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H.R.6297 - Reducing Barriers to Veterans' Benefits Act
To amend title 38, United States Code, to establish a presumption of service connection for certain veterans with tinnitus or hearing loss, and for other purposes.
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Mr. BENISHEK introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concernedCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
SEC. 3. PRESUMPTION OF SERVICE-CONNECTION FOR HEARING LOSS AND TINNITUS.
‘Sec. 1119. Presumption of service connection for hearing loss associated with particular military occupational specialties or combat service
‘(a) In General- (1) For purposes of section 1110 of this title, and subject to section 1113 of this title, diagnosed hearing loss, tinnitus, or both of a veteran described in paragraph (2) shall be considered to have been incurred in or aggravated by the service of the veteran, notwithstanding that there is no record of evidence of such hearing loss or tinnitus, as the case may be, during the period of such service.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(b) Military Occupational Specialty- A military occupational specialty or equivalent referred to in subsection (a)(2)(A) is a military occupational specialty or equivalent, if any, that the Secretary determines in regulations prescribed under this section in which individuals assigned to such military occupational specialty or equivalent in the active military, naval, or air service are or were likely to be exposed to a sufficiently high level of acoustic trauma as to result in permanent hearing loss, tinnitus, or both.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(c) Determination- (1) If the Secretary determines under subsection (b) that a presumption of service connection is warranted for a military occupational specialty or equivalent, the Secretary shall, not later than 60 days after the date of the determination, issue proposed regulations setting forth the Secretary’s determination.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) If the Secretary determines under subsection (b) that a presumption of service connection is not warranted for a military occupational specialty or equivalent, the Secretary shall, not later than 60 days after the date of the determination--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(B) submit to the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and the House of Representatives a report on the determination, including a justification for the determination.’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 11 of such title is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1118 the following new item:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(d) Effective Date-
Section 1119 of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a)(1), shall apply with respect to a claim for compensation made on or after the date that is 60 days after the date on which the Secretary prescribes regulations pursuant to subsection (c)(1) of such section.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 4. AUDIOMETRIC TEST REQUIRED BEFORE SEPARATION OF MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES.
‘Sec. 1179. Audiometric test required
‘Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department shall ensure that a member of the armed forces under the jurisdiction of the Secretary receives an audiometric test at the 8000 Hz frequency (or other test that the Secretary of Defense determines has the ability to discover potential future hearing loss) to evaluate the hearing of the member during the 90-day period before the date on which the member is discharged, separated, or retired.’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(c) Effective Date-
Section 1179 of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall apply with respect to a member being discharged, separated, or retired from the Armed Forces on or after the date that is 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink