Bill S5825-2013

Requires directors of county veterans service agencies to be accredited by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Requires directors of county veterans service agencies to be accredited by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Details

Actions

  • Jun 20, 2013: SUBSTITUTED BY A6221C
  • Jun 20, 2013: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1515
  • Jun 17, 2013: REFERRED TO RULES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5825

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to requiring directors of county veterans service agencies to be accredited by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs

PURPOSE: This legislation will require directors of county veterans service agencies to become accredited by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill would amend the executive law to:

1. Require current directors of a county or city veterans' service agency within three years from the effective date of this measure to take all necessary steps to be accredited as a veterans' service organization (VSO) representative. Accreditation shall mean the authority granted by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to assist veterans and their family members in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims for benefits. Once the director is notified of his or her accreditation, a copy of the certificate shall be filed with the director of the Division of Veterans' Affairs. The accreditation shall be maintained during the duration of his or her status as a director.

2. Any county or city director hired after the effective date of this statute shall take all necessary steps to be accredited as a veterans' service organization (VSO) representative within eighteen months of such appointment. Accreditation shall mean the authority granted by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to assist veterans and their family members in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims for benefits. Once the director is notified or his or her accreditation, a copy of the certificate shall be filed with the director of the Division of Veterans' Affairs. The accreditation shall be maintained during the duration of his or her status as a director.

3. During the time a director is working toward accreditation pursuant to subdivision a and b, such individual may provide services to veterans and their family members as defined in section three hundred fifty-eight of the executive law other than the Preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims for benefits under federal statues and regulations.

4. Section 2 is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: County executives and mayors have the right to appoint directors of their own municipalities' veterans service agencies. However, only accredited veterans service organization representatives have access to the pertinent data from the Department of Veteran's Affairs needed to process veterans' benefits claims. Therefore, it would be of great benefit to the county/city offices and all New York State veterans that the directors become accredited. This bill will enhance the ability of veterans to get the state and the federal benefits to which they are entitled in a more efficient and timely manner.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY.: This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law; provided that any rules and regulations necessary for the timely implementation of this act on the effective date shall be promulgated on or before such date.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5825 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 17, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. MARTINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to requiring directors of county veterans service agencies to be accredited by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 357 of the executive law is amended by adding a new subdivision 3 to read as follows: 3. ACCREDITATION. (A) CURRENT COUNTY OR CITY DIRECTORS WITHIN THREE YEARS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL TAKE ALL STEPS NECESSARY TO BE ACCREDITED AS A VETERANS SERVICE ORGANIZATION (VSO) REPRESENTATIVE. ACCREDITATION SHALL MEAN THE AUTHORITY GRANTED BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO ASSIST VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS IN THE PREPARATION, PRESENTATION, AND PROSECUTION OF CLAIMS FOR BENEFITS PURSUANT TO SECTION 5902 OF TITLE 38 U.S.C. AND SECTION 14.628 OF TITLE 38 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS. ONCE AN APPLI- CATION FOR ACCREDITATION IS APPROVED BY THE GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND THE APPLICANT IS NOTI- FIED OF THIS ACTION, THE DIRECTOR OF THE COUNTY OR CITY VETERANS SERVICE AGENCY SHALL FILE A COPY OF THE ACCREDITATION CERTIFICATE FROM THE APPROPRIATE VETERANS SERVICE ORGANIZATION WITH THE DIRECTOR OF THE DIVI- SION. SUCH ACCREDITATION SHALL BE MAINTAINED DURING THE DURATION OF HIS OR HER STATUS AS A DIRECTOR OF SUCH COUNTY OR CITY VETERANS SERVICE AGENCY. THE DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION MAY DETERMINE THAT SATISFACTORY COMPLETION OF A COURSE OR INSTRUCTION ON VETERANS' BENEFITS APPROVED BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND CONDUCTED BY THE DIVISION MAY FULFILL THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SUBDIVISION. (B) ANY COUNTY OR CITY DIRECTOR HIRED AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS STATUTE SHALL TAKE ALL STEPS NECESSARY TO BE ACCREDITED AS A VETERANS SERVICE ORGANIZATION (VSO) REPRESENTATIVE WITHIN EIGHTEEN MONTHS OF SUCH
APPOINTMENT. ACCREDITATION SHALL MEAN THE AUTHORITY GRANTED BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO ASSIST VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS IN THE PREPARATION, PRESENTATION, AND PROSECUTION OF CLAIMS FOR BENEFITS PURSUANT TO SECTION 5902 OF TITLE 38 U.S.C. AND SECTION 14.628 OF TITLE 38 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS. ONCE AN APPLI- CATION FOR ACCREDITATION IS APPROVED BY THE GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND THE APPLICANT IS NOTI- FIED OF THIS ACTION, THE DIRECTOR OF THE COUNTY OR CITY VETERANS SERVICE AGENCY SHALL FILE A COPY OF THE ACCREDITATION CERTIFICATE FROM THE APPROPRIATE VETERANS SERVICE ORGANIZATION WITH THE DIRECTOR OF THE DIVI- SION. SUCH ACCREDITATION SHALL BE MAINTAINED DURING THE DURATION OF HIS OR HER STATUS AS A DIRECTOR OF SUCH COUNTY OR CITY VETERANS SERVICE AGENCY. THE DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION MAY DETERMINE THAT A SATISFACTORY COMPLETION OF A COURSE OF INSTRUCTION ON VETERANS' BENEFITS APPROVED BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND CONDUCTED BY THE DIVISION MAY FULFILL THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SUBDIVISION. (C) DURING THE TIME A DIRECTOR IS WORKING TOWARD ACCREDITATION PURSU- ANT TO PARAGRAPHS (A) AND (B) OF THIS SUBDIVISION, SUCH INDIVIDUAL MAY PROVIDE SERVICES TO VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS AS DEFINED IN SECTION THREE HUNDRED FIFTY-EIGHT OF THIS ARTICLE OTHER THAN THE PREPA- RATION, PRESENTATION, AND PROSECUTION OF CLAIMS FOR BENEFITS UNDER FEDERAL STATUTES AND REGULATIONS. S 2. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law; provided that any rules and regulations necessary for the timely implementation of this act on the effective date shall be promulgated on or before such date.

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