The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its regulations governing veterans’ eligibility for VA pensions and other needs-based benefit programs. The amended regulations establish new requirements for evaluating net worth and asset transfers for pensions and identify which medical expenses may be deducted from countable income for VA’s needs-based benefit programs. The amendments help to ensure the integrity of VA’s needs-based benefit programs and the consistent adjudication of pension and parents’ dependency and indemnity compensation claims. Lastly, the amendments effectuate: Statutory changes for pension beneficiaries who receive Medicaid-covered nursing home care; a statutory income exclusion for disabled veterans; and longstanding statutory income exclusions for all VA needs-based benefits.
This final rule amends the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regulation governing persons who may receive VA burial benefits on behalf of a deceased veteran. As amended, the regulation reflects VA’s current policy of paying an automatic burial benefit to surviving spouses who were not established in VA systems as a veteran’s spouse at the time of the veteran’s death. The intended effect of this amendment is to ensure that a veteran’s surviving spouse receives burial benefits to which he or she is entitled at the earliest possible time.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing to amend its claims adjudication, appeals, and Rules of Practice of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) regulations. In addition, VA proposes to revise its regulations with respect to accreditation of attorneys, agents, and Veterans Service Organization (VSO) representatives; the standards of conduct for persons practicing before VA; and the rules governing fees for representation. This rulemaking is needed to implement the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act. That law amended the procedures applicable to administrative review and appeal of VA decisions denying claims for benefits, creating a new, modernized review system. Unless otherwise specified, VA intends to make the proposed regulatory changes applicable to claims processed under the new review system, which generally applies where an initial VA decision on a claim is provided on or after the effective date or where a claimant has elected to opt into the new review system under established procedures.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its fiduciary program regulations, which govern the oversight of beneficiaries, who because of injury, disease, or age, are unable to manage their VA benefits, and the appointment and oversight of fiduciaries for these vulnerable beneficiaries. The amendments will update and reorganize regulations consistent with current law, VA policies and procedures, and VA’s reorganization of its fiduciary activities. They will also clarify the rights of beneficiaries in the program, and the roles of VA and fiduciaries in ensuring that VA benefits are managed in the best interest of beneficiaries and their dependents. The amendments to this rulemaking are mostly mandatory to comply with the law. They are also in line with the law’s goals to streamline and modernize the fiduciary program and process. These amendments by Congress, reduce unnecessary regulations, streamline and modernize processes, and improve services for Veterans. Furthermore, VA is unable to alter proposed amendments that directly implement mandatory statutory provisions.
On August 12, 2016, VA published in the Federal Register the proposed rule for Schedule for Rating Disabilities: Skin. VA received multiple responses during the 60-day comment period. This final rule implements the Secretary’s proposed rule with limited revisions.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its adjudication regulations to add an additional compensation benefit for veterans with residuals of traumatic brain injury (TBI). This final rule incorporates in regulations a benefit authorized by the enactment of the Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010. The Veterans’ Benefits Act authorizes special monthly compensation (SMC) for veterans with TBI who are in need of aid and attendance, and in the absence of such aid and attendance, would require hospitalization, nursing home care, or other residential institutional care.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published, in the Federal Register of March 18, 1976, a final rule amending its Schedule For Rating Disabilities regulations. The amendment, which was accurately reflected in the Federal Register document, was subsequently misprinted when included in Part 4 of title 38, Code of Federal Regulations. Therefore, VA is correcting this misprint which contained two typographical errors found in Table I of the Combined Ratings Table.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is revising the portion of the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD or rating schedule) that addresses the organs of special sense and schedule of ratings–eye. The final rule incorporates medical advances that have occurred since the last review, updates current medical terminology, and provides clearer evaluation criteria.
This document amends the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) by revising the portion of the rating schedule that addresses gynecological conditions and disorders of the breast. The effect of this action is to ensure that this portion of the rating schedule uses current medical terminology and to provide detailed and updated criteria for evaluation of gynecological conditions and disorders of the breast.