VA Policy Fix Moves Forward After Constituent Letter to Larsen
Washington, DC, July 3, 2014
A veterans health care issue that an Island County service member asked Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, for help changing last year is moving forward in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The VA announced it will update the Veterans Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) based on current medical standards, with rules set to be finalized by the fall of 2016. Larsen successfully included language in the FY2014 VA funding bill that directs the VA to revise the VASRD according to up-to-date, medically accurate standards.
Larsen pushed for the change after a constituent wrote to him in March 2013 to share the discrepancy between the disability rating she received for her fibromyalgia and current medical assessments.
“Constituents play a critical role in helping me understand how well government is—or isn’t—working for the people of Northwest Washington. Thanks to this letter, veterans health care benefits will be consistent with the best medical information, as should be the case. This is a perfect example of how constituent voices guide my actions,” Larsen said.