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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
9/26/2014--Public Law. Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2014 - Title I: Extensions of Authority Relating to Health Care - (Sec. 101) Amends veterans' health benefit provisions to extend through 2015:
the requirement that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) provide nursing home care to veterans who are in need of such care for a service-connected disability or who have a service-connected disability rated at 70% or higher; the pilot program, under the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, to evaluate the feasibility and advisability of providing reintegration and readjustment services in group retreat settings to women veterans who are recently separated from the Armed Forces after a prolonged deployment (reauthorizes appropriations); the pilot program, under the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, to assess the feasibility and advisability of providing child care assistance to veterans who are receiving regular or intensive mental health services or other intensive health care services from the VA or who need such mental health services (reauthorizes appropriations); the requirement, under the Wounded Warrior Act, for the Director of the Department of Defense-Department of Veterans Affairs Interagency Program Office to report to the Secretary of Defense (DOD), the VA, and Congress on Office activities during the preceding calendar year; and the VA's authority, under the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003, to use physicians other than VA employees to conduct medical disability evaluations of VA benefit applicants. Extends through FY2015:
the authorization of appropriations, under the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, for the grant program to provide innovative transportation options to veterans in highly rural areas; the requirement that veterans make copayments of $10 for each day they receive hospital care and $5 for each day they receive nursing home care from the VA; and the federal government's authority to recover from third parties the cost of care and services furnished to veterans with health insurance contracts for non-service-connected disabilities. Title II: Extensions of Authority Relating to Homelessness - (Sec. 201) Extends:
the current funding level for Comprehensive Service Programs for veterans for FY2015 and each subsequent fiscal year; the authorization of appropriations for Homeless Veterans Reintegration Programs, through FY2015; the authority of the Secretary and the Secretary of Labor to make grants for the provision of referral and counseling services to veterans who are residents of a penal institution or a long-term facility for the mentally ill and who are at risk of homelessness, through FY2015; the Secretary's authority to provide treatment and rehabilitation services for seriously mentally ill and homeless veterans, through FY2015; the Secretary's authority to enter into agreements with nonprofit organizations, states, or localities to provide housing assistance to homeless veterans, through FY2015; funding for the provision of financial assistance to private nonprofit organizations or consumer cooperatives for supportive services for very low-income veteran families in permanent housing, through FY2015; funding for the grant program for veterans with special needs, through FY2015; and the authority for the Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans, through 2015. Title III: Extensions of Authority Relating to Benefits - (Sec. 301) Extends:
the authority for the Veterans' Advisory Committee on Education, through 2015; to loans closed before FY 2015, the method by which the Secretary is to calculate the net value of real property at foreclosure for which there is a veteran's loan, guaranteed by the VA, for the purchase or construction of a home; and the upper percentage of the purchases of such foreclosed property that may be financed by a loan from the Secretary, through FY2015. Title IV: Other Extensions of Authority and Other Matters - (Sec. 401) Extends:
the Secretary's authority to transport individuals to and from VA facilities or any other place in connection with vocational rehabilitation, counseling, or health care that is covered by the VA, through 2015; the Secretary's authority to maintain a regional office in the Philippines, through FY2015; the requirement that the Secretary report to Congress on the disposition of each case recommended to the Secretary for equitable relief from the denial of VA benefits due to administrative error, through 2015; the authority for the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans, through 2015; the Secretary's authority to provide specially adapted housing assistance to veterans who served in the Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2001, and who are entitled to compensation for a permanent service-connected disability due to the loss of the use of one or both of their lower extremities, through FY2015; and the Secretary's authority to enter into an agreement with National Academy of Sciences (NAS), under the Agent Orange Act of 1991, for a study of the associations between diseases and exposure to dioxin and other chemical compounds in herbicides, through 2015. (Sec. 406) Increases the multipliers used in calculating the fees the Secretary is authorized to pay to educational institutions and apprenticeship providers for the reports they are required to submit to the Secretary regarding each eligible individual's enrollment in veterans' education or training programs and the interruption or termination of their participation in such programs.
(Sec. 408) Provides that payments under the Education Debt Reduction Program may be made to the holders of educational loans to cover the principal and interest VA health care personnel owe on such loans.
(Sec. 409) Makes miscellaneous and technical amendments to the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014, including those involving:
veterans' access to health care from VA and non-VA facilities; collaboration between the VA and the Indian Health Service (IHS) to increase access to, and the quality and coordination of, health care services; and the care provided by the VA's mobile vet centers and mobile medical centers. Directs the Secretary, at the election of a veteran who attempts but is unable to schedule an appointment for the receipt of VA hospital care or medical services within the VA's wait-time goals, to provide such veteran with an appointment at a VA facility that exceeds such goals.
Provides that an agreement between the Secretary and a non-VA provider to furnish care to veterans is not subject to any legal provision governing federal contracts for the acquisition of goods or services.
Requires the Secretary and the Director of the IHS to jointly establish and implement performance metrics to increase access to, and the quality and coordination of, health care services. Includes in the Secretary's and Director's joint report to Congress, the effect their collaboration has on the availability and quality of the care provided to Indians.
Includes readjustment counseling in the care provided by the VA's mobile vet centers and mobile medical centers. Requires the standardized requirements for the operation of such centers to include the number of: (1) events each center is expected to visit each year, and (2) outreach contacts each center is expected to conduct each year.
Requires the Secretary, for purposes of veterans' educational benefits, to disapprove courses of education provided by a public institution of higher learning if the institution charges veterans living in the state higher tuition and fees than it charges in-state residents, regardless of the veteran's state of residence.