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Navy Times: Bill would help rural veterans access VA services

At the urging of Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee is ordering an assessment of Veterans Affairs Department-operated outpatient clinics in rural areas to determine, among other things, if they fully comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for access by the disabled.

The committee also adopted a Udall-sponsored amendment to the 2014 veterans’ funding bill warning that veterans in rural areas may not be able to file the fully electronic benefits claims VA wants because of limited Internet access.

The two Udall amendments are part of the report accompanying the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act passed by the committee Thursday. The bill includes $147.8 billion for VA in 2014 plus $55.6 billion in advance appropriations for medical care for 2015.

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