H.R. 5881 (112th): Access to Veterans Benefits Improvement Act

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of May 31, 2012 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5881

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 31, 2012

(for himself and Mr. Walz of Minnesota) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

A BILL

To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide certain employees of Members of Congress and certain employees of local governmental agencies with access to case-tracking information of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Access to Veterans Benefits Improvement Act.

2.

Provision of access to case-tracking information

(a)

In general

Chapter 59 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

5906.

Provision of access to case-tracking information

(a)

In general

(1)

The Secretary shall provide a covered employee with access to the case-tracking system to provide a veteran with information regarding the status of a claim submitted by such veteran, regardless of whether such employee is acting under a power of attorney executed by such veteran.

(2)

In providing a covered employee with access to the case-tracking system under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall ensure that such access—

(A)

is provided in a manner that does not allow such employee to modify the data contained in such system; and

(B)

does not include access to medical records.

(b)

Treatment of disclosure

The access to information by a covered employee pursuant to subsection (a) shall be deemed to be—

(1)

a covered disclosure under section 552a(b) of title 5; and

(2)

a permitted disclosure under regulations promulgated under section 264(c) of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (42 U.S.C. 1320d–2 note).

(c)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

The term case-tracking system means the system of the Department of Veterans Affairs that provides information regarding the status of a claim submitted by a veteran.

(2)

The term covered employee means an employee of a Member of Congress or an employee of a State or local governmental agency (including a veterans service officer) who, in the course of carrying out the responsibilities of such employment, assists veterans with claims for any benefit under the laws administered by the Secretary.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

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

5906. Provision of access to case-tracking information.

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