Special Home Adaptation Grants for Members of the Armed Forces and Veterans With Certain Vision Impairment, 54608-54609 [2014-21791]

Download as PDF 54608 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 177 / Friday, September 12, 2014 / Rules and Regulations movement during the operations to prevent injury and property loss. In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23, entry into, transiting, mooring, laying up, or anchoring within the enforced area of this safety zone by any person or vessel is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, Lake Michigan or her designated representative. Vessels that wish to transit through the safety zone may request permission from the Captain of the Port, Lake Michigan. Requests must be made in advance and approved by the Captain of the Port before transits will be authorized. Approvals will be granted on a case by case basis. The Captain of the Port representative may be contacted via U.S. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan on VHF channel 16. This document is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.930 and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this publication in the Federal Register, the Captain of the Port, Lake Michigan, will also provide notice through other means, which may include Broadcast Notice to Mariners, Local Notice to Mariners, local news media, distribution in leaflet form, and on-scene oral notice. Additionally, the Captain of the Port, Lake Michigan, may notify representatives from the maritime industry through telephonic and email notifications. Dated: August 29, 2014. A.B. Cocanour, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Lake Michigan. [FR Doc. 2014–21640 Filed 9–11–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 3 RIN 2900–AP12 Special Home Adaptation Grants for Members of the Armed Forces and Veterans With Certain Vision Impairment Department of Veterans Affairs. Final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing a final rule to amend its adjudication regulations regarding special home adaptation grants for members of the Armed Forces and veterans with certain vision impairment. This regulatory amendment is necessary to conform the regulations to changes mandated in the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:18 Sep 11, 2014 Jkt 232001 DATES: Effective Date: This final rule is effective September 12, 2014. Applicability Date: The provisions of this final rule apply to all applications for benefits that are received by VA on or after October 1, 2012, the statutory effective date of the amendment, or that are pending before VA, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, or the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on or after October 1, 2012. require a finding of permanent and total disability. 126 Stat. at 1177. Accordingly, VA is amending 38 CFR 3.809a(b), the implementing regulation for 38 U.S.C. 2101(b), to reflect the previously discussed statutory amendments. For clarity, VA is also reorganizing and making technical corrections to § 3.809a(b). No substantive changes are intended from the reorganization and technical corrections. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Administrative Procedure Act The Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Secretary) finds good cause under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to publish this rule without prior opportunity for public comment. This amendment merely revises VA’s regulations to comply with a statutory mandate that VA provide special home adaptation grants to members of the Armed Forces and veterans with certain vision impairments. The regulatory change reflects the change in statute that VA is adopting directly, without change, into VA’s regulations and does not involve interpretation of the statutory provision. Also, the reorganization and technical corrections made by this rule do not alter any substantive rights or duties. Therefore, prior notice and opportunity for public comment is unnecessary. Additionally, for the reasons previously stated, the Secretary finds good cause to dispense with the delayed-effective-date requirement of 5 U.S.C. 553(d). Nancy A. Copeland, Consultant, Regulations Staff (211D), Compensation Service, Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461–9700. (This is not a toll-free number.) Section 203 of the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, Public Law 112–154, 126 Stat. 1165, 1177, amended 38 U.S.C. 2101(b) to expand the eligibility for members of the Armed Forces and veterans with certain vision impairments for special home adaptation grants. Prior to the amendment, eligible individuals with vision impairments were entitled to receive special home adaptation grants if the disability was rated as permanent and total and due to blindness in both eyes with 5/200 visual acuity or less. See 38 U.S.C. 2101(b)(1)(A) (2011). Section 203 redefines qualifying blindness as blindness in both eyes, having central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a standard correcting lens. 126 Stat. at 1177. Section 203 also states that, for the purposes of 38 U.S.C. 2101(b)(2), an eye with a limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees shall be considered as having a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less. 126 Stat. at 1177. VA finds that the language of the statute is clear on its face. Specifically, to qualify for this benefit, a claimant’s disability must be due to blindness in both eyes having either (1) central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a standard correcting lens or (2) an eye with a limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees. In section 203, Congress also eliminated the requirement that qualifying blindness be permanently and totally disabling by clearly distinguishing it from those conditions which still SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a ‘‘significant regulatory action,’’ requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), unless OMB waives such review, as ‘‘any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, E:\FR\FM\12SER1.SGM 12SER1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 177 / Friday, September 12, 2014 / Rules and Regulations public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive Order.’’ The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this regulatory action have been examined, and it has been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. VA’s impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA’s Web site, at http://www1.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for ‘‘VA Regulations Published.’’ Regulatory Flexibility Act The Secretary hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601–612). This final rule will directly affect only individuals and will not directly affect small entities. Only VA beneficiaries will be directly affected. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this final rule is exempt from the regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of section 604. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with RULES Unfunded Mandates The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This final rule will have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector. Paperwork Reduction Act This final rule contains no provisions constituting a collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501–3521). Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance numbers and titles for the programs affected by this document are VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:18 Sep 11, 2014 Jkt 232001 Veterans Medical Care Benefits, 64.009; Specially Adapted Housing for Disabled Veterans, 64.106; and Veterans Compensation for Service-Connected Disability, 64.109. Signing Authority The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Jose D. Riojas, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on September 4, 2014, for publication. List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 3 Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Disability benefits, Veterans. Dated: September 9, 2014. William F. Russo, Deputy Director, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. For the reasons set out in the preamble, VA amends 38 CFR part 3 as follows: 54609 of two or more extremities or of at least one extremity and the trunk; (iii) Is due to full thickness or subdermal burns that have resulted in contracture(s) with limitation of motion of one or more extremities or the trunk; or (iv) Is due to residuals of an inhalation injury (including, but not limited to, pulmonary fibrosis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). (2) The disability is due to blindness in both eyes, having central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a standard correcting lens. For the purposes of this paragraph, an eye with a limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees shall be considered as having a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less. The disability discussed in this paragraph need not be rated as permanently and totally disabling. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2014–21791 Filed 9–11–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320–01–P DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS PART 3—ADJUDICATION Subpart A–Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation 38 CFR Parts 17 and 43 ■ 1. The authority citation for part 3, subpart A continues to read as follows: Updating Certain Citations in VA Medical Regulations Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a), unless otherwise noted. AGENCY: 2. Amend § 3.809a by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows: SUMMARY: RIN 2900–AP04 ACTION: Department of Veterans Affairs. Final rule. ■ § 3.809a Special home adaptation grants under 38 U.S.C. 2101(b). * * * * * (b) A member of the Armed Forces serving on active duty must have a disability that was incurred or aggravated in line of duty in active military, naval, or air service and meets the requirements described in either paragraph (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section. A veteran must be entitled to compensation under chapter 11 of title 38, United States Code, for a disability that meets the requirements described in either paragraph (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section. (1) VA has rated the disability as permanently and totally disabling and it: (i) Includes the anatomical loss or loss of use of both hands; (ii) Is due to deep partial thickness burns that have resulted in contracture(s) with limitation of motion PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is making technical amendments to its medical regulations by updating the statutory authorities identified in certain sections where those statutes have been renumbered or where the authority citation is inaccurate for other technical, nonsubstantive reasons. VA is also amending outdated or incorrect crossreferences to other Code of Federal Regulation sections. DATES: This final rule is effective September 12, 2014. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ethan Kalett, Director, Office of Regulatory Affairs (10B4), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420; (202) 461–5657. (This is not a toll-free number.) SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: To ensure the accuracy of VA’s regulations, VA is updating the cross-references and authority citations in 38 CFR part 17. E:\FR\FM\12SER1.SGM 12SER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 177 (Friday, September 12, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 54608-54609]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-21791]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 3

RIN 2900-AP12


Special Home Adaptation Grants for Members of the Armed Forces 
and Veterans With Certain Vision Impairment

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing a final 
rule to amend its adjudication regulations regarding special home 
adaptation grants for members of the Armed Forces and veterans with 
certain vision impairment. This regulatory amendment is necessary to 
conform the regulations to changes mandated in the Honoring America's 
Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012.

DATES: Effective Date: This final rule is effective September 12, 2014.
    Applicability Date: The provisions of this final rule apply to all 
applications for benefits that are received by VA on or after October 
1, 2012, the statutory effective date of the amendment, or that are 
pending before VA, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans 
Claims, or the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit 
on or after October 1, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nancy A. Copeland, Consultant, 
Regulations Staff (211D), Compensation Service, Veterans Benefits 
Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-9700. (This is not a toll-free number.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 203 of the Honoring America's 
Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, Public Law 
112-154, 126 Stat. 1165, 1177, amended 38 U.S.C. 2101(b) to expand the 
eligibility for members of the Armed Forces and veterans with certain 
vision impairments for special home adaptation grants. Prior to the 
amendment, eligible individuals with vision impairments were entitled 
to receive special home adaptation grants if the disability was rated 
as permanent and total and due to blindness in both eyes with 5/200 
visual acuity or less. See 38 U.S.C. 2101(b)(1)(A) (2011). Section 203 
redefines qualifying blindness as blindness in both eyes, having 
central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use 
of a standard correcting lens. 126 Stat. at 1177. Section 203 also 
states that, for the purposes of 38 U.S.C. 2101(b)(2), an eye with a 
limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter of the 
visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees shall be 
considered as having a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less. 126 
Stat. at 1177.
    VA finds that the language of the statute is clear on its face. 
Specifically, to qualify for this benefit, a claimant's disability must 
be due to blindness in both eyes having either (1) central visual 
acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a standard 
correcting lens or (2) an eye with a limitation in the fields of vision 
such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no 
greater than 20 degrees. In section 203, Congress also eliminated the 
requirement that qualifying blindness be permanently and totally 
disabling by clearly distinguishing it from those conditions which 
still require a finding of permanent and total disability. 126 Stat. at 
1177.
    Accordingly, VA is amending 38 CFR 3.809a(b), the implementing 
regulation for 38 U.S.C. 2101(b), to reflect the previously discussed 
statutory amendments. For clarity, VA is also reorganizing and making 
technical corrections to Sec.  3.809a(b). No substantive changes are 
intended from the reorganization and technical corrections.

Administrative Procedure Act

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Secretary) finds good cause 
under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to publish this rule without 
prior opportunity for public comment. This amendment merely revises 
VA's regulations to comply with a statutory mandate that VA provide 
special home adaptation grants to members of the Armed Forces and 
veterans with certain vision impairments. The regulatory change 
reflects the change in statute that VA is adopting directly, without 
change, into VA's regulations and does not involve interpretation of 
the statutory provision. Also, the reorganization and technical 
corrections made by this rule do not alter any substantive rights or 
duties. Therefore, prior notice and opportunity for public comment is 
unnecessary. Additionally, for the reasons previously stated, the 
Secretary finds good cause to dispense with the delayed-effective-date 
requirement of 5 U.S.C. 553(d).

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; 
and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory 
Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. 
Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a 
``significant regulatory action,'' requiring review by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB), unless OMB waives such review, as ``any 
regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have 
an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely 
affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, 
productivity, competition, jobs, the environment,

[[Page 54609]]

public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or 
communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere 
with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter 
the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan 
programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) 
Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the 
President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive 
Order.''
    The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy 
implications of this regulatory action have been examined, and it has 
been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under 
Executive Order 12866. VA's impact analysis can be found as a 
supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 
hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy 
of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's Web 
site, at http://www1.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for ``VA 
Regulations Published.''

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities 
as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-
612). This final rule will directly affect only individuals and will 
not directly affect small entities. Only VA beneficiaries will be 
directly affected. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this final 
rule is exempt from the regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of 
section 604.

Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 
1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and 
benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by 
State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for 
inflation) in any one year. This final rule will have no such effect on 
State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule contains no provisions constituting a collection of 
information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-
3521).

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance numbers and titles for 
the programs affected by this document are Veterans Medical Care 
Benefits, 64.009; Specially Adapted Housing for Disabled Veterans, 
64.106; and Veterans Compensation for Service-Connected Disability, 
64.109.

Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this 
document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document 
to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as 
an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Jose D. 
Riojas, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this 
document on September 4, 2014, for publication.

List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 3

    Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Disability benefits, 
Veterans.

    Dated: September 9, 2014.
William F. Russo,
Deputy Director, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of 
the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
    For the reasons set out in the preamble, VA amends 38 CFR part 3 as 
follows:

PART 3--ADJUDICATION

Subpart A-Pension, Compensation, and Dependency and Indemnity 
Compensation

0
1. The authority citation for part 3, subpart A continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a), unless otherwise noted.


0
2. Amend Sec.  3.809a by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  3.809a  Special home adaptation grants under 38 U.S.C. 2101(b).

* * * * *
    (b) A member of the Armed Forces serving on active duty must have a 
disability that was incurred or aggravated in line of duty in active 
military, naval, or air service and meets the requirements described in 
either paragraph (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section. A veteran must be 
entitled to compensation under chapter 11 of title 38, United States 
Code, for a disability that meets the requirements described in either 
paragraph (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section.
    (1) VA has rated the disability as permanently and totally 
disabling and it:
    (i) Includes the anatomical loss or loss of use of both hands;
    (ii) Is due to deep partial thickness burns that have resulted in 
contracture(s) with limitation of motion of two or more extremities or 
of at least one extremity and the trunk;
    (iii) Is due to full thickness or subdermal burns that have 
resulted in contracture(s) with limitation of motion of one or more 
extremities or the trunk; or
    (iv) Is due to residuals of an inhalation injury (including, but 
not limited to, pulmonary fibrosis, asthma, and chronic obstructive 
pulmonary disease).
    (2) The disability is due to blindness in both eyes, having central 
visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of a 
standard correcting lens. For the purposes of this paragraph, an eye 
with a limitation in the fields of vision such that the widest diameter 
of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees shall 
be considered as having a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less. The 
disability discussed in this paragraph need not be rated as permanently 
and totally disabling.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2014-21791 Filed 9-11-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8320-01-P