24 May 2015

VA Has Submitted Rule Covering C-123 Vets to Office of Management & Budget for Analysis

On May 13, Secretary McDonald submitted to the Office of Management and Budget VA's proposed rule to cover C-123 exposures. When approved, this will be effected via Presidential Executive Order.

Now, we're all awaiting OMB's action to move things forward. The current state is "interim final rule" and is titled "Presumption of Herbicide Exposure and Presumption of Disability During Service For Reservists Presumed Exposed to Herbicide"

How it works:

Following the submission to VA of the C-123 report from IOM, a working group is convened, consisting of representatives from several different parts of the VA. Based on the IOM study findings, review of other relevant academic literature, and possible input from various stakeholders, the working group determines whether there is sufficient scientific evidence to support giving any disease(s) special consideration with respect to disability presumptions.

Following deliberations, the working group generates a report, which makes recommendations to an internal VA Task Force based on pre-established legal standards by which the VA Secretary’s final decision is bound. The VA internal review Task Force typically consists of high-level officials who report directly to the Secretary. The Task Force reviews the findings of the Working Group and may provide a separate, but similar, report to the VA Secretary based on the Working Group’s recommendations.

If the Task Force recommends that a new disability presumption be established, and the Secretary concurs, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) will submit a cost estimate and draft regulations for the presumption(s) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. If approved by OMB, the proposed rule is then published in the Federal Register. After the allotted period for public comment, the VBA will then prepare a final rule to be submitted to the Federal Register.

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