Reps. Yoho and Davis Send Bill to Improve Benefit Claims for Veterans to House for Final Vote
Washington D.C. – Today, WINGMAN (H.R. 5166), a bill that streamlines the benefits claims process between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and congressional constituent advocates processing those claims on behalf of veterans and their families, passed out of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.
“Our Veterans have put their lives on the line for our nation and they deserve the very best. Today we are one step closer in improving their benefits claims process. It is unacceptable that the brave men and women who stepped up to serve and protect our freedoms, should wait extended periods of time to receive the care and benefits they so rightly deserve,” Yoho said.
WINGMAN will grant certified staff access to the files they already have permission to possess, but eliminates the burdensome step of having to use the VA as a middle-man to receive them.
“Veterans should not have to go through their member of Congress to get answers from the VA but the fact is we are oftentimes a last resort for many veterans,” said Davis. “Our bill will allow my office, and other congressional offices, to better assist veterans by creating more transparency within the claims process and hopefully allow the VA to be more efficient. By moving this legislation forward, we are another step closer to getting veterans the answers they need and deserve in a timely manner.”
Under WINGMAN, advocates would be able to access the status of a pending claim, medical records, comp and pen records, rating decisions, statement of the case, supplementary statement of the case, notice of disagreement, and Form-9 files within a reasonable amount of time, without having to go through a middle-man.