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1 the United States into such war shall be deemed to be a
? service-connected disability compensable under chapter 11
3 of such title.
(1) Compensation under such chapter 11 shall be paid 5 with respect to any service-connected disability described in 0 subscction (a) of this section for the month in which this Act
7 is enacted and months thereafter.
SEC. 2. The Administrator of Veterans Affairs, under
9 such regulations as he may prescribe, shall pay (out of cur10 rent appropriations for the payment of disability compensa11 tion) to each individual entitled to compensation under the
12 first section of this Act a lump sim equal to 50 per centum 1:3 of the amount of compensation which would have been pay
able to such individual with respect to the disability (011.5
cerned during the period from the date of liis discharge from
the National Guard until the close of the month before the
month in which this Act is enacted if such disability had been compensable under the laws relating to veterans' disability compensation which were in effect during that period; except that no lump sum payment under this section to any individual may exceed $50,000.
COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS, U.S. SENATE
’ OFFICE OF THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS, ....
Washington, D.C., March 12, 1974. Hón. VANCE HARTKE, Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: We are pleased to respond to your request for a report on S. 1860, 93d Congress.
This bill would deem certain disabilities incurred during the course of National Guard service in World War I to be service-connected for the purpose of payment of disability compensation by the Veterans' Administration.
The first section of the proposal provides, notwithstanding any other provision of law, that any person who incurred the loss of one or more limbs during World War I, while serving in the National Guard of any State and performing military duties assigned by the State in connection with the entry of the United States into such war, shall be deemed to have a service-connected disability compensable under chapter 11 of title 38, United States Code. Benefits would be paid for the month in which the bill is enacted, and months thereafter.
Section 2 would require the Administrator of Veterans Affairs to pay to each person entitled to disability compensation under the first section of the bill a lump-sum benefit equal to 50 percent of the amount of compensation which would have been payable to such person from the date of his discharge from the National Guard until the close of the month before the month of enactment of the bill, if the pertinent disability had been compensable under the laws relating to veterans disability compensation which were in effect during that period, with no such lump-sum payinent to exceed $50,000.
Eligibility to benefits under the laws administered by the Veterans' Administration has been generally based on active service in the Armed Forces of the United States, including service by members of the National Guard who have been ordered to active Federal duty. Enactment of legislation to authorize benefits for National Guard service, not federalized, but under the control of a State, would not be in keeping with the long-standing congressional policy of so restricting benefits to persons who served in the Armed Forces of the United States.
In this connection, we note that service-connection is presently provided for National Guard members called into active Federal service for certain disabilities incurred before actual enrollment for such service. Section 106(b)(3) of title 38, United States Code, provides in pertinent part that any person:
who has been called into the Federal service as a member
32-022 0.74 - 5
Federal service; and who has suffered an injury or contracted
ed such disability in the active military, naval, or air service. While the need for service in the National Guard was undoubtedly great, it seems clear that injuries incurred in the National Guard while under the control of the State is a responsibility of the State and not the Federal Government. In fact, there may be cases where States provided such benefits for these Guardsmen.
Enactment of this measure would entail considerable administrative problems. First, the Veterans' Administration would be compelled to deal with each of the States having a National Guard at that time. It is questionable whether records going back almost 55 years would be available. An additional problem would be the need for the Veterans' Administration to verify and apply the existing law from the time of the incurrence of the disability up to the present.
This measure would be discriminatory against persons who incurred other disabilities while serving in the National Guard of a State under similar circumstances, and perhaps against other groups, military or nonmilitary, who served the State under similar circumstances. It could thus be a precedent for costly legislation.
Moreover, enactment of this proposal would be discriminatory to veterans of active service in the Armed Forces. Under current law, disability compensation is paid from the day following the date of the veteran's discharge if an application therefor is received within 1 year from such discharge or if not, from the date of receipt of the application. Under this bill, payment of compensation benefits would require no application and benefits would be paid for the month in which the bill is enacted, for months thereafter, and for a period of more than half a century ago.
We are unable to identify or determine the number of persons who might be affected by this proposal if it were enacted. Therefore, we are unable to furnish an estimate of the cost of the measure.
Because of the discriminatory aspects of S. 1860, its departure from what is considered generally sound policy governing the granting of compensation benefits to veterans, and since enactment could be a precedent for costly legislation, the Veterans' Administration opposes enactment of S. 1860.
Advice has been received from the Office of Management and Budget that there is no objection to the presentation of this report from the standpoint of the administration's program. Sincerely,
DONALD E. JOHNSON,
COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS, U.S. SENATE
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,
Washington, D.C., March 14, 1974.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in response to your request of May 23, 1973, for the views of this Office on S. 1860, a bill to deem certain disabilities incurred pursuant to State National Guard service during World War I to be service connected for purposes of chapter 11 of title 38, United States Code (relating to compensation for serviceconnected disabilities), and for other purposes.
In its report to your committee, the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs states his reasons for recommending against enactment of S. 1860. We concur with the views expressed by the Administrator. Accordingly, we recommend against enactment of S. 1860. Sincerely,
WILFRED H. ROMMEL, Assistant Director for Legislative Reference.
IN TIE SEXATE OF TIIE UNITED STATES
APRIL 13, 1973 Mr. SPARKunX introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred
to the Committee on Veterans Affairs
A BILL To amend section 314 (k) of title 38, United States Code, to
provide for a special monthly payment to veterans who have lost a kidney as the result of a service-connected disability.
Be it enacted by the Senate und Ilouse of Representatires of the l'nited States of America in Congress assembled,
3 That section 31+ (k) of title 38. United States ('ode, is
amended by inserting or the loss of a kidney,” immediately 5 after "air and bone conduction,".
SEC. 2. The amendment made by the first section of this
ī dot shall become effective on the first day of the first calendar 8 month following the month in which this Act is enacted.