Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 114 Part 3.djvu/1074

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114 STAT. 2096 PUBLIC LAW 106-475—NOV. 9, 2000 Public Law 106-475 106th Congress An Act N Q9nnn "^^ amend title 38, United States Code, to reafBrm and clarify the duty of the — ——: Secretary of Veterans Affairs to assist claimants for benefits under laws adminis- [H.R. 4864] tered by the Secretary, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of Veterans Claims the United States of America in Congress assembled, ^sistance Act of gEcnON 1. SHORT TITLE. 38 USC 101 note. -pj^g ^^^ jj^^y ^g cited as the "Veterans Claims Assistance Act of 2000". SEC. 2. CLARIFICATION OF DEFINITION OF "CLAIMANT" FOR PUR- POSES OF VETERANS CLAIMS. Chapter 51 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by inserting before section 5101 the following new section: "§ 5100. DeHnition of 'claimant' "For purposes of this chapter, the term 'claimant' means any individual applying for, or submitting a claim for, any benefit under the laws administered by the Secretary.". SEC. 3. ASSISTANCE TO CLAIMANTS. (a) REAFFIRMATION AND CLARIFICATION OF DUTY TO ASSIST. — Chapter 51 of title 38, United States Code, is further amended by striking sections 5102 and 5103 and inserting the following:

    • §5102. Application forms furnished upon request; notice

to claimants of incomplete applications "(a) FURNISHING FORMS.— Upon request made by any person claiming or applying for, or expressing an intent to claim or apply for, a benefit under the laws administered by the Secretary, the Secretary shall furnish such person, free of all expense, all instructions and forms necessary to apply for that benefit. "(b) INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS.— I f a claimant's application for a benefit under the laws administered by the Secretary is incomplete, the Secretary shall notify the claimant and the claimant's representative, if any, of the information necessary to complete the application. "§ 5103. Notice to claimants of required information and evidence "(a) REQUIRED INFORMATION AND EVIDENCE. —Upon receipt of a complete or substantially complete application, the Secretary shall notify the claimant and the claimant's representative, if any, of any information, and any medical or lay evidence, not previously provided to the Secretary that is necessary to substantiate the