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H.R. 299 (115th): Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2017

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 18, 2018.


This bill extends the presumption of service connection for certain diseases associated with herbicide exposure to veterans who served: (1) in the territorial seas of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, or (2) in or near the Korean demilitarized zone between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971. Under a presumption of service-connection, specific disabilities diagnosed in certain veterans are presumed to have been caused by the circumstances of their military service. Health care benefits and disability compensation may then be awarded.

The bill extends eligibility for health care, vocational training and rehabilitation, and monetary allowance to children with spina bifida who have at least one veteran parent who may have been exposed to an herbicide agent while serving in Thailand between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975.

The bill revises the VA's home loan guaranty program to adjust loan fee rates and eliminate the limit on guaranty amount that is based on the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) conforming loan limit.

The VA shall permit a VA-approved appraiser to make a housing loan appraisal based solely on information gathered by a person with whom the appraiser has entered into an agreement for such services.

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