The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs conducted a hearing to review several key bills, to include a major appeals reform measure.
On June 23, 2016, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs conducted a hearing to review several key bills, to include a major appeals reform measure. Associate Executive Director of Government Relations Carl Blake testified on behalf of PVA. The majority of the discussion focused on the ongoing work to modernize the claims appeals process. After numerous all-day sessions and subsequent negotiations over the last few months between the VA and veterans service organizations, Representative Dina Titus (D-NV) introduced legislation—H.R. 5083, the “VA Appeals Modernization Act of 2016”—that reflected the changes the groups have agreed upon.
Additionally, PVA offered comments on legislation that would presumably make it easier for veterans with severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to receive a service dog through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). While PVA supports the concept in principle, we offered a number of concerns about the implementation of this proposal that could further complicate efforts to provide service animals to all eligible veterans. The full PVA statement is available at www.pva.org.
Subsequent to this hearing, House VA Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) introduced legislation—H.R. 5620, the “VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act”—that included H.R. 5083 as well as significant provisions addressing accountability across the VA. PVA offered support for Chairman Miller’s bill.