Bilirakis Co-Leads Bill to Improve Veteran Claims Efficiency

Bilirakis Co-Leads Bill to Improve Veteran Claims Efficiency

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
April 12, 2024

Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) announced that he has co-led the Veterans Claims Quality Improvement Act alongside Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Mike Bost (R-IL). Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee Chairman Morgan Luttrell (R-TX) first introduced the legislation.

The bill is designed to “ensure that the VA Board of Veterans’ Appeals provides Veterans and their families with legally accurate and fair decisions on their claims for VA benefits in a timely manner,” according to Rep. Bilirakis.

This announcement from the Florida congressman comes just nearly three weeks after he joined Chairman Bost as a co-sponsor of the Veterans Appeals Options Expansion Act (HR 7793).

The two bills are very similar as they both attempt to improve the efficiency of the VA Board of Veterans’ Appeals.

HR 7793 was introduced on March 22. That was the last action taken on the bill.

Rep. Bilirakis said that a number of his constituents have mentioned this concern.

“I’m grateful for Chairman Luttrell, Chairman Bost and Conference Chair Stefanik’s leadership on this important bill that will help address the glaring performance problems routinely made when the VA Board of Veterans Appeals reviews Veterans’ benefit claims,” said Bilirakis. “These errors unnecessarily delay our nation’s heroes from accessing the benefits they deserve and is a concern that has been raised by many of my constituents. Our bill is an important part of the solution, as it will strengthen quality assurance metrics and provide much needed accountability.”

Rep. Stefanik added that this issue is a “top priority” for her.

“Bringing the concerns of our veterans and service members to the highest levels of government will always be one of my top priorities. I am proud to co-lead Chairman Luttrell’s legislation to ensure our veterans’ claims are processed and results are delivered with the urgency they deserve,” said Rep. Stefanik.

Furthermore, Rep. Luttrell – the bill’s sponsor – explained the bill and added, “I will continue to hold the VA’s feet to the fire and do everything in my power to course correct this ship.”

Finally, Rep. Bost said “Veterans and their families have earned legally accurate and fair decisions on their claims for VA benefits. But right now, that’s not always the case. As a result, veterans are stuck in limbo waiting years on end for their earned disability compensation benefits.” “My friend and colleague, Rep. Luttrell, has introduced the Veterans Claims Quality Improvement Act, which would make vitally important improvements to the VA appeals process by implementing a robust quality assurance program so that veterans have a system at the VA Board of Veterans’ Appeals that they can trust. Rep. Luttrell and I know firsthand that we can’t take our foot off the gas when it comes to modernizing and pushing VA’s disability compensation benefits processes forward.”

The bill demands the Veterans Board of Appeals to “identify errors made” and report those errors to Congress. It also requires an annual performance evaluation for Board judges.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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