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Title of Law:Veterans Education and Benefits Expansion Act of 2001
Law #:Public Law 107-103
Passed by Congress:107th Congress (1st Session)

The following are excerpts, highlighted in red, from the final legislation and/or conference report which contain National Academies' studies. (Pound signs [##] between passages denote the deletion of unrelated text.)

HR1291 Smith (R-N.J.) 12/13/01
Enrolled (finally passed both houses)

To amend title 38, United States Code, to modify and improve authorities relating to education benefits, compensation and pension benefits, housing benefits, burial benefits, and vocational rehabilitation benefits for veterans, to modify certain authorities relating to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and for other purposes.
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TITLE II-COMPENSATION AND PENSION PROVISIONS

SEC. 201. MODIFICATION AND EXTENSION OF AUTHORITIES ON PRESUMPTION OF SERVICE-CONNECTION FOR HERBICIDE-RELATED DISABILITIES OF VIETNAM VETERANS.

(a) PRESUMPTIVE PERIOD FOR RESPIRATORY CANCERS.- (1)(A) Subparagraph (F) of subsection (a)(2) of section 1116 is amended by striking "within 30 years" and all that follows through "May 7, 1975".

(B) The amendment made by subparagraph (A) shall take effect January 1, 2002.

(2) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall enter into a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, not later than six months after the date of the enactment of this Act, for the performance of a study to include a review of all available scientific literature on the effects of exposure to an herbicide agent containing dioxin on the development of respiratory cancers in humans and whether it is possible to identify a period of time after exposure to herbicides after which a presumption of service-connection for such exposure would not be warranted. Under the contract, the National Academy of Sciences shall submit a report to the Secretary setting forth its conclusions. The report shall be submitted not later than 18 months after the contract is entered into.

(3) For a period of six months beginning on the date of the receipt of the report of the National Academy of Sciences under paragraph (2), the Secretary may, if warranted by clear scientific evidence presented in the National Academy of Sciences report, initiate a rulemaking under which the Secretary would specify a limit on the number of years after a claimant´s departure from Vietnam after which respiratory cancers would not be presumed to have been associated with the claimant´s exposure to herbicides while serving in Vietnam. Any such limit under such a rule may not take effect until 120 days have passed after the publication of a final rule to impose such a limit.

(4)(A) Subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C), if the Secretary imposes such a limit under paragraph (3), that limit shall be effective only as to claims filed on or after the effective date of that limit.

(B) In the case of any veteran whose disability or death due to respiratory cancer is found by the Secretary to be service-connected under section 1116(a)(2)(F) of title 38, United States Code, as amended by paragraph (1), such disability or death shall remain service-connected for purposes of all provisions of law under such title notwithstanding the imposition, if any, of a time limit by the Secretary by rulemaking authorized under paragraph (3).

(C) Subaragraph (B) does not apply in a case in which-

(i) the original award of compensation or service connection was based on fraud; or

(ii) it is clearly shown from military records that the person concerned did not have the requisite service or character of discharge.

(b) PRESUMPTION THAT DIABETES MELLITUS (TYPE 2) IS SERVICE-CONNECTED.-Subsection (a)(2) of section 1116 is further amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

"(H) Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2).".

(c) PRESUMPTION OF EXPOSURE TO HERBICIDE AGENTS IN VIETNAM DURING VIETNAM ERA.-(1) Section 1116 is further amended-

(A) by transferring paragraph (3) of subsection (a) to the end of the section and redesignating such paragraph, as so transferred, as subsection (f);

(B) by redesignating paragraph (4) of subsection (a) as paragraph (3); and

(C) in subsection (f), as transferred and redesignated by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph-

(i) by striking "For the purposes of this subsection, a veteran" and inserting "For purposes of establishing service connection for a disability or death resulting from exposure to a herbicide agent, including a presumption of service-connection under this section, a veteran"; and

(ii) by striking "and has a disease referred to in paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection".

(2)(A) The heading of that section is amended to read as follows:

"§ 1116. Presumptions of service connection for diseases associated with exposure to certain herbicide agents; presumption of exposure for veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam".

(B) The item relating to that section in the table of sections at the beginning of chapter 11 is amended to read as follows:

"1116. Presumptions of service connection for diseases associated with exposure to certain herbicide agents; presumption of exposure for veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam.".

(d) EXTENSION OF AUTHORITY TO PRESUME SERVICE-CONNECTION FOR ADDITIONAL DISEASES.-(1) Subsection (e) of such section is amended by striking "10 years" and all that follows through "Agent Orange Act of 1991" and inserting "on September 30, 2015".

(2) Section 3(i) of the Agent Orange Act of 1991 (38 U.S.C. 1116 note) is amended by striking "10 years" and all that follows and inserting "on October 1, 2014.".

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