Legislation proposed, enacted into law that affects veterans

The House of Representatives approved several bills that affect veterans. These measures now move to the Senate for consideration. A few of the bills include:

H.R. 918: Veteran Urgent Access to Mental Healthcare Act – This bill would require VA to provide an initial mental health assessment and any subsequent mental health services required to meet urgent mental health care needs to former servicemembers who would otherwise be ineligible for such services because they were discharged from military service under other than honorable conditions.

H.R. 1066: VA Management Alignment Act of 2017 – This bill would require VA to submit a report regarding the roles, responsibility and accountability of elements and individuals of VA. 

H.R. 1133: Veterans Transplant Coverage Act – This bill would authorize VA to provide all care and services needed for a veteran to receive an organ transplant from a live donor, regardless of whether the donor is eligible for VA health care or whether the health care facility is part of VA.

H.R. 3122: Veterans Care Financial Protection Act of 2017 – This bill would direct VA to work with federal agencies and states to develop and implement standards that protect individuals who are eligible for this increased pension from dishonest, predatory or otherwise unlawful practices.

H.R. 3562: Amend title 38, United States Code, to authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to furnish assistance for adaptations of residences of veterans in rehabilitation programs – The bill would give VA-designated appraisers the ability to rely solely on information from approved third parties, such as a desktop appraisal, when determining a home’s value for a VA home loan.

H.R. 3705: Veterans Fair Debt Notice Act – This bill would instruct VA to use plain language in its debt notices to provide a clear explanation of why VA is alleging that the veteran owes such a debt.

H.R. 4173: Veterans Crisis Line Study Act of 2017 – This bill would require VA to conduct a study on the outcomes and efficacy of the Veterans Crisis Line based on an analysis of national suicide data and data collected from the VCL.

Legislation recently signed by President Trump

P.L. 115-75, the Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2017. This bill directs VA to increase – as of Dec. 1, 2017 – the rates of veterans’ wartime disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance for certain disabled veterans, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children.

P.L. 115-86, the VA Prescription Drug Accountability Act of 2017. This legislation compels VA to share all controlled substance prescribing information with state-run databases.