The official blog of American Veteran Magazine, the national quarterly publication of AMVETS.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Live from Capitol Hill: AMVETS to Testify on VA's Benefits Delivery on Discharge Program

This afternoon, AMVETS Legislative Director Ray Kelley will appear before the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs to discuss the VA's Benefits Delivery on Discharge program, or BDD.

A video feed from the hearing may be available in the early afternoon for the 2 p.m. hearing. Check back shortly for an update.

Kelley will appear alongside leaders from other veterans' organizations, including IAVA and Independent Budget partners DAV and VFW.

AMVETS supported VA's implementation of BDD as a way to streamline the VA claims process for Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans. However, as Kelley points out, improvements can be made.

During his testimony, Kelley will focus on VA's need to expand its program, allowing for all VA Regional Offices to rate BDD claims, places where VA can improve communication and outreach to eligible service members, and ways in which VA can improve the paperwork process for claims across the board.

Kelley will also discuss the program's use of DoD, VA, and contracted assets and the need for better understanding of local Memorandums of Understanding to avoid duplicate exams.

AMVETS Deputy Legislative Director Christina Roof also submitted testimony for the record for this morning's full House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on the relationship between medication and suicide.

This morning's hearing brings together top medical minds from VA and the private sector to discuss whether prescription practices for today's veterans have exacerbated the suicide issue.

To view live video from the hearing, which commences at 10 a.m., Click Here.

American Veteran will follow both of these hearings closely. Check back later for updates.

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