Today, Congressman Joe Donnelly's Rating and Processing Individuals' Disability (RAPID) Claims Act, H.R. 5549, passed the House of Representatives as a part of H.R. 6132, The Veterans Benefits and Economic Welfare Improvement Act of 2010. Donnelly introduced The RAPID Claims Act on June 17, 2010 to improve the turnaround time and efficiency of the VA's disability claims process, and on September 15, 2010 the House Veterans Affairs Committee included The RAPID Claims Act in H.R. 6132 when it reported the bill to the full House.
"We've made progress in recent years, but we need to continue to improve the timeliness and efficiency of getting veterans the benefits they've earned," said Donnelly. "My bill would take common-sense steps to improve the system and provide our wounded warriors a faster response on their disability claims. I'm pleased my bill passed the House today because those who selflessly fought for our freedoms and security deserve a timely and accurate claims process."
The RAPID Claims Act would make permanent several identified time savers for the handling of veterans' claims.
Donnelly's bill has bipartisan support from 60 co-sponsors, including Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner and Disability and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee Chairman John Hall. The bill also has the support of leading veterans' advocates, including The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).
The Veterans Benefits and Economic Welfare Improvement Act of 2010, including Donnelly's RAPID Claims Act, passed the House by voice vote and is now pending before the Senate.