H.R. 733: Access to Veterans Benefits Improvement Act

113th Congress, 2013–2015. Text as of Feb 14, 2013 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO and Cato Institute Deepbills

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113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 733

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 14, 2013

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

A BILL

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

1.

Short title

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

2.

Provision of access to case-tracking information

(a)

In general

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

5906.

Provision of access to case-tracking information

(a)

In general

(1)

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

(2)

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

(A)

that such access—

(i)

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

(ii)

does not include access to medical records; and

(B)

that each time a covered employee accesses such system, the employee must certify that such access is for official purposes only.

(b)

Privacy certification course

The Secretary may not provide a covered employee with access to the case-tracking system under subsection (a)(1) unless the covered employee has successfully completed a certification course on privacy issues provided by the Secretary.

(c)

Treatment of disclosure

The access to information by a covered employee pursuant to subsection (a)(1) shall be deemed to be—

(1)

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

(2)

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

(d)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

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

(2)

The term covered employee means—

(A)

an employee of a Member of Congress who assists the constituents of the Member with issues regarding departments or agencies of the Federal Government; or

(B)

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

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

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

5906. Provision of access to case-tracking information.

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