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Public Statements

Denial of Benefit Requirement

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. RUNYAN. Thank you, Chairman Miller, for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to have sponsored H.R. 733, the Access to Veterans Benefits Improvement Act, with my good friend and colleague, Mr. Tim Walz of Minnesota. This legislation is included as section 3 of H.R. 1405 and would provide certain local and State government employees access to case-tracking information through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

There is no doubt that we have a responsibility to veterans to ensure that every effort is made to simplify the claims process. Key to this effort are the County Service Veterans Officers, whose expertise in claims development helps veterans in New Jersey and in communities all across America.

Veterans are often frustrated, as they ask for help from a county service officer, that this person acting on their behalf cannot directly access even the most basic information about the status of their claim. However, while looking to remedy that complication and broaden access to case-tracking information, consideration must also be given to the protection of veterans' private information. That is the balance that this bill strikes.

Mr. Speaker, I support section 3 of H.R. 1405, along with all the other provisions contained within the bill, and I encourage all Members to join me in support of the legislation.


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