Dignity for MST Survivors Act
This bill modifies communications and procedures for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA) regarding claims for compensation based on military sexual trauma (MST) experienced by veterans.
The bill requires the VA to ensure each member of the BVA is offered annual training on MST and proceedings that concern a claim for compensation based on MST. A proceeding that concerns a claim for compensation based on MST may not be assigned to a member of the BVA (or a panel of members) unless such persons have completed the annual training.
When a notice of disagreement is filed, the BVA must promptly determine whether it is filed for a case that concerns a claim for compensation based on MST and for which the appellant has requested a hearing in the notice.
The VA must audit the language used in letters sent to individuals to explain decisions denying claims for compensation based on MST. Letters must be modified to ensure (1) the use of trauma-informed language, and (2) veterans are not retraumatized through insensitive language.
The VA must establish protocols for contract medical providers to ensure that the medical providers use trauma-informed practices in conducting examinations in relation to claims for compensation based on MST.