S.1148 - Veterans Programs Improvement Act of 2011112th Congress (2011-2012)
Summary: S.1148 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)
Introduced in Senate (06/06/2011)
Veterans Programs Improvement Act of 2011 - Allows grants made by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) for homeless veterans' comprehensive services programs (outreach, rehabilitation, vocational counseling, and transitional housing assistance) to be used for the construction of new facilities. Prohibits the Secretary from denying applications for such grants solely on the basis that the grant entity proposes to use funding from other private or public sources, as long as such entity demonstrates that a private nonprofit organization will provide project oversight and site control.
Revises eligibility: (1) under the grant program for entities serving homeless veterans with special needs, and (2) for treatment and rehabilitation of homeless veterans who are not seriously mentally ill.
Requires, where it appears to the Secretary that the interest of the beneficiary would be served by payment of veterans' benefits to a fiduciary, that payment be made, subject to exceptions, to the person or entity caring for or having primary custody of the beneficiary or the beneficiary's estate, including a person or entity who has been named by the incompetent beneficiary under a durable power of attorney.
Authorizes the Secretary to require any person, state, or local governmental entity appointed or recognized as a fiduciary for a VA beneficiary to provide authorization for the Secretary to obtain from any financial institution any financial record with respect to an account of the fiduciary or the beneficiary which contains an amount paid by the Secretary to the fiduciary for the benefit of the beneficiary when necessary: (1) for the administration of a VA program; or (2) in order to safeguard the beneficiary's benefits against neglect, misappropriation, misuse, embezzlement, or fraud.
Modifies the definition of "fiduciary" to include state and local governmental entities and a person named as an agent under a durable power of attorney.
Specifies the individuals authorized to sign veterans' benefits claims filed on behalf of a person who is under 18, mentally incompetent, or physically unable to sign.
Amends provisions concerning: (1) a dependent child satisfying the occupancy requirements necessary for a veteran's housing loan when a veteran is in active duty status; (2) waiver of the loan fee for individuals with disability ratings issued during predischarge programs; (3) indexing levels of assistance for individuals residing temporarily in housing owned by family members; (4) presidential memorial certificate eligibility; and (5) initial review of claimants' new evidence by the Board of Veterans' Appeals or, upon request, the agency of original jurisdiction.
Extends: (1) provisions concerning homeless veterans' health care, centers for provision of comprehensive services, and property transfers for housing assistance to December 31, 2014; (2) the Advisory Committee on Homeless Veterans to December 30, 2013; (3) assistance to individuals residing temporarily in housing owned by family members to December 31, 2021; (4) authority for the Secretary to obtain information from the Secretary of the Treasury and Commissioner of Social Security to September 30, 2016, and use data provided by Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to September 30, 2021; and (5) the VA regional office in the Republic of the Philippines to December 31, 2012.