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October 03, 2016

In Case You Missed It: Bill Would Speed Response to VA Records Requests

Yesterday, Rep. Pete Aguilar authored an editorial for the San Bernardino Sun, highlighting the need to improve accountability and veteran services at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Rep. Aguilar argues that federal agencies must do a better job to improve resources and support networks for veterans. He cites his latest bill, the VA Accountability for Location of Records (VALOR) Act, as an important step to help improve accountability and responsiveness at the VA. Veterans submit record requests every day, some of which are related to medical histories, and are documents that cannot afford to be delayed. The bill would require the VA to provide a requested record related to a veteran’s claims, military service or medical records within 14 days of the request being received. The bill also stipulates that should the VA be unable to complete the request within that time frame, the agency must inform the veteran, explain the reason for the delay and within 10 days provide an estimated date for when the record request will be completed.

Since taking office last year, Rep. Aguilar has prioritized helping Inland Empire veterans get the resources and assistance they need. He’s been a fierce advocate for increased funding for the HUD-VASH program to support housing vouchers for veterans, and last year met with VA Secretary Robert McDonald to discuss veteran homelessness in San Bernardino County.  Rep. Aguilar established a Veterans Advisory Board, which he meets with regularly and he has also worked with fellow Inland Empire Representative Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) to help put veterans back to work.

The full editorial can be read online in the San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and the Redlands Daily Facts.