VA Benefits Bills Pass House
The U.S. House of Representatives recently acted on bills that would accelerate the process of providing federal benefits to military veterans. The proposed legislation would also increase the level of benefits disabled veterans are eligible to receive.
Trimming lengthy waiting times
Due to the complex nature of veterans benefit administration, some individuals experience lags in receiving what’s owed to them. Changes in the law would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to pay out benefits incrementally as parts of a claim are processed instead of requiring the veteran and their families to wait until their claim is fully vetted. That means veterans could access at least some of their benefits in a more prudent manner.
Increasing the level of benefits
The House also acted on a bill that would improve the rates of benefit compensation for disabled veterans. The increase would take effect in 2016. Cost-of-living increases match inflation and must be congressionally approved each year, unlike similar cost-of-living adjustments that are automatically made to Social Security benefits.
Experts estimate that the adjustment could affect around 4 million disabled veterans. These benefits represent important funds for daily needs, including housing, food and other essential expenses.
The bill also includes a provision requiring the VA to pay accrued benefits to a deceased veteran’s estate instead of paying surviving family members, such as a spouse or children. Currently, the VA keeps benefits if a veteran passes away and does not have qualifying family members.
If you have questions about your eligibility for VA or other government benefits, or how these new legislative actions might impact you, meet with a skilled Florida veteran’s benefits attorney at the Charles Law Offices today.