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Modernizing and Improving the Disability and Compensation Systems

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On November 9, the Department of Veterans Affairs intends to solicit outside bids to be able to award one contract to conduct two important technical studies that will assist decisions to be made regarding the updating of our military disability system. The studies are part of the recommendations of the President's Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors, co-chaired by former Sen. Bob Dole and former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala.

Study of Compensation Payments for Service Connected Disabilities

The Department of Veterans Affairs is commencing a study regarding creation of a schedule for rating disabilities based upon current concepts of medicine and disability, taking into account loss of quality of life and loss of earnings resulting from specific injuries or combination of injuries.

The study will examine:

-- The nature of injuries and combination of injuries for which disability compensation is payable under various disability programs of the Federal and State governments and other countries;

-- The extent to which quality of life and loss of earnings are independently taken into account in various disability programs of the Federal and State governments and other countries;

-- The effect of an injury or combination of injuries on a veteran's loss of earnings, such as inability to work in certain occupations, and on a veteran's quality of life, such as activities of independent living, recreational and community activities, and personal relationships, including the inability to participate in favorite activities, social problems related to disfigurement or cognitive difficulties, and the need to spend increased amounts of time performing activities of daily living; and

-- Measurement of the effect of an injury or combination of injuries on a veteran's psychological state, loss of physical integrity, and social inadaptability.

The study will make recommendations concerning the following:

-- The appropriate injuries or combination of injuries to include in the schedule;

-- The appropriate level of compensation for loss of quality of life;

-- The appropriate standard or standards for determining whether an injury or combination of injuries has caused a loss in a veteran's quality of life;

-- The appropriate level of compensation for loss of earnings; and

-- The appropriate standard or standards for determining whether an injury or combination of injuries has caused a veteran loss of earnings.

Study of Transition Payments

The Department of Veterans Affairs is also commencing a study to determine the appropriate level and duration of transition payments that should be paid to all eligible veterans who are participating in a rehabilitation program.

Modernizing System 2/2/2/2

Full details about the competitive solicitation for the studies will be available on

And in case you missed it...

Single Physical Examination To Simplify Disability Determinations

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) signed a landmark agreement this week to simplify life for service members with medical problems as they leave the military and return to the civilian world with the pilot of a single physical examination to be used by both Departments. The move is another indication of progress implementing the Dole-Shalala Commission recommendations.

The agreement, signed November 6 by Gordon Mansfield, Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Dr. David S.C. Chu, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, calls for a pilot program to begin this month to evaluate a single physical examination that would be used by DoD to determine the medical fitness of injured personnel to remain in uniform and by VA for awarding disability compensation.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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