President Obama Signs Maloney's Disabled Veterans Red Tape Reduction Act into Law
Washington, D.C. – The President signed into law today the VA Expiring Authorities Extension Act, which included a bill authored by Rep. Maloney to help address the Veterans Administration (VA)’s backlog of disability claims. Earlier this year, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney introduced the Disabled Veterans Red Tape Reduction Act, HR 1521, to allow veterans to have their medical examinations done by physicians outside the VA system to help process veterans’ disability claims faster. Currently, 20% of claims are processed through physicians outside the VA system, but the program was set to expire this year. This one-year extension, which also includes housing assistance for homeless veterans, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 353-0 and the Senate by unanimous consent.
“After fighting for our freedom, veterans are now forced to fight with our government – we owe them better. Working across party lines, we are able to keep in place an essential tool the VA needs to address the backlog problem,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. “Despite dysfunction and gridlock in Washington, I’m proud I was able to work across party lines to pass a law that is worthy of those who have sacrificed for our country and that will have a real impact on Hudson Valley veterans and their families.”
“With hundreds of thousands of veterans waiting on disability claim decisions, we are proud to support Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s legislation. Our National Service Offices, who represent more than 250,000 claimants annually, find that the contract exams almost always offer much more than in-house VA exams and contractors work better with vets when scheduling or rescheduling the exams,” said Joseph Violante, National Legislative Director of the Disabled American Veterans.
“On behalf of the men and women of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) and our auxiliaries, we are pleased to offer strong support for the Disabled Veterans Red Tape Reduction Act. Your legislation would ensure that VA has the necessary tools to maximize veterans’ access to care while continuing to make progress toward the monumental goal of ending the claims backlog,” said Raymond Kelly, Director of VFW National Legislative Service.
Since joining Congress in January, Rep. Maloney has helped obtain more than 25 service medals and secure $1,105,458.90 in guaranteed benefits for deserving Hudson Valley veterans. Rep. Maloney currently has a full-time Veterans Advocate on staff to help veterans with their claims for educational, disability, retirement, medical, burial, spousal and dependents' benefits as well as the correction of military records and medals.