< Back to H.R. 1980 (113th Congress, 2013–2015)

Text of the Quicker Veterans Benefits Delivery Act

This bill was introduced on May 14, 2013, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of May 14, 2013 (Introduced).

I

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1980

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 14, 2013

(for himself, Mr. Denham, Mr. Jones, Ms. Frankel of Florida, Mr. Barber, Ms. Esty, Ms. Kuster, and Mr. O’Rourke) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

A BILL

To amend title 38, United States Code, to prohibit the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from requesting additional medical examinations of veterans who have submitted sufficient medical evidence provided by non-Department medical professionals and to improve the efficiency of processing certain claims for disability compensation by veterans, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Quicker Veterans Benefits Delivery Act .

2.

Treatment of medical evidence provided by non-Department of Veterans Affairs medical professionals in support of claims disability compensation

(a)

In general

Section 5103A(d) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(3)

During the six-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this paragraph, the Secretary may not request a medical examination under paragraph (1) in the case of a claim for disability compensation in support of which a claimant submits medical evidence provided by a non-Department medical professional, including a non-Department medical opinion, that is competent, credible, probative, and otherwise adequate for purposes of making a decision on the claim.

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to medical evidence submitted after the date that is 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

3.

Improvement of disability claims processing

(a)

Prestabilization rates

Section 1156 of title 38, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsections (c) and (d) as subsections (e) and (f), respectively; and

(2)

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

(c)

Prestabilization rates

During the six-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this subsection, in assigning to a veteran a prestabilization rating pursuant to section 4.28 of title 38, Code of Federal Regulations, (or successor regulation), the Secretary shall assign such a rating at the level of total, 50 percent, or 30 percent, as determined appropriate by the Secretary.

.

(b)

Temporary minimum rates

Section 1156 of title 38, United States Code, is further amended by inserting after subsection (c), as added by subsection (a), the following new subsection (d):

(d)

Temporary minimum rates

During the six-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this subsection, the Secretary shall assign a temporary minimum disability rating to a veteran who—

(1)

has one or more disabilities not covered under subsection (a); and

(2)

submits a claim for such disability that has sufficient evidence to support a minimum disability rating.

.

(c)

Reporting of claims backlog

During the six-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall not include any veteran to whom the Secretary has assigned a pre-stabilization rating under subsection (c) of section 1156 of such title, as added by subsection (a), or a temporary minimum disability rating under subsection (d) of such section, as added by subsection (b), in any count of the backlog of disability ratings to be assigned by the Secretary.

(d)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date that is 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply with respect to claims for disability compensation filed on or after that date.

4.

Timing of monthly payments of benefits under the laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

(a)

In general

Section 5120(e) of title 38, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

by striking Whenever and inserting (1) Whenever; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(2)

During the six-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this paragraph, the Secretary shall certify benefit payments for any calendar month in such a way that such payments will be delivered by mail, or transmitted for credit to the payee’s account pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, before the first day of the calendar month for which such payments are issued.

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendments made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to a calendar month that begins after the date that is 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.