S. 914 (112th): Veterans Programs Improvement Act of 2011

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Oct 11, 2011 (Reported by Senate Committee).

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II

Calendar No. 188

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 914

[Report No. 112–88]

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 9, 2011

(for himself, Mr. Grassley, and Mr. Tester) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

October 11, 2011

Reported by , with an amendment

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

A BILL

To amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the waiver of the collection of copayments for telehealth and telemedicine visits of veterans, and for other purposes.

1.

Authority to waive collection of copayments for telehealth and telemedicine visits of veterans

(a)

In general

Subchapter III of chapter 17 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 1722A the following new section:

1722B.

Copayments: waiver of collection of copayments for telehealth and telemedicine visits of veterans

The Secretary may waive the imposition or collection of copayments for telehealth and telemedicine visits of veterans under the laws administered by the Secretary.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 17 of such title is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1722A the following new item:

1722B. Copayments: waiver of collection of copayments for telehealth and telemedicine visits of veterans.

.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Veterans Programs Improvement Act of 2011.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. References to title 38, United States Code.

TITLE I—Health care matters

Sec. 101. Authority to waive collection of copayments for telehealth and telemedicine visits of veterans.

Sec. 102. Teleconsultation, teleretinal imaging, and telemedicine.

Sec. 103. Payments and allowances for beneficiary travel in connection with veterans receiving care from Vet Centers.

Sec. 104. Use of service dogs on property of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Sec. 105. Rehabilitative services for veterans with traumatic brain injury.

Sec. 106. Centers of excellence for rural health research, education, and clinical activities.

Sec. 107. Provision of chiropractic services to veterans enrolled in health care system of Department of Veterans Affairs.

Sec. 108. Reimbursement rate for ambulance services.

Sec. 109. Increased flexibility in establishing payment rates for nursing home care provided by State homes.

Sec. 110. Access to State prescription monitoring programs.

Sec. 111. Improvements for recovery and collection of amounts for Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Care Collections Fund.

TITLE II—Homeless veterans matters

Sec. 201. Enhancement of comprehensive service programs.

Sec. 202. Modification of grant program for homeless veterans with special needs.

Sec. 203. Modification of authority for provision of treatment and rehabilitation to certain veterans to include provision of treatment and rehabilitation to homeless veterans who are not seriously mentally ill.

Sec. 204. Plan to end veteran homelessness.

Sec. 205. Extension of certain authorities relating to homeless veterans.

Sec. 206. Reauthorization of appropriations for homeless veterans reintegration program.

Sec. 207. Reauthorization of appropriations for financial assistance for supportive services for very low-income veteran families in permanent housing.

Sec. 208. Reauthorization of appropriations for grant program for homeless veterans with special needs.

Sec. 209. Collaboration in provision of case management services to homeless veterans in supported housing program.

TITLE III—Housing matters

Sec. 301. Short title.

Sec. 302. Extended period of protections for members of uniformed services relating to mortgages, mortgage foreclosure, and eviction.

Sec. 303. Occupancy of property by dependent child of veteran for purposes of meeting occupancy requirement for Department of Veterans Affairs housing loans.

Sec. 304. Waiver of loan fee for individuals with disability ratings issued during pre-discharge programs.

Sec. 305. Improvements to assistance for disabled veterans residing in housing owned by a family member.

Sec. 306. Expansion of eligibility for specially adapted housing assistance for veterans with vision impairment.

Sec. 307. Revised limitations on assistance furnished for acquisition and adaptation of housing for disabled veterans.

TITLE IV—Compensation and pension matters

Sec. 401. Increase in rate of pension for disabled veterans married to one another and both of whom require regular aid and attendance.

Sec. 402. Authority for retroactive effective date for awards of disability compensation in connection with applications that are fully-developed at submittal.

Sec. 403. Modification of month of death benefit for surviving spouses of veterans who die while entitled to compensation or pension.

Sec. 404. Automatic waiver of agency of original jurisdiction review of new evidence.

TITLE V—Memorial, burial, and cemetery matters

Sec. 501. Prohibition on disruptions of funerals of members or former members of the Armed Forces.

Sec. 502. Codification of prohibition against reservation of gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery.

Sec. 503. Expansion of eligibility for presidential memorial certificates to persons who died in the active military, naval, or air service.

TITLE VI—Construction matters

Sec. 601. Authorization of fiscal year 2012 major medical facility projects.

Sec. 602. Modification of authorization for certain major medical facility construction projects previously authorized.

Sec. 603. Authorization of fiscal year 2012 major medical facility leases.

Sec. 604. Authorization of appropriations.

Sec. 605. Limitation on authority of Secretary of Veterans Affairs to use bid savings on major medical facility projects to expand purpose of major medical facility projects.

Sec. 606. Designation of George H. O’Brien, Jr., Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Sec. 607. Designation of Major William Edward Adams Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic.

TITLE VII—Other administrative and benefits matters

Sec. 701. Assistance to veterans affected by natural disasters.

Sec. 702. Aggregate amount of educational assistance available to individuals who receive both survivors' and dependents educational assistance and other veterans and related educational assistance.

Sec. 703. Department of Veterans Affairs enforcement penalties for misrepresentation of a business concern as a small business concern owned and controlled by veterans or as a small business concern owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans.

Sec. 704. Authority for certain persons to sign claims filed with Secretary of Veterans Affairs on behalf of claimants.

Sec. 705. Improvement of process for filing jointly for social security and dependency and indemnity compensation.

Sec. 706. Parity between part-time and full-time students under employee incentive scholarship program.

Sec. 707. Report on pay-for-performance compensation under health care services contracts.

Sec. 708. Extension of authority to obtain information from Secretary of Treasury and Commissioner of Social Security for income verification purposes.

Sec. 709. Extension of authority for regional office of Department of Veterans Affairs in Republic of the Philippines.

Sec. 710. Report on establishment of a Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center or Polytrauma Network Site of the Department of Veterans Affairs in the northern Rockies or Dakotas.

Sec. 711. Modification of loan guaranty fee for certain initial loans.

2.

References to title 38, United States Code

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.

I

Health care matters

101.

Authority to waive collection of copayments for telehealth and telemedicine visits of veterans

(a)

In general

Subchapter III of chapter 17 is amended by inserting after section 1722A the following new section:

1722B.

Copayments: waiver of collection of copayments for telehealth and telemedicine visits of veterans

The Secretary may waive the imposition or collection of copayments for telehealth and telemedicine visits of veterans under the laws administered by the Secretary.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1722A the following new item:

1722B. Copayments: waiver of collection of copayments for telehealth and telemedicine visits of veterans.

.

102.

Teleconsultation, teleretinal imaging, and telemedicine

(a)

Teleconsultation

(1)

In general

Subchapter I of chapter 17 is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

1709.

Teleconsultation

(a)

Teleconsultation

(1)

The Secretary shall carry out a program of teleconsultation for the provision of remote mental health and traumatic brain injury assessments in facilities of the Department that are not otherwise able to provide such assessments without contracting with third party providers or reimbursing providers through a fee basis system.

(2)

The Secretary shall, in consultation with appropriate professional societies, promulgate technical and clinical care standards for the use of teleconsultation services within facilities of the Department.

(b)

Teleconsultation defined

In this section, the term teleconsultation means the use by a health care specialist of telecommunications to assist another health care provider in rendering a diagnosis or treatment.

.

(2)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter 17 is amended by inserting after the item related to section 1708 the following new item:

1709. Teleconsultation.

.

(b)

Training in telemedicine

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall offer medical residents opportunities in training in telemedicine to the extent such facilities offering residency programs have and utilize telemedicine and shall make such opportunities available consistent with standards established by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education for medical residency programs.

(c)

Enhancement of VERA

(1)

Incentives for provision of teleconsultation, teleretinal imaging, telemedicine, and telehealth services

(A)

In general

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall modify the Veterans Equitable Resource Allocation (VERA) system to include teleconsultation, teleretinal imaging, telemedicine, and telehealth coordination services.

(B)

Assessment

Not later than one year after the date on which the Secretary modifies the Veterans Equitable Resource Allocation system as required by subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall assess—

(i)

the effect of such modification on the utilization of teleconsultation, teleretinal imaging, telemedicine, and telehealth coordination services; and

(ii)

whether additional incentives are required to promote the utilization of such services throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs.

(2)

Inclusion of telemedicine visits in workload reporting

The Secretary shall modify the Veterans Equitable Resource Allocation system to require the inclusion of all telemedicine visits in the calculation of facility workload.

(d)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Teleconsultation

The term teleconsultation has the meaning given such term in section 1709 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a).

(2)

Telehealth

The term telehealth means the use of telecommunications to collect patient data remotely and send data to a monitoring station for interpretation.

(3)

Telemedicine

The term telemedicine means the use by a health care provider of telecommunications to assist in the diagnosis or treatment of a patient's medical condition.

(4)

Teleretinal imaging

The term teleretinal imaging means the use by a health care specialist of telecommunications, digital retinal imaging, and remote image interpretation to provide eye care.

103.

Payments and allowances for beneficiary travel in connection with veterans receiving care from Vet Centers

(a)

Clarification of existing authority

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may pay the actual necessary expense of travel or an allowance for travel to or from a Vet Center under section 111(a) of title 38, United States Code.

(b)

Report

(1)

In general

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the feasibility and advisability of paying the actual necessary expenses of travel or allowances for travel to or from Vet Centers under such section.

(2)

Elements

The report required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:

(A)

A description of the veterans who benefit from payment as described in subsection (a).

(B)

A description of any impediments to the Secretary in paying such expenses or allowances.

(C)

A description of any impediments encountered by veterans in receiving such payments.

(D)

An assessment of the feasibility and advisability of paying such expenses or allowances.

(E)

Such recommendations for legislative or administrative action as the Secretary considers appropriate with respect to the payment of such expenses or allowances.

(c)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary such sums as may be necessary to pay expenses and allowances as described in subsection (a) during the one-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(d)

Vet Center defined

In this section, the term Vet Center means a center for readjustment counseling and related mental health services for veterans under section 1712A of such title.

104.

Use of service dogs on property of the Department of Veterans Affairs

Section 1714 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(e)
(1)

Subject to paragraph (3), the Secretary shall admit service animals described in paragraph (2) to any building or property of the Department on the same terms and conditions, and subject to the same regulations, as otherwise generally govern the admission of the public to such buildings or properties.

(2)

The service animals described in this paragraph are service dogs provided under subsection (c) and other guide dogs or service animals that accompany individuals with disabilities and that are especially trained and educated to accompany such individuals.

(3)

The Secretary may prohibit service animals described in paragraph (2) from running free in or roaming buildings or properties described in paragraph (1) and may require such service animals to adorn guiding harnesses or leashes and be under the control of an individual at all times while in such buildings or on such properties.

.

105.

Rehabilitative services for veterans with traumatic brain injury

(a)

Rehabilitation services in plans for rehabilitation and reintegration

Section 1710C is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)(1), by inserting before the semicolon the following: with the goal of maximizing the individual’s independence;

(2)

in subsection (b)—

(A)

in paragraph (1)—

(i)

by inserting (and sustaining improvement in) after improving; and

(ii)

by inserting behavioral, after cognitive,;

(B)

in paragraph (2), by inserting rehabilitative services and before rehabilitative components; and

(C)

in paragraph (3)—

(i)

by striking treatments the first place it appears and inserting services; and

(ii)

by striking treatments and the second place it appears; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(h)

Rehabilitative services defined

For purposes of this section, and sections 1710D and 1710E of this title, the term rehabilitative services includes—

(1)

rehabilitative services, as such term is defined in section 1701 of this title;

(2)

treatment and services (which may be of ongoing duration) to sustain, and prevent loss of, functional gains that have been achieved; and

(3)

any other rehabilitative services or supports that may contribute to maximizing an individual's independence.

.

(b)

Rehabilitation services in comprehensive program for long-Term rehabilitation

Section 1710D(a) is amended—

(1)

by inserting and rehabilitative services (as defined in section 1710C of this title) after long-term care; and

(2)

by striking treatment.

(c)

Rehabilitation services in authority for cooperative agreements for use of non-Department facilities for rehabilitation

Section 1710E(a) is amended by inserting , including rehabilitative services (as defined in section 1710C of this title), after medical services.

(d)

Technical amendment

Section 1710C(c)(2)(S) is amended by striking opthamologist and inserting ophthalmologist.

106.

Centers of excellence for rural health research, education, and clinical activities

(a)

Centers of excellence

(1)

In general

Subchapter II of chapter 73 is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

7330B.

Centers of excellence for rural health research, education, and clinical activities

(a)

Establishment

The Secretary shall, through the Director of the Office of Rural Health, establish and operate centers of excellence for rural health research, education, and clinical activities.

(b)

Activities

Each center established and operated under subsection (a) shall carry out one or more of the following:

(1)

Collaboration with the Office of Research and Development of the Veterans Health Administration on research relating to the furnishing of health services in rural areas.

(2)

Development of specific models to be used by the Department in furnishing health services to veterans in rural areas.

(3)

Provision of education and training for health care professionals of the Department on the furnishing of health services to veterans in rural areas.

(4)

Development and implementation of innovative clinical activities and systems of care for the Department for the furnishing of health services to veterans in rural areas.

(c)

Designation

The Secretary may designate a rural health resource of the Office of Rural Health as a center of excellence for purposes of this section, including a rural health resource center described in section 7308(d) of this title, if such resource or center engages in one or more of the activities described in subsection (b).

(d)

Funding

Activities of clinical and scientific investigation at each center operated under this section shall be eligible to compete for the award of funding from funds appropriated for the Medical and Prosthetics Research Account.

.

(2)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 7330A the following new item:

7330B. Centers of excellence for rural health research, education, and clinical activities.

.

(b)

Recognition of rural health resource centers in Office of Rural Health

Section 7308 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(d)

Rural health resource centers

(1)

There are in the Office veterans rural health resource centers that serve as satellite offices for the Office.

(2)

The veterans rural health resource centers have purposes as follows:

(A)

To improve the understanding of the Office of the challenges faced by veterans living in rural areas.

(B)

To identify disparities in the availability of health care to veterans living in rural areas.

(C)

To formulate practices or programs to enhance the delivery of health care to veterans living in rural areas.

(D)

To develop special practices and products for the benefit of veterans living in rural areas and for implementation of such practices and products in the Department systemwide.

.

(c)

Designation of Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Fargo, North Dakota, as a center of excellence for rural health research, education, and clinical activities

In consideration of ongoing initiatives through the Office of Rural Health located at the University of North Dakota and the Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Fargo, North Dakota, such medical center shall be designated under section 7330B(c) of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), as a center of excellence for rural health research, education, and clinical activities.

107.

Provision of chiropractic services to veterans enrolled in health care system of Department of Veterans Affairs

(a)

Comprehensive policy on chiropractic services

(1)

In general

Not later than June 1, 2012, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall develop and implement a comprehensive policy on the provision of chiropractic services provided at the expense of the Department of Veterans Affairs to veterans enrolled in the health care system of the Department.

(2)

Scope of Policy

The policy required by paragraph (1) shall cover each of the following:

(A)

The Department-wide protocols governing referrals for chiropractic services.

(B)

The Department-wide protocols governing direct access to chiropractic services.

(C)

The Department-wide protocols governing the scope of practice of chiropractic practitioners.

(D)

The definition of chiropractic services to be provided.

(E)

The assurance of prompt and appropriate chiropractic services by the Department, system-wide, when medically appropriate.

(F)

Department programs of education and training for health care personnel of the Department regarding the benefits of chiropractic services.

(G)

Department programs of patient education for veterans suffering from back pain and related disorders.

(3)

Updates

The Secretary shall revise the policy required by paragraph (1) on a periodic basis in accordance with experience and evolving best practice guidelines.

(4)

Consultation

The Secretary shall develop the policy required by paragraph (1), and revise such policy under paragraph (3), in consultation with veterans service organizations and other organizations with expertise regarding the benefits of chiropractic services.

(b)

Locations for provision of chiropractic services

In carrying out the policy required by subsection (a), the Secretary shall provide chiropractic services at—

(1)

not less than two locations in each Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN); and

(2)

such locations as the Secretary considers appropriate based on the Secretary's assessment of demand for chiropractic services provided by the Department, including consideration of the following:

(A)

The average time a veteran seeking chiropractic services from the Department is required to wait for such services.

(B)

Rates of fee-based care.

(C)

Such other considerations as the Secretary considers appropriate.

(c)

Annual Report

(1)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of the completion and initial implementation of the policy required by subsection (a)(1) and on October 1 of every fiscal year thereafter through fiscal year 2020, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report on the implementation of the policy required by subsection (a)(1).

(2)

Elements

The report required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:

(A)

A description of the policy developed and implemented under paragraph (1) of subsection (a) and any revisions to such policy under paragraph (3) of such subsection.

(B)

A description of the performance measures used to determine the effectiveness of such policy in improving the availability of chiropractic services for veterans system-wide.

(C)

An assessment of the adequacy of Department chiropractic services based on a survey of patients managed in Department clinics.

(D)

An assessment of the training provided to Department health care personnel with respect to the benefits of chiropractic services and the appropriate referral of patients for chiropractic services.

(E)

An assessment of the patient pain care education programs of the Department.

(F)

The number of episodes of chiropractic services (including referrals for chiropractic services to non-Department providers) granted in the preceding fiscal year, disaggregated by facility.

(d)

Veterans Service Organization defined

In this section, the term veterans service organization means any organization recognized by the Secretary for the representation of veterans under section 5902 of title 38, United States Code.

108.

Reimbursement rate for ambulance services

Section 111(b)(3) is amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(C)

In the case of transportation of a person under subparagraph (B) by ambulance, the Secretary may pay the provider of the transportation the lesser of the actual charge for the transportation or the amount determined by the fee schedule established under section 1834(l) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395m(l)) unless the Secretary has entered into a contract for that transportation with the provider.

.

109.

Increased flexibility in establishing payment rates for nursing home care provided by State homes

(a)

In general

Section 1745(a) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by striking The Secretary shall pay each State home for nursing home care at the rate determined under paragraph (2) and inserting The Secretary shall enter into a contract (or agreement under section 1720(c)(1) of this title) with each State home for payment by the Secretary for nursing home care provided in the home; and

(2)

by striking paragraph (2) and inserting the following new paragraph (2):

(2)

Payment under each contract (or agreement) between the Secretary and a State home under paragraph (1) shall be based on a methodology, developed by the Secretary in consultation with the State home, to adequately reimburse the State home for the care provided by the State home under the contract (or agreement).

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply to care provided on or after January 1, 2012.

110.

Access to State prescription monitoring programs

(a)

Exception with respect to confidential nature of claims

Section 5701 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(l)

Under regulations the Secretary shall prescribe, the Secretary may disclose information about a veteran or the dependent of a veteran to a State controlled substance monitoring program, including a program approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under section 399O of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 280g–3), to the extent necessary to prevent misuse and diversion of prescription medicines.

.

(b)

Exception with respect to confidentiality of certain medical records

Section 7332(b)(2) is amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(G)

To a State controlled substance monitoring program, including a program approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under section 399O of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 280g–3), to the extent necessary to prevent misuse and diversion of prescription medicines.

.

111.

Improvements for recovery and collection of amounts for Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Care Collections Fund

(a)

Development and implementation of plan for recovery and collection

(1)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall develop and implement a plan to ensure the recovery and collection of amounts under the provisions of law described in section 1729A(b) of title 38, United States Code, for deposit in the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Care Collections Fund.

(2)

Elements

The plan required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:

(A)

An effective process to identify billable fee claims.

(B)

Effective and practicable policies and procedures that ensure recovery and collection of amounts described in section 1729A(b) of such title.

(C)

The training of employees of the Department, on or before December 1, 2011, who are responsible for the recovery or collection of such amounts to enable such employees to comply with the process required by subparagraph (A) and the policies and procedures required by subparagraph (B).

(D)

Fee revenue goals for the Department.

(E)

An effective monitoring system to ensure achievement of goals described in subparagraph (D) and compliance with the policies and procedures described in subparagraph (B).

(b)

Monitoring of third party collections

The Secretary shall monitor the recovery and collection of amounts from third parties (as defined in section 1729(i) of such title) for deposit in such fund.

II

Homeless veterans matters

201.

Enhancement of comprehensive service programs

(a)

Enhancement of grants

Section 2011 is amended—

(1)

in subsection (b)(1)(A), by striking expansion, remodeling, or alteration of existing buildings, or acquisition of facilities, and inserting new construction of facilities, expansion, remodeling, or alteration of existing facilities, or acquisition of facilities; and

(2)

in subsection (c)—

(A)

in the first sentence, by striking A grant and inserting (1) A grant;

(B)

in the second sentence of paragraph (1), as designated by subparagraph (A), by striking The amount and inserting the following:

(2)

The amount

; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(3)
(A)

The Secretary may not deny an application from an entity that seeks a grant under this section to carry out a project described in subsection (b)(1)(A) solely on the basis that the entity proposes to use funding from other private or public sources, if the entity demonstrates that a private nonprofit organization will provide oversight and site control for the project.

(B)

In this paragraph, the term private nonprofit organization means the following:

(i)

An incorporated private institution, organization, or foundation—

(I)

that has received, or has temporary clearance to receive, tax-exempt status under paragraph (2), (3), or (19) of section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;

(II)

for which no part of the net earnings of the institution, organization, or foundation inures to the benefit of any member, founder, or contributor of the institution, organization, or foundation; and

(III)

that the Secretary determines is financially responsible.

(ii)

A for-profit limited partnership or limited liability company, the sole general partner or manager of which is an organization that is described by subclauses (I) through (III) of clause (i).

(iii)

A corporation wholly owned and controlled by an organization that is described by subclauses (I) through (III) of clause (i).

.

(b)

Grant and per diem payments

(1)

Study and development of fiscal controls and payment method

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall—

(A)

complete a study of all matters relating to the method used by the Secretary to make per diem payments under section 2012(a) of title 38, United States Code, including changes anticipated by the Secretary in the cost of furnishing services to homeless veterans and accounting for costs of providing such services in various geographic areas;

(B)

develop more effective and efficient procedures for fiscal control and fund accounting by recipients of grants under sections 2011, 2012, and 2061 of such title; and

(C)

develop a more effective and efficient method for adequately reimbursing recipients of grants under section 2011 of such title for services furnished to homeless veterans.

(2)

Consideration

In developing the method required by paragraph (1)(C), the Secretary may consider payments and grants received by recipients of grants described in such paragraph from other departments and agencies of Federal and local governments and from private entities.

(3)

Report

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on—

(A)

the findings of the Secretary with respect to the study required by subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1);

(B)

the methods developed under subparagraphs (B) and (C) of such paragraph; and

(C)

any recommendations of the Secretary for revising the method described in subparagraph (A) of such paragraph and any legislative action the Secretary considers necessary to implement such method.

(c)

Authorization of appropriations

Section 2013 is amended by striking subchapter and all that follows through the period and inserting the following: “subchapter amounts as follows:

(1)

$150,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2007 through 2009.

(2)

$175,100,000 for fiscal year 2010.

(3)

$217,700,000 for fiscal year 2011.

(4)

$250,000,000 for fiscal year 2012.

(5)

$150,000,000 for fiscal year 2013 and each fiscal year thereafter.

.

202.

Modification of grant program for homeless veterans with special needs

(a)

Inclusion of entities eligible for comprehensive service program grants and per diem payments for services to homeless veterans

Subsection (a) of section 2061 is amended—

(1)

by striking to grant and per diem providers and inserting to entities eligible for grants and per diem payments under sections 2011 and 2012 of this title; and

(2)

by striking by those facilities and providers and inserting by those facilities and entities.

(b)

Inclusion of male homeless veterans with minor dependents

Subsection (b) of such section is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by striking , including women who have care of minor dependents;

(2)

in paragraph (3), by striking or;

(3)

in paragraph (4), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; or; and

(4)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(5)

individuals who have care of minor dependents.

.

(c)

Authorization of provision of services to dependents

Such section is further amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsection (c) as subsection (d); and

(2)

by inserting after subsection (b) the following new subsection (c):

(c)

Provision of services to dependents

A recipient of a grant under subsection (a) may use amounts under the grant to provide services directly to a dependent of a homeless veteran with special needs who is under the care of such homeless veteran while such homeless veteran receives services from the grant recipient under this section.

.

203.

Modification of authority for provision of treatment and rehabilitation to certain veterans to include provision of treatment and rehabilitation to homeless veterans who are not seriously mentally ill

Section 2031(a) is amended in the matter before paragraph (1) by striking , including and inserting and to.

204.

Plan to end veteran homelessness

(a)

In general

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to Congress a comprehensive plan to end homelessness among veterans.

(b)

Elements

The plan required by subsection (a) shall include the following:

(1)

An analysis of programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs and other departments and agencies of the Federal Government that are designed to prevent homelessness among veterans and assist veterans who are homeless.

(2)

An evaluation of whether and how coordination between the programs described in paragraph (1) would contribute to ending homelessness among veterans.

(3)

Recommendations for improving the programs described in paragraph (1), enhancing coordination between such programs, or eliminating programs that are no longer effective.

(4)

Recommendations for new programs to prevent and end homelessness among veterans, including an estimate of the cost of such programs.

(5)

A timeline for implementing the plan, including milestones to track the implementation of the plan.

(6)

Benchmarks to measure the effectiveness of the plan and the efforts of the Secretary to implement the plan.

(7)

Such other matters as the Secretary considers necessary.

(c)

Consideration of veterans located in rural areas

The analysis, evaluation, and recommendations included in the report required by subsection (a) shall include consideration of the circumstances and requirements that are unique to veterans located in rural areas.

205.

Extension of certain authorities relating to homeless veterans

(a)

Health care for homeless veterans

Section 2031(b) is amended by striking December 31, 2011 and inserting December 31, 2012.

(b)

Centers for provision of comprehensive services to homeless veterans

Section 2033(d) is amended by striking December 31, 2011 and inserting December 31, 2014.

(c)

Property transfers for housing assistance for homeless veterans

Section 2041(c) is amended by striking December 31, 2011 and inserting December 31, 2014.

(d)

Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans

Section 2066(d) is amended by striking December 31, 2011 and inserting December 31, 2013.

206.

Reauthorization of appropriations for homeless veterans reintegration program

Section 2021(e)(1) is amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(G)

$50,000,000 for fiscal year 2012.

.

207.

Reauthorization of appropriations for financial assistance for supportive services for very low-income veteran families in permanent housing

(a)

In general

Section 2044(e) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(D)

$100,000,000 for fiscal year 2012.

; and

(2)

in paragraph (3), by striking 2011 and inserting 2012.

(b)

Technical amendment

Paragraph (1) of such section is further amended by striking carry out subsection (a), (b), and (c) and inserting carry out subsections (a), (b), and (c).

208.

Reauthorization of appropriations for grant program for homeless veterans with special needs

Section 2061(d)(1), as redesignated by section 202(c)(1), is amended by striking 2011 and inserting 2013.

209.

Collaboration in provision of case management services to homeless veterans in supported housing program

(a)

In general

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall consider entering into contracts or agreements, under sections 513 and 8153 of title 38, United States Code, with eligible entities to collaborate with the Secretary in the provision of case management services to covered veterans as part of the supported housing program carried out under section 8(o)(19) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)(19)) to ensure that the homeless veterans facing the most significant difficulties in obtaining suitable housing receive the assistance they require to obtain such housing.

(b)

Covered veterans

For purposes of this section, a covered veteran is any veteran who—

(1)

is eligible to receive a housing voucher under such section 8(o)(19);

(2)

requires the assistance of a case manager in obtaining suitable housing with such voucher; and

(3)

is having difficulty obtaining the amount of such assistance the veteran requires, including because—

(A)

the veteran resides in an area that has a shortage of low-income housing and because of such shortage the veteran requires more assistance from a case manager than the Secretary otherwise provides;

(B)

the location in which the veteran resides is located at such distance from facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs as makes the provision of case management services by the Secretary to such veteran impractical; or

(C)

the veteran resides in an area where veterans who receive case management services from the Secretary under such section have a significantly lower average rate of successfully obtaining suitable housing than the average rate of successfully obtaining suitable housing for all veterans receiving such services.

(c)

Eligible entities

For purposes of this section, an eligible entity is any State or local government agency, tribal organization (as such term is defined in section 4 of the Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b)), or nonprofit organization that—

(1)

under a contract or agreement described in subsection (a), agrees—

(A)

to ensure access to case management services by covered veterans on an as-needed basis;

(B)

to maintain referral networks for covered veterans for purposes of assisting covered veterans in demonstrating eligibility for assistance and additional services under entitlement and assistance programs available for covered veterans, and to otherwise aid covered veterans in obtaining such assistance and services;

(C)

to ensure the confidentiality of records maintained by the entity on covered veterans receiving services through the supported housing program described in subsection (a);

(D)

to establish such procedures for fiscal control and fund accounting as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs considers appropriate to ensure proper disbursement and accounting of funds under a contract or agreement entered into by the entity as described in subsection (a);

(E)

to submit to the Secretary each year, in such form and such manner as the Secretary may require, a report on the collaboration undertaken by the entity under a contract or agreement described in such subsection during the most recent fiscal year, including a description of, for the year covered by the report—

(i)

the services and assistance provided to covered veterans as part of such collaboration;

(ii)

the process by which covered veterans were referred to the entity for such services and assistance;

(iii)

the specific goals jointly set by the entity and the Secretary for the provision of such services and assistance and whether the entity achieved such goals; and

(iv)

the average length of time taken by a covered veteran who received such services and assistance to successfully obtain suitable housing and the average retention rate of such a veteran in such housing; and

(F)

to meet such other requirements as the Secretary considers appropriate for purposes of providing assistance to covered veterans in obtaining suitable housing; and

(2)

has demonstrated experience in—

(A)

identifying and serving homeless veterans, especially those who have the greatest difficulty obtaining suitable housing;

(B)

working collaboratively with the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Housing and Urban Development;

(C)

conducting outreach to, and maintaining relationships with, landlords to encourage and facilitate participation by landlords in supported housing programs similar to the supported housing program described in subsection (a);

(D)

mediating disputes between landlords and veterans receiving assistance under such supported housing program; and

(E)

carrying out such other activities as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs considers appropriate.

(d)

Consultation

In considering entering into contracts or agreements as described in subsection (a), the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall consult with—

(1)

the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; and

(2)

third parties that provide services as part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development continuum of care.

(e)

Technical assistance for collaborating entities

(1)

In general

The Secretary may provide training and technical assistance to entities with whom the Secretary collaborates in the provision of case management services to veterans as part of the supported housing program described in subsection (a).

(2)

Grants

The Secretary may provide training and technical assistance under paragraph (1) through the award of grants or contracts to appropriate public and nonprofit private entities.

(3)

Funding

From amounts appropriated or otherwise made available to the Secretary in the Medical Services account in a year, $500,000 shall be available to the Secretary in that year to carry out this subsection.

(f)

Annual report

(1)

In general

Not later than 545 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and not less frequently than once each year thereafter, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to Congress a report on the collaboration between the Secretary and eligible entities in the provision of case management services as described in subsection (a) during the most recently completed fiscal year.

(2)

Elements

Each report required by paragraph (1) shall include, for the period covered by the report, the following:

(A)

A discussion of each case in which a contract or agreement described in subsection (a) was considered by the Secretary, including a description of whether or not and why the Secretary chose or did not choose to enter into such contract or agreement.

(B)

The number and types of eligible entities with whom the Secretary has entered into a contract or agreement as described in subsection (a).

(C)

A description of the geographic regions in which such entities provide case management services as described in such subsection.

(D)

A description of the number and types of covered veterans who received case management services from such entities under such contracts or agreements.

(E)

An assessment of the performance of each eligible entity with whom the Secretary entered into a contract or agreement as described in subsection (a).

(F)

An assessment of the benefits to covered veterans of such contracts and agreements.

(G)

A discussion of the benefits of increasing the ratio of case managers to recipients of vouchers under the supported housing program described in such subsection to veterans who reside in rural areas.

(H)

Such recommendations for legislative or administrative action as the Secretary considers appropriate for the improvement of collaboration in the provision of case management services under such supported housing program.

III

Housing matters

301.

Short title

This title may be cited as the Andrew Connolly Veterans' Housing Act.

302.

Extended period of protections for members of uniformed services relating to mortgages, mortgage foreclosure, and eviction

(a)

Stay of proceedings and period of adjustment of obligations relating to real or personal property

Section 303(b) of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. App. 533(b)) is amended by striking within 9 months and inserting within 12 months.

(b)

Period of relief from sale, foreclosure, or seizure

Section 303(c) of such Act (50 U.S.C. App. 533(c)) is amended by striking within 9 months and inserting within 12 months.

(c)

Report

(1)

In general

Not later than 540 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress a report on the protections provided under section 303 of such Act (50 U.S.C. App 533) during the five-year period ending on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2)

Elements

The report required by paragraph (1) shall include, for the period described in such paragraph, the following:

(A)

An assessment of the effects of such section on the long-term financial well-being of servicemembers and their families.

(B)

The number of servicemembers who faced foreclosure during a 90-day period, 270-day period, or 365-day period beginning on the date on which the servicemembers completed a period of military service.

(C)

The number of servicemembers who applied for a stay or adjustment under subsection (b) of such section.

(D)

A description and assessment of the effect of applying for a stay or adjustment under such subsection on the financial well-being of the servicemembers who applied for such a stay or adjustment.

(E)

An assessment of the Secretary of Defense's partnerships with public and private sector entities and recommendations on how the Secretary should modify such partnerships to improve financial education and counseling for servicemembers in order to assist them in achieving long-term financial stability.

(3)

Period of military service and servicemember defined

In this subsection, the terms period of military service and servicemember have the meanings given such terms in section 101 of such Act (50 U.S.C. App. 511).

303.

Occupancy of property by dependent child of veteran for purposes of meeting occupancy requirement for Department of Veterans Affairs housing loans

Paragraph (2) of section 3704(c) is amended to read as follows:

(2)

In any case in which a veteran is in active-duty status as a member of the Armed Forces and is unable to occupy a property because of such status, the occupancy requirements of this chapter shall be considered to be satisfied if—

(A)

the spouse of the veteran occupies or intends to occupy the property as a home and the spouse makes the certification required by paragraph (1) of this subsection; or

(B)

a dependent child of the veteran occupies or will occupy the property as a home and the veteran’s attorney-in-fact or legal guardian of the dependent child makes the certification required by paragraph (1) of this subsection.

.

304.

Waiver of loan fee for individuals with disability ratings issued during pre-discharge programs

Paragraph (2) of section 3729(c) is amended to read as follows:

(2)
(A)

A veteran described in subparagraph (B) shall be treated as receiving compensation for purposes of this subsection as of the date of the rating described in such subparagraph without regard to whether an effective date of the award of compensation is established as of that date.

(B)

A veteran described in this subparagraph is a veteran who is rated eligible to receive compensation—

(i)

as the result of a pre-discharge disability examination and rating; or

(ii)

based on a pre-discharge review of existing medical evidence (including service medical and treatment records) that results in the issuance of a memorandum rating.

.

305.

Improvements to assistance for disabled veterans residing in housing owned by a family member

(a)

Increased assistance

Subsection (b) of section 2102A is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by striking $14,000 and inserting $28,000; and

(2)

in paragraph (2), by striking $2,000 and inserting $5,000.

(b)

Indexing of levels of assistance

Such subsection is further amended—

(1)

by redesignating paragraphs (1) and (2) as subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively;

(2)

in the matter before subparagraph (A), as redesignated by paragraph (1), by inserting (1) before The; and

(3)

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

(2)

Effective on October 1 of each year (beginning in 2012), the Secretary shall use the same percentage calculated pursuant to section 2102(e) of this title to increase the amounts described in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

.

(c)

Extension of authority for assistance

Subsection (e) of such section is amended by striking December 31, 2011 and inserting December 31, 2021.

(d)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply with respect to payments made in accordance with section 2102A of title 38, United States Code, on or after that date.

306.

Expansion of eligibility for specially adapted housing assistance for veterans with vision impairment

(a)

In general

Paragraph (2) of section 2101(b) is amended to read as follows:

(2)

A veteran is described in this paragraph if the veteran is entitled to compensation under chapter 11 of this title for a service-connected disability that meets any of the following criteria:

(A)

The disability is due to blindness in both eyes, having central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a standard correcting lens. For the purposes of this subparagraph, an eye with a limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees shall be considered as having a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less.

(B)

A permanent and total disability that includes the anatomical loss or loss of use of both hands.

(C)

A permanent and total disability that is due to a severe burn injury (as so determined).

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect on October 1, 2012.

307.

Revised limitations on assistance furnished for acquisition and adaptation of housing for disabled veterans

Section 2102(d) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by striking under sections 2101(a) and 2102A and inserting under section 2101(a); and

(2)

in paragraph (2), by striking under sections 2101(b) and 2102A and inserting under section 2101(b).

IV

Compensation and pension matters

401.

Increase in rate of pension for disabled veterans married to one another and both of whom require regular aid and attendance

(a)

In general

Section 1521(f)(2) is amended by striking $30,480 and inserting $31,305.

(b)

Effective date

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

402.

Authority for retroactive effective date for awards of disability compensation in connection with applications that are fully-developed at submittal

Section 5110(b) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating paragraphs (2) and (3) as paragraphs (3) and (4), respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after paragraph (1) the following new paragraph (2):

(2)
(A)

The effective date of an award of disability compensation to a veteran who submits an application therefor that sets forth a claim that is fully-developed (as prescribed by the Secretary for purposes of this paragraph) as of the date of submittal shall be fixed in accordance with the facts found, but shall not be earlier than the date that is one year before the date of receipt of the application.

(B)

Subparagraph (A) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this paragraph and shall not apply with respect to claims filed after September 30, 2012.

.

403.

Modification of month of death benefit for surviving spouses of veterans who die while entitled to compensation or pension

(a)

Surviving spouse benefit for month of veteran's death

Subsections (a) and (b) of section 5310 are amended to read as follows:

(a)

In general

(1)

A surviving spouse of a veteran is entitled to a benefit for the month of the veteran's death if—

(A)

at the time of the veteran's death, the veteran was receiving compensation or pension under chapter 11 or 15 of this title; or

(B)

the veteran is determined for purposes of section 5121 or 5121A of this title as having been entitled to receive compensation or pension under chapter 11 or 15 of this title for the month of the veteran's death.

(2)

The amount of the benefit under paragraph (1) is the amount that the veteran would have received under chapter 11 or 15 of this title, as the case may be, for the month of the veteran's death had the veteran not died.

(b)

Claims pending adjudication

If a claim for entitlement to compensation or additional compensation under chapter 11 of this title or pension or additional pension under chapter 15 of this title is pending at the time of a veteran's death and the check or other payment issued to the veteran's surviving spouse under subsection (a) is less than the amount of the benefit the veteran would have been entitled to for the month of death pursuant to the adjudication of the pending claim, an amount equal to the difference between the amount to which the veteran would have been entitled to receive under chapter 11 or 15 of this title for the month of the veteran's death had the veteran not died and the amount of the check or other payment issued to the surviving spouse shall be treated in the same manner as an accrued benefit under section 5121 of this title.

.

(b)

Month of death benefit exempt from delayed commencement of payment

Section 5111(c)(1) is amended by striking apply to and all that follows through death occurred and inserting the following: not apply to payments made pursuant to section 5310 of this title.

(c)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply with respect to deaths that occur on or after that date.

404.

Automatic waiver of agency of original jurisdiction review of new evidence

(a)

In general

Section 7105 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(e)
(1)

If, either at the time or after the agency of original jurisdiction receives a substantive appeal, the claimant or the claimant's representative, if any, submits evidence to either the agency of original jurisdiction or the Board of Veterans' Appeals for consideration in connection with the issue or issues with which disagreement has been expressed, such evidence shall be subject to initial review by the Board unless the claimant or the claimant's representative, as the case may be, requests in writing that the agency of original jurisdiction initially review such evidence.

(2)

A request for review of evidence under paragraph (1) shall accompany the submittal of the evidence.

.

(b)

Effective date

Subsection (e) of such section, as added by subsection (a), shall take effect on the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply with respect to claims for which a substantive appeal is filed on or after the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

V

Memorial, burial, and cemetery matters

501.

Prohibition on disruptions of funerals of members or former members of the Armed Forces

(a)

Purpose and authority

(1)

Purpose

The purpose of this section is to provide necessary and proper support for the recruitment and retention of the Armed Forces and militia employed in the service of the United States by protecting the dignity of the service of the members of such Forces and militia, and by protecting the privacy of their immediate family members and other attendees during funeral services for such members.

(2)

Constitutional authority

Congress finds that this section is a necessary and proper exercise of its powers under the Constitution, article I, section 8, paragraphs 1, 12, 13, 14, 16 and 18, to provide for the common defense, raise and support armies, provide and maintain a navy, make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces, and provide for organizing and governing such part of the militia as may be employed in the service of the United States.

(b)

Amendment to title 18

Section 1388 of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

1388.

Prohibition on disruptions of funerals of members or former members of the Armed Forces

(a)

Prohibition

For any funeral of a member or former member of the Armed Forces that is not located at a cemetery under the control of the National Cemetery Administration or part of Arlington National Cemetery, it shall be unlawful for any person to engage in an activity during the period beginning 120 minutes before and ending 120 minutes after such funeral, any part of which activity—

(1)
(A)

takes place within the boundaries of the location of such funeral or takes place within 300 feet of the point of the intersection between—

(i)

the boundary of the location of such funeral; and

(ii)

a road, pathway, or other route of ingress to or egress from the location of such funeral; and

(B)

includes any individual willfully making or assisting in the making of any noise or diversion—

(i)

that is not part of such funeral and that disturbs or tends to disturb the peace or good order of such funeral; and

(ii)

with the intent of disturbing the peace or good order of such funeral;

(2)
(A)

is within 500 feet of the boundary of the location of such funeral; and

(B)

includes any individual—

(i)

willfully and without proper authorization impeding or tending to impede the access to or egress from such location; and

(ii)

with the intent to impede the access to or egress from such location; or

(3)

is on or near the boundary of the residence, home, or domicile of any surviving member of the deceased person's immediate family and includes any individual willfully making or assisting in the making of any noise or diversion—

(A)

that disturbs or tends to disturb the peace of the persons located at such location; and

(B)

with the intent of disturbing such peace.

(b)

Penalty

Any person who violates subsection (a) shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both.

(c)

Civil remedies

(1)

District courts

The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction—

(A)

to prevent and restrain violations of this section; and

(B)

for the adjudication of any claims for relief under this section.

(2)

Attorney general

The Attorney General may institute proceedings under this section.

(3)

Claims

Any person, including a surviving member of the deceased person's immediate family, who suffers injury as a result of conduct that violates this section may—

(A)

sue therefor in any appropriate United States district court or in any court of competent jurisdiction; and

(B)

recover damages as provided in subsection (d) and the cost of the suit, including reasonable attorneys’ fees.

(4)

Estoppel

A final judgment or decree rendered in favor of the United States in any criminal proceeding brought by the United States under this section shall estop the defendant from denying the essential allegations of the criminal offense in any subsequent civil proceeding brought by a person or by the United States.

(d)

Actual and statutory damages

(1)

In general

In addition to any penalty imposed under subsection (b), a violator of this section is liable in an action under subsection (c) for actual or statutory damages as provided in this subsection.

(2)

Actions by private persons

A person bringing an action under subsection (c)(3) may elect, at any time before final judgment is rendered, to recover the actual damages suffered by him or her as a result of the violation or, instead of actual damages, an award of statutory damages for each violation involved in the action.

(3)

Actions by Attorney General

In any action under subsection (c)(2), the Attorney General is entitled to recover an award of statutory damages for each violation involved in the action notwithstanding any recovery under subsection (c)(3).

(4)

Statutory damages

A court may award, as the court considers just, statutory damages in a sum of not less than $25,000 or more than $50,000 per violation.

(e)

Rebuttable presumption

It shall be a rebuttable presumption that the violation was committed willfully for purposes of determining relief under this section if the violator, or a person acting in concert with the violator, did not have reasonable grounds to believe, either from the attention or publicity sought by the violator or other circumstance, that the conduct of such violator or person would not disturb or tend to disturb the peace or good order of such funeral, impede or tend to impede the access to or egress from such funeral, or disturb or tend to disturb the peace of any surviving member of the deceased person's immediate family who may be found on or near the residence, home, or domicile of the deceased person's immediate family on the date of the service or ceremony.

(f)

Definitions

In this section—

(1)

the term Armed Forces has the meaning given the term in section 101 of title 10 and includes members and former members of the National Guard who were employed in the service of the United States; and

(2)

the term immediate family means, with respect to a person, the immediate family members of such person, as such term is defined in section 115 of this title.

.

(c)

Amendment to title 38

(1)

In general

Section 2413 is amended to read as follows:

2413.

Prohibition on certain demonstrations and disruptions at cemeteries under control of the National Cemetery Administration and at Arlington National Cemetery

(a)

Prohibition

It shall be unlawful for any person—

(1)

to carry out a demonstration on the property of a cemetery under the control of the National Cemetery Administration or on the property of Arlington National Cemetery unless the demonstration has been approved by the cemetery superintendent or the director of the property on which the cemetery is located; or

(2)

with respect to such a cemetery, to engage in a demonstration during the period beginning 120 minutes before and ending 120 minutes after a funeral, memorial service, or ceremony is held, any part of which demonstration—

(A)
(i)

takes place within the boundaries of such cemetery or takes place within 300 feet of the point of the intersection between—

(I)

the boundary of such cemetery; and

(II)

a road, pathway, or other route of ingress to or egress from such cemetery; and

(ii)

includes any individual willfully making or assisting in the making of any noise or diversion—

(I)

that is not part of such funeral, memorial service, or ceremony and that disturbs or tends to disturb the peace or good order of such funeral, memorial service, or ceremony; and

(II)

with the intent of disturbing the peace or good order of such funeral, memorial service, or ceremony; or

(B)
(i)

is within 500 feet of the boundary of such cemetery; and

(ii)

includes any individual—

(I)

willfully and without proper authorization impeding or tending to impede the access to or egress from such cemetery; and

(II)

with the intent to impede the access to or egress from such cemetery.

(b)

Penalty

Any person who violates subsection (a) shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(c)

Civil remedies

(1)

The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction—

(A)

to prevent and restrain violations of this section; and

(B)

for the adjudication of any claims for relief under this section.

(2)

The Attorney General of the United States may institute proceedings under this section.

(3)

Any person, including a surviving member of the deceased person's immediate family, who suffers injury as a result of conduct that violates this section may—

(A)

sue therefor in any appropriate United States district court or in any court of competent jurisdiction; and

(B)

recover damages as provided in subsection (d) and the cost of the suit, including reasonable attorneys’ fees.

(4)

A final judgment or decree rendered in favor of the United States in any criminal proceeding brought by the United States under this section shall estop the defendant from denying the essential allegations of the criminal offense in any subsequent civil proceeding brought by a person or by the United States.

(d)

Actual and statutory damages

(1)

In addition to any penalty imposed under subsection (b), a violator of this section is liable in an action under subsection (c) for actual or statutory damages as provided in this subsection.

(2)

A person bringing an action under subsection (c)(3) may elect, at any time before final judgment is rendered, to recover the actual damages suffered by him or her as a result of the violation or, instead of actual damages, an award of statutory damages for each violation involved in the action.

(3)

In any action brought under subsection (c)(2), the Attorney General is entitled to recover an award of statutory damages for each violation involved in the action notwithstanding any recovery under subsection (c)(3).

(4)

A court may award, as the court considers just, statutory damages in a sum of not less than $25,000 or more than $50,000 per violation.

(e)

Rebuttable presumption

It shall be a rebuttable presumption that the violation of subsection (a) was committed willfully for purposes of determining relief under this section if the violator, or a person acting in concert with the violator, did not have reasonable grounds to believe, either from the attention or publicity sought by the violator or other circumstance, that the conduct of such violator or person would not—

(1)

disturb or tend to disturb the peace or good order of such funeral, memorial service, or ceremony; or

(2)

impede or tend to impede the access to or egress from such funeral, memorial service, or ceremony.

(f)

Definitions

In this section—

(1)

the term demonstration includes—

(A)

any picketing or similar conduct;

(B)

any oration, speech, use of sound amplification equipment or device, or similar conduct that is not part of a funeral, memorial service, or ceremony;

(C)

the display of any placard, banner, flag, or similar device, unless such a display is part of a funeral, memorial service, or ceremony; and

(D)

the distribution of any handbill, pamphlet, leaflet, or other written or printed matter other than a program distributed as part of a funeral, memorial service, or ceremony; and

(2)

the term immediate family means, with respect to a person, the immediate family members of such person, as such term is defined in section 115 of title 18.

.

(2)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 24 is amended by striking the item relating to section 2413 and inserting the following new item:

2413. Prohibition on certain demonstrations and disruptions at cemeteries under control of the National Cemetery Administration and at Arlington National Cemetery.

.

502.

Codification of prohibition against reservation of gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery

(a)

In general

Chapter 24 is amended by inserting after section 2410 the following new section:

2410A.

Arlington National Cemetery: other administrative matters

(a)

One gravesite

(1)

Not more than one gravesite may be provided at Arlington National Cemetery to a veteran or member of the Armed Forces who is eligible for interment or inurnment at such cemetery.

(2)

The Secretary of the Army may waive the prohibition in paragraph (1) as the Secretary of the Army considers appropriate.

(b)

Prohibition against reservation of gravesites

A gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery may not be reserved for an individual before the death of such individual.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 2410 the following new item:

2410A. Arlington National Cemetery: other administrative matters.

.

(c)

Applicability

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), section 2410A of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall apply with respect to all interments at Arlington National Cemetery after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2)

Exception

Subsection (b) of such section, as so added, shall not apply with respect to the interment of an individual for whom a request for a reserved gravesite was approved by the Secretary of the Army before January 1, 1962.

(d)

Report

(1)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Army shall submit to Congress a report on reservations made for interment at Arlington National Cemetery.

(2)

Elements

The report required by paragraph (1) shall include the following:

(A)

The number of requests for reservation of a gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery that were submitted to the Secretary of the Army before January 1, 1962.

(B)

The number of gravesites at such cemetery that, on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act, were reserved in response to such requests.

(C)

The number of such gravesites that, on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act, were unoccupied.

(D)

A list of all reservations for gravesites at such cemetery that were extended by individuals responsible for management of such cemetery in response to requests for such reservations made on or after January 1, 1962.

(E)

A description of the measures that the Secretary is taking to improve the accountability and transparency of the management of gravesite reservations at Arlington National Cemetery.

(F)

Such recommendations as the Secretary may have for legislative action as the Secretary considers necessary to improve such accountability and transparency.

503.

Expansion of eligibility for presidential memorial certificates to persons who died in the active military, naval, or air service

Section 112(a) is amended—

(1)

by inserting and persons who died in the active military, naval, or air service, after under honorable conditions,; and

(2)

by striking veteran’s and inserting deceased individual’s.

VI

Construction matters

601.

Authorization of fiscal year 2012 major medical facility projects

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may carry out the following major medical facility projects in fiscal year 2012, with each project to be carried out in the amount specified for each project:

(1)

Construction of seismic corrections for Building 100 at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, in an amount not to exceed $51,800,000.

(2)

Construction of seismic corrections and renovation of various buildings to include Building 209 for housing facilities for homeless veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Los Angeles, California, in an amount not to exceed $35,500,000.

602.

Modification of authorization for certain major medical facility construction projects previously authorized

(a)

Modification of authorization of fiscal year 2007 major medical facility project at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Section 803(3) of the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 (Public Law 109–461) is amended—

(1)

by inserting and a parking garage after clinical addition; and

(2)

by striking $56,163,000 and inserting $90,600,000.

(b)

Modification of extension of authorization for major medical facility construction project in Orlando, Florida, previously authorized in connection with capital asset realignment initiative

Section 802(11) of the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 (Public Law 109–461), as amended by section 702(b)(4) of the Veterans' Mental Health and Other Care Improvements Act of 2008 (Public Law 110–387; 122 Stat. 4137), is amended by inserting , including a Simulation, Learning, Education, and Research Network Center, after Florida, area.

(c)

Increase in amount of authorization of fiscal year 2008 major medical facility project at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Palo Alto, California

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may carry out the major medical facility project at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Palo, Alto, California, for which amounts were appropriated under chapter 3 of title I of the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110–252; 122 Stat. 2326) under the heading Construction, Major Projects under the heading Department of Veterans Affairs in an amount not to exceed $716,600,000.

(d)

Increase in amount of authorization of fiscal year 2009 major medical facility project at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Section 701(3) of the Veterans' Mental Health and Other Care Improvements Act of 2008 (Public Law 110–387; 122 Stat. 4137) is amended by striking $225,900,000 and inserting $277,000,000.

(e)

Increase in amount of authorization of fiscal year 2007 major medical facility project at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, St. Louis, Missouri

Section 803(5) of the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 (Public Law 109–461) is amended by striking $69,053,000 and inserting $346,300,000.

603.

Authorization of fiscal year 2012 major medical facility leases

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may carry out the following fiscal year 2012 major medical facility leases at the locations specified, in an amount not to exceed the amount shown for each such location:

(1)

Columbus, Georgia, Community Based Outpatient Clinic, in an amount not to exceed $5,335,000.

(2)

Fort Wayne, Indiana, Outpatient Clinic, in an amount not to exceed $2,845,000.

(3)

Mobile, Alabama, Outpatient Clinic, in an amount not to exceed $6,565,000.

(4)

Rochester, New York, Outpatient Clinic, in an amount not to exceed $9,232,000.

(5)

Salem, Oregon, Community Based Outpatient Clinic, in an amount not to exceed $2,549,000.

(6)

San Jose, California, Outpatient Clinic, in an amount not to exceed $9,546,000.

(7)

South Bend, Indiana, Outpatient Clinic, in an amount not to exceed $6,731,000.

(8)

Springfield, Missouri, Community Based Outpatient Clinic, in an amount not to exceed $6,489,000.

604.

Authorization of appropriations

(a)

Authorization of appropriations for construction

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2012 or the year in which funds are appropriated for the Construction, Major Projects, account—

(1)

$87,300,000 for the projects authorized in section 601; and

(2)

$850,070,000 for the increased amounts authorized for projects whose authorizations are modified by section 602.

(b)

Authorization of appropriations for medical facility leases

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for fiscal year 2012 or the year in which funds are appropriated for the Medical Facilities account $49,292,000 for the leases authorized in section 603.

(c)

Limitation

The projects authorized in sections 601, 602, and 603 may only be carried out using—

(1)

funds appropriated for fiscal year 2012 pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in subsection (a) of this section;

(2)

funds available for Construction, Major Projects, for a fiscal year before fiscal year 2012 that remain available for obligation;

(3)

funds available for Construction, Major Projects, for a fiscal year after fiscal year 2012 that remain available for obligation;

(4)

funds appropriated for Construction, Major Projects, for fiscal year 2012 for a category of activity not specific to a project;

(5)

funds appropriated for Construction, Major Projects, for a fiscal year before 2012 for a category of activity not specific to a project; and

(6)

funds appropriated for Construction, Major Projects, for a fiscal year after 2012 for a category of activity not specific to a project.

605.

Limitation on authority of Secretary of Veterans Affairs to use bid savings on major medical facility projects to expand purpose of major medical facility projects

Section 8104(d)(2) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(C)

The Secretary may not obligate an amount under subparagraph (A) to expand the purpose of a major medical facility project except pursuant to a provision of law enacted after the date on which the Secretary submits to the committees described in subparagraph (B) notice of the following:

(i)

The major medical facility project that is the source of the bid savings.

(ii)

The major medical facility project for which the Secretary intends to expand the purpose.

(iii)

A description of such expansion of purpose.

(iv)

The amounts the Secretary intends to obligate to expand the purpose.

.

606.

Designation of George H. O’Brien, Jr., Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center

(a)

Designation

The Department of Veterans Affairs medical center located in Big Spring, Texas, shall after the date of the enactment of this Act be known and designated as the George H. O’Brien, Jr., Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

(b)

References

Any reference in any law, regulation, map, document, paper, or other record of the United States to the medical center referred to in subsection (a) shall be considered to be a reference to the George H. O’Brien, Jr., Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

607.

Designation of Major William Edward Adams Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic

(a)

Designation

The Department of Veterans Affairs telehealth clinic in Craig, Colorado, shall after the date of the enactment of this Act be known and designated as the Major William Edward Adams Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic.

(b)

References

Any reference in any law, regulation, map, document, paper, or other record of the United States to the clinic referred to in subsection (a) shall be considered to be a reference to the Major William Edward Adams Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic.

VII

Other administrative and benefits matters

701.

Assistance to veterans affected by natural disasters

(a)

Additional grants for disabled veterans for specially adapted housing

(1)

In general

Chapter 21 is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

2109.

Specially adapted housing destroyed or damaged by natural disasters

(a)

In general

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 2102 of this title, the Secretary may award a grant to a veteran whose home was previously adapted with assistance of a grant under this chapter in the event the adapted home which was being used and occupied by the veteran was destroyed or substantially damaged in a natural or other disaster, as determined by the Secretary.

(b)

Use of funds

A grant awarded under subsection (a) shall be available to acquire a suitable housing unit with special fixtures or moveable facilities made necessary by the veteran's disability, and necessary land therefor.

(c)

Limitations

The amount of the grant awarded under subsection (a) may not exceed the lesser of—

(1)

the reasonable cost, as determined by the Secretary, of repairing or replacing the damaged or destroyed home in excess of the available insurance coverage on such home; or

(2)

the maximum grant amount to which the veteran would have been entitled under subsection (a) or (b) of section 2102 of this title had the veteran not obtained the prior grant.

.

(2)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 2108 the following new item:

2109. Specially adapted housing destroyed or damaged by natural disasters.

.

(b)

Extension of subsistence allowance for veterans completing vocational rehabilitation program

Section 3108(a)(2) is amended—

(1)

by inserting (A) before In; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(B)

In any case in which the Secretary determines that a veteran described in subparagraph (A) has been displaced as the result of a natural or other disaster while being paid a subsistence allowance under that subparagraph, as determined by the Secretary, the Secretary may extend the payment of a subsistence allowance under such subparagraph for up to an additional two months while the veteran is satisfactorily following a program of employment services described in such subparagraph.

.

(c)

Waiver of limitation on program of independent living services and assistance

Section 3120(e) is amended—

(1)

by inserting (1) before Programs; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(2)

The limitation in paragraph (1) shall not apply in any case in which the Secretary determines that a veteran described in subsection (b) has been displaced as the result of, or has otherwise been adversely affected in the areas covered by, a natural or other disaster, as determined by the Secretary.

.

(d)

Covenants and liens created by public entities in response to disaster-Relief assistance

Paragraph (3) of section 3703(d) is amended to read as follows:

(3)
(A)

Any real estate housing loan (other than for repairs, alterations, or improvements) shall be secured by a first lien on the realty. In determining whether a loan is so secured, the Secretary may either disregard or allow for subordination to a superior lien created by a duly recorded covenant running with the realty in favor of either of the following:

(i)

A public entity that has provided or will provide assistance in response to a major disaster as determined by the President under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.).

(ii)

A private entity to secure an obligation to such entity for the homeowner's share of the costs of the management, operation, or maintenance of property, services, or programs within and for the benefit of the development or community in which the veteran's realty is located, if the Secretary determines that the interests of the veteran borrower and of the Government will not be prejudiced by the operation of such covenant.

(B)

With respect to any superior lien described in subparagraph (A) created after June 6, 1969, the Secretary's determination under clause (ii) of such subparagraph shall have been made prior to the recordation of the covenant.

.

(e)

Automobiles and other conveyances for certain disabled veterans and members of the Armed Forces

Section 3903(a) is amended—

(1)

by striking No and inserting (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), no; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(2)

The Secretary may provide or assist in providing an eligible person with a second automobile or other conveyance under this chapter if—

(A)

the Secretary receives satisfactory evidence that the automobile or other conveyance previously purchased with assistance under this chapter was destroyed—

(i)

as a result of a natural or other disaster, as determined by the Secretary; and

(ii)

through no fault of the eligible person; and

(B)

the eligible person does not otherwise receive from a property insurer compensation for the loss.

.

(f)

Annual report

(1)

In general

Each year, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall submit to Congress a report on the assistance provided or action taken by the Secretary in the last fiscal year pursuant to the authorities added by the amendments made by this section.

(2)

Elements

Each report submitted under paragraph (1) shall include the following for the fiscal year covered by the report:

(A)

A description of each natural disaster for which assistance was provided or action was taken as described in paragraph (1).

(B)

The number of cases or individuals, as the case may be, in which or to whom the Secretary provided assistance or took action as described in paragraph (1).

(C)

For each such case or individual, a description of the type or amount of assistance or action taken, as the case may be.

702.

Aggregate amount of educational assistance available to individuals who receive both survivors' and dependents educational assistance and other veterans and related educational assistance

(a)

Aggregate amount available

Section 3695 is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)(4), by striking 35,; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(c)

The aggregate period for which any person may receive assistance under chapter 35 of this title, on the one hand, and any of the provisions of law referred to in subsection (a), on the other hand, may not exceed 81 months (or the part-time equivalent thereof).

.

(b)

Applicability

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect on October 1, 2011, and shall not operate to revive any entitlement to assistance under chapter 35 of title 38, United States Code, or the provisions of law referred to in section 3695(a) of such title, as in effect on the day before such date, that was terminated by reason of the operation of section 3695(a) of such title, as so in effect, before such date.

(c)

Revival of entitlement reduced by prior utilization of chapter 35 assistance

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraph (2), in the case of an individual whose period of entitlement to assistance under a provision of law referred to in section 3695(a) of title 38, United States Code (other than chapter 35 of such title), as in effect on September 30, 2011, was reduced under such section 3695(a), as so in effect, by reason of the utilization of entitlement to assistance under chapter 35 of such title before October 1, 2011, the period of entitlement to assistance of such individual under such provision shall be determined without regard to any entitlement so utilized by the individual under chapter 35 of such title.

(2)

Limitation

The maximum period of entitlement to assistance of an individual under paragraph (1) may not exceed 81 months.

703.

Department of Veterans Affairs enforcement penalties for misrepresentation of a business concern as a small business concern owned and controlled by veterans or as a small business concern owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans

Subsection (g) of section 8127 is amended—

(1)

by striking Any business and inserting (1) Any business;

(2)

in paragraph (1), as so designated—

(A)

by inserting deliberately before misrepresented; and

(B)

by striking a reasonable period of time, as determined by the Secretary and inserting a period of not less than five years; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:

(2)

In the case of a debarment under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall commence debarment action against the business concern by not later than 30 days after determining that the concern misrepresented the status of the concern as described in paragraph (1) and shall complete debarment actions against such concern by not later than 90 days after such determination.

(3)

The debarment of a business concern under paragraph (1) includes the debarment of all principals in the business concern for a period of not less than five years.

.

704.

Authority for certain persons to sign claims filed with Secretary of Veterans Affairs on behalf of claimants

(a)

In general

Section 5101 is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

by striking A specific and inserting (1) A specific; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(2)

If an individual has not attained the age of 18 years, is mentally incompetent, or is physically unable to sign a form, a form filed under paragraph (1) for the individual may be signed by a court-appointed representative, a person who is responsible for the care of the individual, including a spouse or other relative, or an attorney in fact or agent authorized to act on behalf of the individual under a durable power of attorney. If the individual is in the care of an institution, the manager or principal officer of the institution may sign the form.

;

(2)

in subsection (c)—

(A)

in paragraph (1)—

(i)

by inserting , signs a form on behalf of an individual to apply for, after who applies for; and

(ii)

by inserting , or TIN in the case that the person is not an individual, after of such person; and

(B)

in paragraph (2), by inserting or TIN after social security number each place it appears; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(d)

In this section:

(1)

The term mentally incompetent with respect to an individual means that the individual lacks the mental capacity—

(A)

to provide substantially accurate information needed to complete a form; or

(B)

to certify that the statements made on a form are true and complete.

(2)

The term TIN has the meaning given the term in section 7701(a)(41) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

.

(b)

Applicability

The amendments made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to claims filed on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

705.

Improvement of process for filing jointly for social security and dependency and indemnity compensation

Section 5105 is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

by striking shall the first place it appears and inserting may; and

(B)

by striking Each such form and inserting Such forms; and

(2)

in subsection (b), by striking on such a form and inserting on any document indicating an intent to apply for survivor benefits.

706.

Parity between part-time and full-time students under employee incentive scholarship program

Section 7675(b)(1) is amended by striking subparagraph (E) and inserting the following new subparagraph (E):

(E)

In the case of a participant who is employed as an employee of the Department while enrolled in the course of training being pursued by the participant, the participant fails to maintain employment as a Department employee during such course of training.

.

707.

Report on pay-for-performance compensation under health care services contracts

(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 Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report on the use by the Department of Veterans Affairs of pay-for-performance compensation mechanisms in the provision of health care services in contracts which compensate contractors of the Department for the provision of health care services through community based outpatient clinics.

(b)

Elements

The report required by subsection (a) shall include the following:

(1)

An assessment of the feasibility and advisability of utilizing pay-for-performance compensation mechanisms in the provision of health care services by the Department in contracts described in subsection (a).

(2)

The number of community based outpatient clinics of the Department that were operating under a pay-for-performance compensation mechanism in the provision of health care services on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act and the impact such mechanisms have had with respect to—

(A)

providing incentives for community based outpatient clinics to provide high quality health care; and

(B)

providing incentives to better assure patient satisfaction.

(c)

Incorporation of views and experiences of private health care systems

In meeting the requirements of this section the Secretary shall incorporate the views and experiences of representatives of at least two private health care systems that have utilized pay-for-performance compensation mechanisms in the operation of medical clinics to ascertain whether such mechanisms have had an effect on the delivery of quality, timely, medical care in the private sector.

708.

Extension of authority to obtain information from Secretary of Treasury and Commissioner of Social Security for income verification purposes

Section 5317(g) is amended by striking September 30, 2011 and inserting September 30, 2013.

709.

Extension of authority for regional office of Department of Veterans Affairs in Republic of the Philippines

Section 315(b) is amended by striking December 31, 2011 and inserting December 31, 2012.

710.

Report on establishment of a Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center or Polytrauma Network Site of the Department of Veterans Affairs in the northern Rockies or Dakotas

(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 Congress a report on the feasibility and advisability of establishing a Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center or Polytrauma Network Site for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the northern Rockies or the Dakotas. One of the locations evaluated as a potential location for the Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center or Polytrauma Network Site, as the case may be, shall be the Fort Harrison Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Lewis and Clark County, Montana.

(b)

Requirements

The report required by this subsection shall include the following:

(1)

An assessment of the adequacy of existing Department of Veterans Affairs facilities in the northern Rockies and the Dakotas to address matters that are otherwise addressed by Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers and Polytrauma Network Sites.

(2)

A comparative assessment of the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs for individuals with traumatic brain injuries in urban areas with the effectiveness of such programs for individuals with traumatic brain injuries in rural and frontier communities.

(3)

An assessment whether the low cost of living in the northern Rockies and the Dakotas could reduce the financial stress faced by veterans receiving care for traumatic brain injury and their families and thereby improve the effectiveness of such care.

(4)

An assessment whether therapies that can prevent or remediate the development of secondary neurologic conditions related to traumatic brain injury can be interrupted by stress caused by living in an urban area.

(c)

Consultation

The Secretary shall consult with appropriate State and local government agencies in the northern Rockies and the Dakotas in preparing the report required by subsection (a).

711.

Modification of loan guaranty fee for certain initial loans

Section 3729(b)(2)(A) is amended—

(1)

by striking clauses (i) and (ii);

(2)

by redesignating clause (iii) as clause (i);

(3)

by inserting after clause (i), as redesignated, the following new clause (ii):

(A)(ii) Initial loan described in section 3710(a) to purchase or construct a dwelling with 0-down, or any other initial loan described in section 3710(a) other than with 5-down or 10-down (closed on or after October 1, 2011, and before October 1, 2012)1.501.75NA

;

(4)

by redesignating clause (iv) as clause (iii); and

(5)

in clause (iii), as redesignated by paragraph (4), by striking October 1, 2011 and inserting October 1, 2012.

October 11, 2011

Reported with an amendment