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S. 2944 (114th): Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2016

The text of the bill below is as of May 18, 2016 (Introduced).


II

114th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2944

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 18, 2016

(for himself and Mrs. Gillibrand) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To require adequate reporting on the Public Safety Officers' Benefit program, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2016.

2.

Reports

Section 1205 of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796c) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a), by inserting Rules, regulations, and procedures issued under this part may include regulations based on standards developed by another Federal agency for programs related to public safety officer death or disability claims. after before the Bureau.;

(2)

in subsection (b)—

(A)

by inserting (1) before In making; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following:

(2)

In making a determination under section 1201, the Bureau shall give substantial weight to the evidence and all findings of fact presented by a State, local, or Federal administrative or investigative agency regarding eligibility for death or disability benefits.

; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(e)
(1)
(A)

Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Bureau shall make available on the public website of the Bureau information on all death, disability, and educational assistance claims submitted under this part that are pending as of the date on which the information is made available.

(B)

Not less frequently than once per week, the Bureau shall make available on the public website of the Bureau updated information with respect to all death, disability, and educational assistance claims submitted under this part that are pending as of the date on which the information is made available.

(C)

The information made available under this paragraph shall include—

(i)

for each pending claim—

(I)

the date on which the claim was submitted to the Bureau;

(II)

the State of residence of the claimant;

(III)

an anonymized, identifying claim number; and

(IV)

the nature of the claim; and

(ii)

the total number of pending claims that were submitted to the Bureau more than 1 year before the date on which the information is made available.

(2)
(A)

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this subsection, and every 180 days thereafter, the Bureau shall submit to Congress a report on the death, disability, and educational assistance claims submitted under this part during the 180-day period preceding the report.

(B)

Each report submitted under subparagraph (A) shall include information on—

(i)

the total number of claims, and the nature of each claim, submitted to the Bureau;

(ii)

the number of claims for which a final determination has been made;

(iii)

the number of claims for which a final determination has not been reached and the basis for the delay;

(iv)

the amount of time required to process each claim for which a final determination has been made and, for any claim which could not be processed within 1 year of being submitted to the Bureau, the basis for any delay;

(v)

the number of claims submitted that are related to exposure due to the September 11th, 2001, terrorism attacks and the average award amount for any such claims for which a final determination has been made;

(vi)

the result of each claim, including the number of claims rejected and the basis for any denial of benefits;

(vii)

the number of claims that were appealed;

(viii)

the number of claims processed per reviewer of the Bureau; and

(ix)

the average amount of time each agency takes to submit all required information and documents to the Bureau.

(3)

In this subsection, the term nature of the claim means whether the claim is a claim for—

(A)

benefits under this subpart with respect to the death of a public safety officer;

(B)

benefits under this subpart with respect to the disability of a public safety officer; or

(C)

education assistance under subpart 2.

.