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Jun 4, 2013 1:38 PM by Eugene Daniels

House aims to ease hurdles on vets' abuse claims

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House has passed legislation aimed at helping more veterans obtain financial compensation for injuries or illness linked to sexual abuse while in the military.

About 4,000 veterans last year sought compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder and other illness connected to military sexual trauma.

The Department of Veterans Affairs says about half of such claims were approved, but lawmakers say the rate should be higher.

The House bill recommends that the VA update its guidelines for approving disability claims related to sex abuse. Until it does, the VA must meet extensive reporting requirements, including a monthly report to all veterans who submit a disability claim connected to military sexual abuse.

Lawmakers say the current requirements have proven too onerous given that most sexual assault and harassment cases go unreported.

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