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Rep. Young Kim Honors Veterans

Jul 3, 2024 | Press Releases, Veterans

Washington, DC – Last week, U.S. Representatives Young Kim (CA-40) and Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) introduced the Improving VA Training for Military Sexual Trauma Claims Act (H.R. 8879).

Currently, contracted disability compensation examiners (CDCEs) are only required to do online sensitivity training before handling military sexual trauma (MST) claims.

The Improving VA Training for Military Sexual Trauma Claims Act:

  • Requires the VA Secretary to create a plan to improve training for CDCEs who examine veterans dealing with MST claims;
  • Ensures annual training for all employees of the Veterans Benefits Administration;
  • Improves quality assurance of CDCEs so MST veterans are not retraumatized during the medical disability examination process; and,
  • Requires the VA to automatically obtain all service and personnel medical records for PTSD-based claims filed for in-service personal assault.

“Veterans filing MST claims have faced unthinkable trauma. CDCE examinations should be easy and painless – not cause more pain,” said Congresswoman Young Kim, a wife and sister to U.S. Army veterans. “The bipartisan Improving VA Training for Military Sexual Trauma Claims Act aims to provide much-needed updates to training for CDCEs and certainty for veterans filing MST claims that they are valued and will receive the care they deserve. I will always have the backs of our veterans who had ours against global threats.”

“Too many of our nation’s servicemembers come home with invisible wounds. We can’t allow our disability claims process to deepen them,” said Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (IL-13). “I’m proud to be teaming up with Congresswoman Young Kim on legislation to provide survivors of military sexual trauma with the support they deserve as they file a claim. Our bipartisan bill will ensure that the VA workers processing these claims receive the training they need to fairly decide military sexual trauma claims without retraumatizing survivors along the way. Together, we can reduce the red tape encountered by survivors and enact long-overdue reform to this process.”

“The very last thing survivors of military sexual trauma need is to have a triggering experience navigating the VA disability claims process due to ignorance from VA employees and contracted compensation and pension examiners,” said Chairman Bost. “We owe it to our veterans to provide the individuals they’ll work with throughout this process with the proper training to make sure PTSD retraumatization never happens. I applaud my friend, Rep. Kim, for introducing H.R. 8879 to make this promise a reality. This vitally important bill is in lockstep with House Republicans work on the women veteran task force this Congress to improve services for women veterans at VA.”

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