Senate Bill 89
117th Congress(2021-2022)
Ensuring Survivor Benefits during COVID-19 Act of 2021
Active
Active
Passed Senate on Jul 21, 2021
Overview
Text
S. 89 (Reported-in-Senate)

Calendar No. 83

117th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 89


To require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to secure medical opinions for veterans with service-connected disabilities who die from COVID–19 to determine whether their service-connected disabilities were the principal or contributory causes of death, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 28, 2021

Ms. Sinema (for herself, Mr. Tillis, Mrs. Shaheen, Mr. Boozman, Mr. Blumenthal, Ms. Warren, Mr. Coons, Mr. Manchin, Mr. Reed, Ms. Collins, Mr. Markey, Mr. Wicker, Mr. Whitehouse, Mr. Kelly, Mr. Peters, Ms. Baldwin, Ms. Hassan, and Mr. King) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

June 24, 2021

Reported by Mr. Tester, with an amendment

[Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic]


A BILL

To require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to secure medical opinions for veterans with service-connected disabilities who die from COVID–19 to determine whether their service-connected disabilities were the principal or contributory causes of death, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Ensuring Survivor Benefits During COVID–19 Act of 2021”.

SEC. 2. Medical opinions for certain veterans with service-connected disabilities who die of COVID–19.

In any case in which a veteran with one or more service-connected disabilities dies, the death certificate identifies Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19) as the principal or contributory cause of death, the death certificate does not clearly identify any of the service-connected disabilities as the principal or contributory cause of death, and a claim for benefits is filed with respect to the veteran under chapter 13 of title 38, Unites States Code, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall secure a medical opinion to determine if a service-connected disability was the principal or contributory cause of death.

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Ensuring Survivor Benefits during COVID–19 Act of 2021”.

SEC. 2. Medical opinions for certain veterans with service-connected disabilities who die of COVID–19.

(a)In general.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall secure a medical opinion to determine if a service-connected disability was the principal or contributory cause of death before notifying the survivor of the final decision in any case in which all of the following factors are met:

(1)A claim for compensation is filed under chapter 13 of title 38, Unites States Code, with respect to a veteran with one or more service-connected disabilities who dies.

(2)The death certificate for the veteran identifies Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19) as the principal or contributory cause of death.

(3)The death certificate does not clearly identify any of the service-connected disabilities of the veteran as the principal or contributory cause of death.

(4)A service-connected disability of the veteran includes a condition more likely to cause severe illness from COVID–19 as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(5)The claimant is not entitled to benefits under section 1318 of such title.

(6)The evidence to support the claim does not result in a preliminary finding in favor of the claimant.

(b)Outreach.—The Secretary shall provide information to veterans, dependents, and veterans service organizations about applying to dependency and indemnity compensation when a veteran dies from COVID–19. The Secretary shall provide such information through the website of the Department of Veterans Affairs and via other outreach mechanisms.


Calendar No. 83

117th CONGRESS
     1st Session
S. 89

A BILL
To require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to secure medical opinions for veterans with service-connected disabilities who die from COVID–19 to determine whether their service-connected disabilities were the principal or contributory causes of death, and for other purposes.

June 24, 2021
Reported with an amendment