FROM HERBICIDE EXPOSURE

SEC. 201. CODIFICATION OF PRESUMPTIONS ESTABLISHED ADMINISTRATIVELY.

    Section 1116(a)(2) is amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraphs:

      ‘(D) Hodgkin’s disease becoming manifest to a degree of disability of 10 percent or more.

      ‘(E) Porphyria cutanea tarda becoming manifest to a degree of disability of 10 percent or more within a year after the last date on which the veteran performed active military, naval, or air service in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era.

      ‘(F) Respiratory cancers (cancer of the lung, bronchus, larynx, or trachea) becoming manifest to a degree of 10 percent or more within 30 years after the last date on which the veteran performed active military, naval, or air service in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era.

      ‘(G) Multiple myeloma becoming manifest to a degree of disability of 10 percent or more.’.

TITLE III--BOARD OF VETERANS’ APPEALS ADMINISTRATION

SEC. 301. APPOINTMENT, PAY COMPARABILITY, AND PERFORMANCE REVIEWS FOR MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF VETERANS’ APPEALS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- (1) Chapter 71 is amended by inserting after section 7101 the following new section:

‘Sec. 7101A. Members of Board: appointment; pay; performance review

    ‘(a) The members of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals other than the Chairman (and including the Vice Chairman) shall be appointed by the Secretary, with the approval of the President, based upon recommendations of the Chairman.

    ‘(b) Members of the Board (other than the Chairman and any member of the Board who is a member of the Senior Executive Service) shall, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary, be paid basic pay at rates equivalent to the rates payable under section 5372 of title 5.

    ‘(c)(1) Not less than one year after the job performance standards under subsection (f) are initially established, and not less often than once every three years thereafter, the Chairman shall determine, with respect to each member of the Board (other than a member who is a member of the Senior Executive Service), whether that member’s job performance as a member of the Board meets the performance standards for a member of the Board established under subsection (f). Each such determination shall be in writing.

    ‘(2) If the determination of the Chairman in any case is that the member’s job performance as a member of the Board meets the performance standards for a member of the Board established under subsection (f), the member’s appointment as a member of the Board shall be recertified.

    ‘(3) If the determination of the Chairman in any case is that the member’s job performance does not meet the performance standards for a member of the Board established under subsection (f), the Chairman shall, based upon the individual circumstances, either--

      ‘(A) grant the member a conditional recertification; or

      ‘(B) recommend to the Secretary that the member be noncertified.

    ‘(4) In the case of a member of the Board who is granted a conditional recertification under paragraph (3) or (5)(C), the Chairman shall review the member’s job performance record and make a further determination under paragraph (1) concerning that member not later than one year after the date of the conditional recertification. If the determination of the Chairman at that time is that the member’s job performance as a member of the Board still does not meet the performance standards for a member of the Board established under subsection (f), the Chairman shall recommend to the Secretary that the member be noncertified.

    ‘(5)(A) In a case in which the Chairman recommends to the Secretary under paragraph (3) or (4) that a member be noncertified, the Secretary shall establish a panel to review that recommendation. The panel shall be established from among employees of the Department other than members of the Board or of the Board’s staff and may include Federal employees from outside the Department with appropriate expertise.

    ‘(B) The panel shall review the matter and recommend to the Secretary whether the Board member should be noncertified or should be granted a conditional recertification.

    ‘(C) The Secretary, after considering the recommendation of the panel, may either--

      ‘(i) grant the member a conditional recertification; or

      ‘(ii) determine that the member should be noncertified.

    ‘(d)(1) If the Secretary, based upon the recommendation of the Chairman and after considering the recommendation of the panel under subsection (c)(5), determines that a member of the Board should be noncertified, that member’s appointment as a member of the Board shall be terminated and that member shall be removed from the Board.

    ‘(2) An individual so removed from the Board shall have the right to be employed by the Board in an attorney-advisor position.

    ‘(e)(1) A member of the Board (other than the Chairman or a member of the Senior Executive Service) may be removed as a member of the Board by reason of job performance only as provided in subsections (c) and (d). Such a member may be removed by the Secretary, upon the recommendation of the Chairman, for any other reason as determined by the Secretary.

    ‘(2) In the case of a removal of a member under this section for a reason other than job performance that would be covered by section 7521 of title 5 in the case of an administrative law judge, the removal of the member of the Board shall be carried out subject to the same requirements as apply to removal of an administrative law judge under that section. Section 554(a)(2) of title 5 shall not apply to a removal action under this subsection. In such a removal action, a member shall have the rights set out in section 7513(b) of that title.

    ‘(f) The Chairman, subject to the approval of the Secretary, shall establish standards for the performance of the job of a member of the Board (other than a member of the Senior Executive Service). Those standards shall establish objective and fair criteria for evaluation of the job performance of a member of the Board.

    ‘(g) The Secretary shall prescribe procedures for the administration of this section, including deadlines and time schedules for different actions under this section.’.

    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 7101 the following new item:

      ‘7101A. Members of Board: appointment; pay; performance review.’.

    (b) SAVE PAY PROVISION- The rate of basic pay payable to an individual who is a member of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals on the date of the enactment of this Act may not be reduced by reason of the amendments made by this section to a rate below the rate payable to such individual on the day before such date.

    (c) EFFECTIVE DATE- Section 7101A(b) of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall take effect on the first day of the first pay period beginning after December 31, 1994.

SEC. 302. CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.

    Section 7101(b) is amended--

      (1) by striking out paragraph (2);

      (2) by designating as paragraph (2) the text in paragraph (1) beginning ‘The Chairman may be removed’; and

      (3) by striking out ‘Members (including the Chairman)’ in paragraph (3) and inserting in lieu thereof ‘The Chairman’.

SEC. 303. DEADLINE FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF PERFORMANCE EVALUATION CRITERIA FOR BOARD MEMBERS.

    (a) DEADLINE- The job performance standards required to be established by section 7101A(d) of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall be established not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (b) SUBMISSION TO CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE- Not later than the date on which the standards referred to in subsection (a) take effect, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report containing the Secretary’s proposal for the establishment of those standards.

TITLE IV--ADJUDICATION IMPROVEMENTS

SEC. 401. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ‘Veterans’ Adjudication Improvements Act of 1994’.

SEC. 402. REPORT ON FEASIBILITY OF REORGANIZATION OF ADJUDICATION DIVISIONS IN VBA REGIONAL OFFICES.

    Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report addressing the feasibility and impact of a reorganization of the adjudication divisions located within the regional offices of the Veterans Benefits Administration to a number of such divisions that would result in improved efficiency in the processing of claims filed by veterans, their survivors, or other eligible persons, for benefits administered by the Secretary.

SEC. 403. MASTER VETERAN RECORD.

    (a) REQUIREMENT- The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall implement a recordkeeping system whereby each veteran and other person eligible for benefits under laws administered by the Secretary shall be identified by a single identification number and through which information relating to that person, including that person’s current eligibility or entitlement status with respect to each benefit or service administered by the Secretary, shall be available through electronic means to employees of the Department located in each regional office of the Veterans Benefits Administration or medical center of the Veterans Health Administration.

    (b) DEADLINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION- The recordkeeping system required by subsection (a) shall be implemented not later than two years after the date of the enactment of this Act

SEC. 404. REPORT ON PILOT PROGRAMS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report enumerating and describing each pilot program and major initiative being tested in the regional offices of the Veterans Benefits Administration that affect the adjudication of claims for benefits administered by the Secretary.

    (b) CONTENTS- The report shall include the Secretary’s recommendations regarding the need, if any, for legislation to implement any of such pilot programs the Secretary may recommend. If the Secretary indicates that legislation is not required to implement one or more of such programs, the Secretary shall advise the Committees as to whether any such pilot program will be implemented and provide a timetable for such implementation.

SEC. 405. ACCEPTANCE OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTATION FOR CLAIMS PURPOSES.

    (a) STATEMENTS OF CLAIMANT TO BE ACCEPTED AS PROOF OF RELATIONSHIPS- Chapter 51 is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

‘Sec. 5124. Acceptance of claimant’s statement as proof of relationship

    ‘(a) For purposes of benefits under laws administered by the Secretary, the Secretary shall accept the written statement of a claimant as proof of the existence of any relationship specified in subsection (b) for the purpose of acting on such individual’s claim for benefits.

    ‘(b) Subsection (a) applies to proof of the existence of any of the following relationships between a claimant and another person:

      ‘(1) Marriage.

      ‘(2) Dissolution of a marriage.

      ‘(3) Birth of a child.

      ‘(4) Death of any family member.

    ‘(c) The Secretary may require the submission of documentation in support of the claimant’s statement--

      ‘(1) if the claimant does not reside within a State; or

      ‘(2) if the statement on its face raises a question as to its validity.’.

    (b) REPORTS OF EXAMINATIONS BY PRIVATE PHYSICIANS- Such chapter, as amended by subsection (a), is further amended by adding at the end the following new section:

‘Sec. 5125. Acceptance of reports of private physician examinations

    ‘For purposes of establishing a claim for benefits under chapter 11 or 15 of this title, a report of a medical examination administered by a private physician that is provided by a claimant in support of a claim for benefits under that chapter shall be accepted without a requirement for confirmation by an examination by a physician employed by the Veterans Health Administration if the report is sufficiently complete to be adequate for disability rating purposes.’.

    (c) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new items:

      ‘5124. Acceptance of claimant’s statement as proof of relationship.

      ‘5125. Acceptance of reports of private physician examinations.’.

SEC. 406. EXPEDITED TREATMENT OF REMANDED CLAIMS.

    The Secretary shall take such actions as may be necessary to provide for the expeditious treatment, by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals and by the regional offices of the Veterans Benefits Administration, of any claim that has been remanded by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals or by the United States Court of Veterans Appeals for additional development or other appropriate action.

SEC. 407. SCREENING OF APPEALS.

    Section 7107 of title 38, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) in subsection (a)(1), by striking out ‘Each case’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘Except as provided in subsection (f), each case’; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(f) Nothing in this section shall preclude the screening of cases for purposes of--

      ‘(1) determining the adequacy of the record for decisional purposes; or

      ‘(2) the development, or attempted development, of a record found to be inadequate for decisional purposes.’.

SEC. 408. REVISION OF DECISIONS BASED ON CLEAR AND UNMISTAKABLE ERROR.

    (a) ORIGINAL DECISIONS- (1) Chapter 51 is amended by inserting after section 5109 the following new section:

‘Sec. 5109A. Revision of decisions on grounds of clear and unmistakable error

    ‘(a) A decision by the Secretary under this chapter is subject to revision on the grounds of clear and unmistakable error. If evidence establishes the error, the prior decision shall be reversed or revised.

    ‘(b) For the purposes of authorizing benefits, a rating or other adjudicative decision that constitutes a reversal or revision of a prior decision on the grounds of clear and unmistakable error has the same effect as if the decision had been made on the date of the prior decision.

    ‘(c) Review to determine whether clear and unmistakable error exists in a case may be instituted by the Secretary on the Secretary’s own motion or upon request of the claimant.

    ‘(d) A request for revision of a decision of the Secretary based on clear and unmistakable error may be made at any time after that decision is made.

    ‘(e) Such a request shall be submitted to the Secretary and shall be decided in the same manner as any other claim.’.

    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 5109 the following new item:

      ‘5109A. Revision of decisions on grounds of clear and unmistakable error.’.

    (b) BVA DECISIONS- (1) Chapter 71 is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

‘Sec. 7111. Revision of decisions on grounds of clear and unmistakable error

    ‘(a) A decision by the Board is subject to revision on the grounds of clear and unmistakable error. If evidence establishes the error, the prior decision shall be reversed or revised.

    ‘(b) For the purposes of authorizing benefits, a rating or other adjudicative decision of the Board that constitutes a reversal or revision of a prior decision of the Board on the grounds of clear and unmistakable error has the same effect as if the decision had been made on the date of the prior decision.

    ‘(c) Review to determine whether clear and unmistakable error exists in a case may be instituted by the Board on the Board’s own motion or upon request of the claimant.

    ‘(d) A request for revision of a decision of the Board based on clear and unmistakable error may be made at any time after that decision is made.

    ‘(e) Such a request shall be submitted directly to the Board and shall be decided by the Board on the merits, without referral to any adjudicative or hearing official acting on behalf of the Secretary.

    ‘(f) A claim filed with the Secretary that requests reversal or revision of a previous Board decision due to clear and unmistakable error shall be considered to be a request to the Board under this section, and the Secretary shall promptly transmit any such request to the Board for its consideration under this section.’.

    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

      ‘7111. Revision of decisions on grounds of clear and unmistakable error.’.

    (c) EFFECTIVE DATE- (1) Sections 5109A and 7111 of title 38, United States Code, as added by this section, apply to any determination made before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (2) Notwithstanding section 402 of the Veterans Judicial Review Act (38 U.S.C. 7251 note), chapter 72 of title 38, United States Code, shall apply with respect to any decision of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals on a claim alleging that a previous determination of the Board was the product of clear and unmistakable error if that claim is filed after, or was pending before the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Court of Veterans Appeals, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, or the Supreme Court on, the date of the enactment of this Act.

TITLE V--MISCELLANEOUS

SEC. 501. RESTATEMENT OF INTENT OF CONGRESS CONCERNING COVERAGE OF RADIATION-EXPOSED VETERANS COMPENSATION ACT OF 1988.

    (a) RESTATEMENT OF ABSENCE OF STATUTORY LIMITATION TO UNITED STATES TESTS- (1) Clause (i) of section 1112(c)(3)(B) is amended by inserting ‘(without regard to whether the nation conducting the test was the United States or another nation)’ after ‘nuclear device’.

    (2) The amendment made by paragraph (1) shall take effect as of May 1, 1988.

    (b) PROOF OF SERVICE CONNECTION OF DISABILITIES RELATING TO EXPOSURE TO IONIZING RADIATION- (1) Section 1113(b) is amended--

      (A) by striking out ‘title or’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘title,’; and

      (B) by inserting ‘, or section 5 of Public Law 98-542 (38 U.S.C. 1154 note)’ after ‘of this section’.

    (2) The amendments made by paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to applications for veterans benefits that are submitted to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 502. EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY TO MAINTAIN REGIONAL OFFICE IN THE PHILIPPINES.

    Section 315(b) is amended by striking out ‘December 31, 1994’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘December 31, 1999’.

SEC. 503. RENOUNCEMENT OF BENEFIT RIGHTS.

    Section 5306 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(c) Notwithstanding subsection (b), if a new application for pension under chapter 15 of this title or for dependency and indemnity compensation for parents under section 1315 of this title is filed within one year after renouncement of that benefit, such application shall not be treated as an original application and benefits will be payable as if the renouncement had not occurred.’.

SEC. 504. EFFECTIVE DATE OF DISCONTINUANCE OF COMPENSATION UPON DEATH OF CERTAIN VETERANS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Section 5112 is amended by adding the following new subsection:

    ‘(d) In the case of a veteran who, at time of death, was in receipt of compensation for a disability rated as totally disabling with an additional amount being paid for a spouse, if the Secretary determines that the surviving spouse of such veteran is not eligible for dependency and indemnity compensation, the effective date of the discontinuance of such compensation shall be the last day of the month in which such death occurred.’.

    (b) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to deaths occurring after September 30, 1994.

Amend the title so as to read: ‘A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to provide a cost-of-living adjustment in the rates of disability compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for survivors of such veterans, to revise and improve veterans’ benefits programs, and for other purposes.’.