Sens. Moran, King Introduce Legislation to Permanently Expand Access to Exams for Disability Claims


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Angus King (I-Maine) – members of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee – today introduced legislation to expand veterans’ access to exams that are often required for the disability claims process.


This bill would make permanent a pilot program that was created by Congress in 2020 to permanently expand license portability requirements, which would allow licensed medical professionals to provide medical disability examinations across state lines for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).


“Veterans deserve access to timely, high-quality care and a greater ability to choose when, where and how to use the benefits they earned through their service,” said Sen. Moran. “VA is facing an increasing backlog of benefit claims decisions, and this legislation will help alleviate the exam backlog by creating a permanent solution to allow more veterans to receive care and benefits in a timely manner.”


“We owe a great deal to our veterans and we have an obligation to return to them the same service they gave to us while in uniform with a minimum of bureaucracy and delay,” said Sen. King. “By allowing them to use any VA approved licensed medical professional to perform their benefits exam — rather than force them into an overwhelmed local bottleneck — we can help alleviate the backlog and ensure our veterans receive the benefits they’ve earned in a timely manner. This bipartisan bill is yet another way we can express our gratitude to the brave men and women who’ve served.”


This pilot program was first introduced in the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020, which provided VA and its contract vendors with the authority to allow certain medical providers to provide medical disability exams in states other than where they were licensed. This legislation would allow any health care professional, who is eligible for appointment to a position in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), has a current unrestricted license to practice and is performing the duties that VA and the vendor have agreed to in their contract, to provide medical disability exams.


The full text of the legislation can be found here.


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