Dateline: House passes six veteran-related bills

On Oct. 28, the House of Representatives passed six veteran-related bills that have been sent to the Senate for further action. The measures are:

H.R. 1405. The bill requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to include an appeals form in any notice of decision issued for the denial of a benefit sought.

H.R. 1742, the Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act. The bill deducts in-home care expenses from income when determining housing benefits to veterans.

H.R. 2011, the Veterans Advisory Committee on Education Improvement Act. The bill extends the committee through the end of 2015.

H.R. 2189. The bill will require VA to create a commission or task force to evaluate the backlog of veterans’ disability claims and make recommendations for reducing the backlog.

H.R. 2481, the Veterans Economic Opportunity Act. The bill ensures federal education benefits get to the families of veterans.

H.R. 3304. The bill calls on the president to award the Medal of Honor to U.S. Army veteran Bennie G. Adkins and Donald P. Sloat for acts of valor during the Vietnam War. This measure would also amend the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2002 to authorize the award of the Medal of Honor to a veteran who was previously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross or the Air Force Cross, was identified during a review of service records, and regarding whom the Secretary of Defense submitted, before January 1, 2014, a recommendation that the President award the Medal of Honor to that veteran.

On Nov. 4, the Senate passed S. 893, the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act. The bill increases the rates of veterans’ disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance for certain disabled veterans, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children. A House companion measure, H.R. 570, was approved by in May. The two bills must be reconciled before a clean bill can be sent to President Barack Obama for his signature.