Legion testifies on health-care bills

Earlier this month, American Legion Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Division Director Barry A. Searle testified before the House Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Disability and Memorial Affairs. The testimony was concerning four proposed bills being discussed by the committee.

One piece of legisation was the Severely Injured Veterans Benefit Improvement Act of 2009, which advocated the inclusion of traumatic brain injury in family aid and assistance stipends, the modification of vehicles to make them more user-friendly for burn victims, and an increase in the special pension for Medal of Honor recipients.

Searle also gave testimony supporting the Fair Access to Veteran's Benefits Act, which would give the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims the ability to extend the 120-day deadline of a Notice of Disagreement on a VA claim rejection.

Finally The American Legion supported, with some clarification needed, a bill to direct changes in VA's Fully Developed Claim program, which is intended to reduce the time between a veteran filing of a claim and a final decision by a rater.