September 16, 2010

On Wednesday, Congressman Joe Donnelly’s The Rating and Processing Individuals’ Disability (RAPID) Claims Act, H.R. 5549, was passed by voice vote out of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee as a part of 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.

“While we have achieved much on behalf of our veterans in recent years, I think we all agree further steps are needed to reduce the wait times faced by veterans and to simplify the process,” 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.  Those who fought for our freedoms and security certainly deserve our very best.”

The RAPID Claims Act has 29 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).     In July, Donnelly testified before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Disability and Memorial Affairs in support of the RAPID Claims Act.  Watch a video of his testimony here.

Donnelly’s legislation would accomplish four things that have already been identified as time savers for the handling of veterans’ claims:

The Veterans Benefits and Economic Welfare Improvement Act of 2010 is now pending before the full House of Representatives.