One of the co-sponsors was Rep. John Delaney.
Washington DC (KM). The US House of Representatives this week passed the Wingman Act.
One of the leading co-sponsors of the legislation is Representative John Delaney (D-Md). He says it will allow caseworkers in Congressional Offices to better assist veterans who have filed a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs. “We all know the situation that our veterans have been confronted with in terms of dealing with the VA,” he says. “It’s been very cumbersome, very difficult, there’s been really tragic stories of things that have happened.”
If it passes, the measure would allow caseworkers a read-only access to a veteran’s application for benefits from the VA and other related files. “In the past, we had to formally go through the VA which could take weeks and months, and just be told that an application is incomplete. Now we can go into the system. We have a veteran right there with us. They can sign a privacy release form. And they can find out what’s happening with their application,” he says.
In some cases, according to Delaney, it’s often some missing paperwork which caseworkers can take care of very quickly.
Delaney says this process will help a veteran’s application move through the VA at a much faster pace. “And it also takes some of the anxiety out of this for the veterans. They deserve a responsive government at a minimum,” he says. “They deserve a lot more than that. But at a minimum they deserve a responsive government.”
The bill passed with bipartisan support in the House. It now heads to the Senate.
Delaney says he worked with Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fl) to get this bill passed.
By Kevin McManus