United States Legislation

New U.S. Law

PL107-135 Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Programs Enhancement Act of 2001 Adds and expands existing health care programs for veterans by $1.4 billion. Signed by President Bush January 23, 2002.

New U.S.

Bills Compiled by G. Natasha Zoe, Veterans Information Officer Summary as of October 15, 2002

HR811 Authorize construction projects to improve, renovate, and update patient care facilities at VA medical centers.

HR2561 Increase the rate of special pension for Medal of Honor recipients and make the pension effective from the date of the award and increase the criminal penalties associated with misuse or fraud relating to the Medal of Honor.

HR2792 Authorize the VA to make service dogs available to disabled veterans and to make various other improvements in VA health care benefits.

HR3240 Restore certain education benefits to individuals being ordered to active duty for Operation Enduring Freedom.

HR3423 Enact into law eligibility of certain Reservists and their dependents for burial in Arlington National Cemetery. HR4015 Revise and improve employment, training, and placement services furnished to veterans.

HR4085 Increase, effective as of December 1, 2002, the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans. Presented to President October 11, 2002.

HR4514 Authorize the VA to carry out construction projects for the purpose of improving, renovating, and updating patient care facilities at VA medical centers.

HR4940 Enact into law requirements for burial in Arlington National Cemetery.

HR5055 Authorize the placement in Arlington National Cemetery of a memorial honoring the WWII veterans who fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

S62 Revise certain provisions for the appointment of professional psychologists in the Veterans Health Administration.

S129 Provide for the payment of a monthly stipend to the surviving parents (known as “Gold Star Parents”) of servicemembers who die during a period of war.

S131 Modify the annual determination of the rate of the basic benefit of active duty educational assistance under the Montgomery GI Bill.

S145 Increase to parity with other surviving spouses the basic annuity that is provided under the uniformed services Survivor Benefit Plan for surviving spouses who are at least 62 years of age.

S405 Improve outreach programs carried out by the VA to more fully inform veterans of benefits available to them.

S409 Clarify the standards for compensation for Persian Gulf veterans suffering from certain undiagnosed illnesses.

S456 Enhance the assurance of efficiency, quality, and patient satisfaction in the furnishing of VA health care to veterans.

S457 Establish Hepatitis C service-connection presumption for certain veterans.

S612 Require a VA annual plan developed and implemented for veterans outreach.

S662 Authorize the VA to furnish markers or headstones for marked graves or otherwise commemorate certain individuals.

S781 Extend the authority for housing loans for members of the Selected Reserve.

S912 Increase burial benefits for veterans.

S937 Permit the transfer of entitlement to the Montgomery GI Bill .

S984 Improve the VA's Veterans Beneficiary Travel Program.

S1013 Pay States plot allowances for veterans eligible for burial in a national cemetery who are buried in State cemeteries.

S1042 Improve benefits for Filipino veterans of WWII. S1063 Improve the administration of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. S1089 Expand temporarily the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims to facilitate staggered terms for judges on that court.

S1090 Increase, effective December 1, 2001, the rates of compensation for service-connected disabilities and dependency and indemnity compensation.

S1091 Modify and extend the presumption of service-connection for herbiciderelated disabilities of Vietnam era veterans.

S1093 Exclude certain income from annual income determinations for pension purposes, limit provision of benefits for fugitive and incarcerated veterans, increase the home loan guaranty amount, modify and enhance other veterans’ benefits.

S1095 Restore promised GI Bill educational benefits to Vietnam era veterans.

S1113 Increase the Medal of Honor Roll special pension and provide an annual adjustment of that special pension.

S1114 Increase the educational benefits for veterans under the Montgomery GI Bill.

S1160 Provide dog-guides to blind, hearing- impaired or spinal-cord injury veterans.

S1272 Assist veterans who were treated as slave laborers while held prisoners of war by Japan during WWII.

S1280 Authorize VA construction to renovate, improve, and update medical centers.

S1302 Pay gratuity to U.S. military and civilian employees who were slave labor for Japan during WWII, or surviving spouses.

S1408 Standardize income threshold for copayment for outpatient medications with that of inability to defray expense of care.

S1488 Authorize a cost-of-living adjustment in compensation for service-connected disabilities and dependency and indemnity, modify veterans home loan guaranty program.

S1517 Enhance the Montgomery GI Bill.

S1561 Strengthen the preparedness of VA health care providers and community hospitals to respond to bioterrorism.S1576 Extend eligibility for health care for veterans who served in Southwest Asia during the Persian Gulf War.

S1644 Further the protection and recognition of veterans’ memorials.

S1648 Provide an increase in the maximum annual rates of pension payable to surviving spouses of veterans of a period of war.

S1656 Improve the processing of claims for veterans compensation and pension.

S1680 Amend the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940 to cover National Guard mobilized for Operation Enduring Freedom or at the request of the President.

S1767 Provide that certain service in the American Field Service ambulance corps shall be considered active duty for the purposes of all laws administered by the VA.

S1855 Enact into law eligibility for burial in Arlington National Cemetery.

S1905 Enhance veterans’ programs and the ability of the VA to administer them.

S2025 Increase the rate of special pension for Medal of Honor recipients and make that pension effective from the date of the award, increase the criminal penalties for misuse or fraud relating to the Medal.

S2043 Extend by five years the VA provision of noninstitutional extended care services and required nursing home care.

S2044 Further improve and expand specialized mental health services to veterans.

S2074 Increase, effective December 1, 2002, compensation for service-connected disabilities and dependency and indemnity.

S2079 Facilitate and enhance judicial review of certain veteran’s benefit matters.

S2132 Establish VA medical emergency preparedness centers and enhance VA medical research activities.

S2187 Authorize VA to furnish health care during major disaster or medical emergency.

S2205 Clarify disability compensation entitlement for women veterans with serviceconnected mastectomies and provide permanent authority for counseling and treatment for sexual trauma.

S2209 Provide an additional program of service disabled veterans’ insurance.

S2228 Authorize theVA to operate up to 15 centers for mental illness research, education, and clinical activities.

S2229 Authorize a cost-of-living increase for disability compensation and dependency and indemnity compensation and revise the requirement for maintaining levels of extended-care services to veterans.

S2230 Make permanent the VA authority to guarantee adjustable rate mortgages, to authorize the guarantee of hybrid adjustable rate mortgages.

S2231 Provide an incremental increase in amounts of educational assistance for survivors and dependents of veterans.

S2237 Modify and improve authorities relating to compensation and pension benefits, education benefits, housing benefits, and other benefits for veterans, to improve the administration of benefits for veterans.

S2561 Transfer from the Secretary of Labor to the VA certain provision of employment and other services to veterans; establish a new competitive grants program for employment services provided to veterans and servicemembers.

S2583 Require the VA to place certain lowincome veterans in a higher health-care priority category. Editor's note: Due to space constraints this list includes only the new laws and most all of the current bills (could be voted into law) that directly effect New Jersey veterans and/or their benefits. It does not contain any resolutions (expressed opinions), private bills (that effect only one person or family) or veterans related bills that deal with states other than New Jersey.

S2602 Provide that remarriage of the surviving spouse of a veteran after age 55 shall not result in termination of dependency and indemnity compensation.

S2630 Improve benefits for Filipino veterans of WWII and surviving spouses.

S2704 Disclose information on DoD projects, such as Project 112 and the Shipboard Hazard and Defense Project (Project SHAD), that included testing of biological or chemical agents involving potential exposure of servicemembers to toxic agents.

S2741 Improve determination of the inability of veterans to defray expenses of necessary medical care.

S2903 Provide for a guaranteed adequate level of funding for veterans health care.

S2987 Provide special compensation for former prisoners of war.