Monday, December 12, 2011

VA Approaching Deadline without Promised Action

In September, VCS published a statement from VA addressing the Dec. 31, 2011 Gulf War service presumptive period expiration.  

At the time, according to VA, a draft rule was in process.

However, it's now nearly three months later, the December 31st deadline is fast upon us, and still no word or action from VA.

It's high time that the responsible VA officials get this rule out into the public purview and published.  It's not only fair and just, but doing so -- and quickly -- is a matter of trust between veterans and their government.

Anthony Hardie
Madison, Wis.


VA Drafting Regulations to Extend Gulf War Benefits Veterans for Common Sense
Written by Department of Veterans Affairs
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 11:02

Gulf War Benefits: Expiration of Laws Pertaining to Gulf War Veterans Will Not Affect Benefits
VA has heard from members of the Veteran community who are concerned that certain benefits for Gulf War Veterans may be terminated on September 30, 2011. That is NOT the case.
This misunderstanding apparently arose based on the September 30, 2011, expiration dates found in Title 38 United States Code sections 1117 and1118.
These expiration dates pertain to:
1.. certain protections that are offered to Gulf War Veterans, and
2. the requirement for VA to respond to scientific reports regarding the effects of service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations.

These expiration dates do not affect eligibility of Gulf War Veterans to receive benefits, nor will they result in the termination of any current benefits received by Gulf War Veterans.

An important expiration date that VA is currently addressing is found in VA Regulations at 38 CFR 3.317(a)(1)( i). This regulation establishes the period of time that VA determines is appropriate for providing benefits for diseases determined to be associated with service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Persian Gulf War.

The current expiration date is December 31, 2011. Because VA believes this date should be extended, a regulation has been drafted to extend the date through 2018. 

Currently, the draft rule to extend this date is under review within VA.

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