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[[Page 111 STAT. 2271]]

Public Law 105-111
105th Congress

                                 An Act


 
  To amend title 38, United States Code, to allow revision of veterans 
 benefits decisions based on clear and unmistakable error. <<NOTE: Nov. 
                       21, 1997 -  [H.R. 1090]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. REVISION OF DECISIONS BASED ON CLEAR AND UNMISTAKABLE  ERROR.

    (a) Original Decisions.--(1) Chapter 51 of title 38, United States 
Code, is amended by inserting after section 5109 the following new 
section:

``Sec. 5109A. Revision of decisions on grounds of clear and unmistakable 
                         error

    ``(a) A decision by the Secretary under this chapter is subject to 
revision on the grounds of clear and unmistakable error. If evidence 
establishes the error, the prior decision shall be reversed or revised.
    ``(b) For the purposes of authorizing benefits, a rating or other 
adjudicative decision that constitutes a reversal or revision of a prior 
decision on the grounds of clear and unmistakable error has the same 
effect as if the decision had been made on the date of the prior 
decision.
    ``(c) Review to determine whether clear and unmistakable error 
exists in a case may be instituted by the Secretary on the Secretary's 
own motion or upon request of the claimant.
    ``(d) A request for revision of a decision of the Secretary based on 
clear and unmistakable error may be made at any time after that decision 
is made.
    ``(e) Such a request shall be submitted to the Secretary and shall 
be decided in the same manner as any other claim.''.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is 
amended by inserting after the item relating to section 5109 the 
following new item:

``5109A. Revision of decisions on grounds of clear and unmistakable 
           error.''.

    (b) BVA Decisions.--(1) Chapter 71 of such title is amended by 
adding at the end the following new section:

``Sec. 7111. Revision of decisions on grounds of clear and unmistakable  
                        error

    ``(a) A decision by the Board is subject to revision on the grounds 
of clear and unmistakable error. If evidence establishes the error, the 
prior decision shall be reversed or revised.

[[Page 111 STAT. 2272]]

    ``(b) For the purposes of authorizing benefits, a rating or other 
adjudicative decision of the Board that constitutes a reversal or 
revision of a prior decision of the Board on the grounds of clear and 
unmistakable error has the same effect as if the decision had been made 
on the date of the prior decision.
    ``(c) Review to determine whether clear and unmistakable error 
exists in a case may be instituted by the Board on the Board's own 
motion or upon request of the claimant.
    ``(d) A request for revision of a decision of the Board based on 
clear and unmistakable error may be made at any time after that decision 
is made.
    ``(e) Such a request shall be submitted directly to the Board and 
shall be decided by the Board on the merits, without referral to any 
adjudicative or hearing official acting on behalf of the 
Secretary.
    ``(f) A claim filed with the Secretary that requests reversal or 
revision of a previous Board decision due to clear and unmistakable 
error shall be considered to be a request to the Board under this 
section, and the Secretary shall promptly transmit any such request to 
the Board for its consideration under this section.''.
    (2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is 
amended by adding at the end the following new item:

``7111. Revision of decisions on grounds of clear and unmistakable 
           error.''.

    (c) Effective Date.--(1) <<NOTE: 38 USC 5109 A note.>> Sections 
5109A and 7111 of title 38, United States Code, as added by this 
section, apply to any determination made before, on, or after the date 
of the enactment of this Act.

    (2) Notwithstanding <<NOTE: Applicability. 38 USC 7251 note.>>  
section 402 of the Veterans Judicial Review Act (38 U.S.C. 7251 note), 
chapter 72 of title 38, United States Code, shall apply with respect to 
any decision of the Board of Veterans' Appeals on a claim alleging that 
a previous determination of the Board was the product of clear and 
unmistakable error if that claim is filed after, or was pending before 
the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Court of Veterans Appeals, the 
Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, or the Supreme Court on the 
date of the enactment of this Act.

    Approved November 21, 1997.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 1090:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 105-52 (Comm. on Veterans' Affairs).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 143 (1997):
            Apr. 16, considered and passed House.
            Nov. 10, considered and passed Senate.

                                  <all>

Pages: 1

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