Date: August 2, 2007
Senate Passes H.R. 1538, the Dignified
Treatment of Wounded Warriors Act
On July 25, 2007, the Senate amended and then passed by unanimous consent H.R. 1538, the Dignified Treatment of Wounded Warriors Act. When the House takes up the Senate-passed version, it will either accept the Senate amendments and clear the bill for the President, or disagree with the Senate-passed version and request a conference to resolve the differences.
The Senate-passed bill contains the following provisions of interest to SSA:
Comprehensive Policy on Care, Management and Transition of Members of the Armed Forces with Serious Injuries or Illnesses
• Would require the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs to develop a comprehensive policy on the care and management of service members who are undergoing medical treatment, in medical hold or medical holdover status, or on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness. Among the areas covered by this policy would be the medical and disability evaluations of service members.
The Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs would have to develop this policy no later than January 1, 2008. In developing this policy, those departments would have to consult with other federal departments, federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations that have expertise in matters related to the policy. This provision would be effective upon enactment.
Handbook for Members of the Armed Forces on Compensation and Benefits Available for Serious Injuries and Illnesses
• Would require the Department of Defense to develop and maintain a comprehensive handbook that describes the compensation and other benefits to which a service member and that member's family would be entitled upon the member's separation or retirement from the Armed Forces as a result of a serious injury or illness.
In developing and maintaining this handbook, the Department of Defense would be required to consult with the Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services. The provision would be effective upon enactment.