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Current Legislation 113th Congress
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113 Congressional Legislation
of Interest to GSW

Dependent Indemnity Compensation (DIC):
HR 4741  Rep John Tierney Surviving Spouses Benefit Improvement Act Provide for an increase in the amount of monthly dependency and indemnity compensation payable to surviving spouses by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

HR 4095 Rep Jon Runyan To increase effective as of Dec 1, 2014 the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disable veterans.

HR 4096  Rep Jon Runyan Requires that whenever there is an increase in benefit amounts under title II (Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance) of Social Security Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) shall increase by the same percentage the amounts payable as veterans disability compensation, additional compensation to dependents the clothing allowance for certain disabled adult children and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children.   

SBP/DIC Offset:

H.R.32 --Rep Joe Wilson The Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act.  Repeal the requirement from reduction of survivor annuities under the Survivor Benefit Plan for military surviving spouses to offset the receipt of veterans Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.

S.734 -- To amend title 10, United States Code, to repeal the requirement for reduction of survivor annuities under the Survivor Benefit Plan by veterans’ dependency and indemnity compensation. Companion bill for HR 32.

HR 1770- Chaffetz -To amend title 10, United States Code, to eliminate the different treatment under the Survivor Benefit Plan accorded members of the reserve components who die from an injury or illness incurred or aggravated in the line of duty during inactive-duty training compared to members of the Armed Forces who die in the line of duty while on active duty. Will treat in Same Manner as Active Duty.  Per the Military Coalition:  One of the reasons for this legislation is a plane crash that killed four service members.  Three were active duty, one was a reservist on inactive duty training.  The survivor benefit was calculated differently for the reservist (actual time served) and his survivor received significantly less than the other survivors.  This bill would correct the inequity. Retro Active to 2001. Lump Sum Payments
Children may receive SBP, those offset will receive SSIA. (2008 or later).

Education:

HR 357 –Miller - In state Tuition for Veterans post 9/11 Chapter 35 and Fry scholars- affects the approved listing of institutions that can accept VA monies for education.  No instate tuition recognition-no money for institution- Survivors to receive penalties of such implementation without benefit of protection. State funded institutions affected including community colleges.

HR 1400: Clarifies who is eligible for the Fry Scholarship and expands eligibility to all who are dependents of Veterans of Service Connected Deaths.

S1982- Expands Fry

S 1039 Senate Jeff Merkley Expand the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry scholarship to include spouses of members of the Armed Forces who die in the line of duty.

 

Death Benefits:

HR 1987 Rep Kirsten Sinema Increase the amount of benefits payable for the burial and funeral expenses of certain veterans

S 735 Survivor Benefit Improvement Act of 2013

  1. Expand help for children. Supplemental payments would be provided for five years instead of the current two years for survivors with children.
  2. For the first time, children with the spinal disease spina bifida caused by their parent’s exposure to Agent Orange in Thailand during the war in Vietnam would receive care and benefits.
  3. Remove barriers to benefits. Surviving spouses could remarry at a younger age, consistent with other federal programs, and still maintain their survivor benefits.
  4. Provide counseling. A pilot program would be created to provide grief counseling in retreat settings for widows and widowers whose spouses died while on active duty in the armed services. The counseling would include information on VA benefits and services available to survivors. To encourage participation, child care would be provided.

Final Paycheck:

H.R 1360- Military Retiree Survivor Comfort Act -provide for forgiveness of certain overpayments of retired pay paid to deceased retired members of the Armed Forces following their death. 

Qualifications for Disability and DIC:

HR 543  Rep Christopher Gibson Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2013 Clarify presumptions relating to the exposure of certain veterans who served in the vicinity of the Republic of Vietnam

Healthcare:

HR 741: "Chiropractic Health Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act” – Enables beneficiaries to use chiropractic services.

HR 42 Rep Michelle Bachman The Health Care Affordability Act Prohibit certain increases in fees for military health care before fiscal year 2016

R 288- Expands Eligibility for dependent children to age 26.
S. 325- Companion Bill in Senate expands eligibility to age 26

HR 411- Fort McClellan Registry Act

S.1963, Sec. 510 ‘‘Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010’’ ChampVA Dental Pilot Program. Signed into law May 5, 2010 by President Obama. Printed in the Federal Register March 1, 2013, not yet implemented. Now available at: http://http://www.va.gov/healthBenefits/vadip/

HR 288 (S325)  Rep Mike Michaud  CHAMPVA Children's Protection acto of 2013 Increase the maximum age for children elgible for medical care under the CHAMPVA program.  S325 is sponsored by Jon Tester 

HEALTH RESEARCH:

S 2738 by Sen Richard Blumenthal and
HR 4816 by Rep Michael Honda.  To direct VA to research impact of exposure to Agent Orange on families.
The research would address illnesses stemming from service in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.


COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENTS:

HR 569 and HR 570
S.AMDT.198-To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to protect the benefits of disabled veterans and their survivors, which may not include a chained CPI. 

FINAL PAYCHECK:

H.R 1360- Military Retiree Survivor Comfort Act -provide for forgiveness of certain overpayments of retired pay paid to deceased retired members of the Armed Forces following their death.  

HOUSING:

HR 821- Amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to provide surviving spouses with certain protections relating to mortgages and mortgage foreclosures, and for other purposes. 

COMMISSARY:

S 2075 Sen Mark Warner Military Commissary Sustainment Act Prohibit reduction in funding for the defense commissary system in fiscal year 2015 pending the report of the military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission

SMALL BUSINESS OWNERSHIP PROTECTIONS:

S 495 Careers for Veterans Act of 2013 

NDAA:

S 2410 Sen Carl Levin FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act  Authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2015 for military activities of the Department of Defense and for military construction, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year

 

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