WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD) – Over the weekend, President Trump signed the VA Tele-Hearing Modernization Act bill, proposed by Joe Cunningham, into law.
The Act addresses COVID-19 related obstacles that could prevent veterans from receiving benefits.
The Board of Veterans’ Appeals, which “determines whether veterans are entitled to VA disability benefits and other services,” only conducts tele-hearings from designated locations. According to Cunningham, many Lowcountry veterans had to travel to Columbia or Savannah and testify from those VA offices. With stay-at-home orders in place in almost every state, a more efficient approach was necessary.
The Act allows veterans to stay home and participate in tele-hearings from their own computers. It also “includes safeguards to ensure that veterans’ personal information is protected and that their case is not negatively impacted by taking advantage of this new option.”
Cunningham described the legislation as “exemplary of the kind of commonsense advances we can make when both parties come together for the sake of our veterans.”