The VA announced in the June 4 edition of the Federal Register that the Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation will be meeting this month to discuss the periodic readjustment of the ratings system. The ratings system determines the nature, type, and severity of disabilities that arise during service in the Armed Forces and is at the very heart of any claim against the VA—so veterans and families are encouraged to take part in the process.
For those in the Washington, D.C. area, consider attending the meetings. They’re open to the public and take place June 21-22 from 8:30 to 5:30 each day. In the afternoon on June 22, there will be time for public comment—but review the rules here before attending.
Veterans and citizens can also submit written statements for the Committee to review by writing to the address given in the above links. If writing, make sure to specifically indicate what you are commenting about—mention the Committee name along with the date and purpose of the meeting.
Commenting on proposed rules and regulations is an excellent way to let the VA know how you feel. Agencies encourage public comments because it allows the entire nation to participate in rule-making—and, quite often, the public has better ideas!
The Federal Register is a great place to find out what’s happening at the VA—the Department is almost always required to give notice and an opportunity for public comment before passing a new rule or regulation. By signing up for daily emails here, you can keep track of every new idea the VA considers. Just click on the link, click on the “join or leave the list” text near the top of the page, then enter your email address and full name. If you join the “Federal Register Table of Contents” email list, it enables you to see at a glance what’s before every agency, every day, and get links to the specific rules.