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ANNUAL REPORT

Veterans Benefits

BY JERRY KLEIN, CHAIR

VB-1-95 Judicial Review: VVA continues to urge that fee limitation in the VJRA be replaced by a fee limitation that allows a veteran to retain counsel of his or her choice.

VB-2-95 Board for Correction of Military Records: Retired.

VB-3-95 Less-than-Honorable Administrative Discharges: Rewritten. All “Resolved that” clauses were removed and the following inserted: “Resolved that Vietnam Veterans of America urges the following: That statutes be modified so as to empower the Secretary of each branch of service to direct the Discharge Review Boards to consider with compassion all veterans’ cases and to give the veteran the benefit of the doubt in favor of upgrading the discharge.” Future committee review will follow to determine if any change has occurred.

VB-4-95 DVA Overpayments and VB-5-95 Civil Liberties of Active-Duty Military Personnel: Retired.

VB-6-95 Just Compensation for Injuries Sustained by Active-Duty Military Personnel: The VA has implemented a new trial Veterans Benefits Management System at the VA Regional Office in Providence, Rhode Island, to create a more efficient and workable claims system. The Veterans Benefits Committee will monitor its implementation and comment at a future date.

VB-7-95 Class Action at the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims: VVA supports legislation to make Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures (allowing class-action lawsuits) or a similar rule applicable to appropriate cases before U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in order to protect the rights of veterans.

VB-9-95 DVA Implementation of U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Decisions: The committee will reserve comment until we receive data concerning VA compliance to meet the court’s requirements.

VB-10-95 Veterans Benefits and Services and VB-11-95 Veterans Benefits System: The proposed 2011 budget adds 4,000 staff to the Veterans Benefits Administration. If the budget passes, the committee will report on the effectiveness of additional staff and the effect in reducing the claims backlog and the quality of VBA decisions.

VB-12-95 Department of Veterans Affairs Service-Connected Disability Compensation Payments and Military Retirement Offset: The committee will monitor any pending legislation that fulfills the requirement of the Resolution.

VB-13-95 Preservation of VVA Service Representation at the National Level: A new Memorandum of Understanding between VVA and the Veterans Support Foundation preserves the VVA Service Representation on the national level.

VB-14-95 Attorney Representation at the VA: VVA actively seeks and supports legislation allowing veterans to gain access to legal counsel at any point in their claims.

VB-15-95 Veterans and Hepatitis C: Retired.

VB-16-99 Copy of Military Records upon Discharge: The committee will continue to monitor compliance by the branches of the military to ensure that service-members receive a copy of their military records. H.R. 5122, the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, which became Public Law 109-364, contains a provision to provide an electronic copy of records. The question is whether the DoD is complying with this provision.

VB-17-01 Criminal Background Check for Incompetent Veterans: Retired.

VB-18-95 (replaces V-4-95) The Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Services (VAVS) Program: This is not a Veterans Benefits resolution and wililill be moved to another committee.

VB-20-95 (replaces V-6-95) Military Health Effects: The committee will study pending legislation to determine whether it fulfills the requirements of the Resolution.

VB-21-95 (replaces V7-95) Military Health Care: The committee will monitor pending legislation that fulfills the requirement of the Resolution.

VB-22-95 Sexual Harassment: Moved to Government Affairs Committee.

VB-23-95 Hours of Operation of VA Medical Facilities and VB-24-95 VA Hospice Career: These Resolutions will be moved to other committees.

VB-25-95 Proper Use of Real Estate at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center: Transferred to Government Affairs Committee.

Veterans Benefits Committee: Jerry Klein, Chair; Rich Levesque and John Margowski, Vice Chairs. Members: Marshall Mudge, Pat Pudetti, Ned Foote, Herb Worthington, Joe Kristek, Joe Jennings, Pete Bessiagno, Butch Huber, San Marshall Mudge, Pat Pudetti, Ned Foote, Herb Worthington, Joe Kristek, Joe Jen

 

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