Animals on VA Property
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its regulation regarding the presence of animals on VA property. Current VA regulation authorizes the presence of seeing-eye dogs on VA property and other animals as authorized at the discretion of a VA facility head or designee. However, applicable Federal law authorizes the presence of guide dogs and other service animals when these animals accompany individuals with disabilities seeking admittance to buildings or property owned or operated by the Federal Government. This proposed rule would expand the current VA regulation to be consistent with applicable Federal law, and would clarify the authority of a VA facility head or designee to allow nonservice animals to be present on VA property.
Wait-Time Goals of the Department for the Veterans Choice Program
In an interim final rule published by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implementing the Veterans Choice Program (``the Program'') authorized by the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014, VA established start dates for participation in the Program for different groups of veterans depending upon their basis of eligibility to participate in the Program. In those regulations, VA stated that veterans who are eligible based upon being unable to schedule an appointment within the wait-time goals of the Veterans Health Administration, will be able to start receiving hospital care and medical services under the Program no later than December 5, 2014. VA also stated that if the start date for these veterans would be sooner than December 5, 2014, VA would publish a notice in the Federal Register advising the public of the faster implementation schedule. This Notice announces that November 17, 2014, is the start date for veterans eligible to participate in the Program.