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COST-OF-LIVING INCREASE IN THE RATES OF COMPENSA

TION AND PENSION

WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 1951

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS,

Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met at 10 a, m, in the committee room of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Hon. Harold D. Donohue presiding.

Mr. DONOHUE. The subcommittee will come to order.

This meeting has been called to consider the bills H. R. 365, 1083, 1297, 3628, and 4078, all of which seek to provide a cost-of-living increase in the monthly rates of compensation and pension.

H. R. 365 would increase the present rate by 15 percent, and would apply only to World War I and World War II veterans and their dependents, and exempts certain rates increased by Public Law 868 of the Eightieth Congress.

The bill H. R. 1083 provides a 15-percent rate increase for veterans of all wars, but excludes any increase in the subsistence allowances payable under Public Laws 16 and 346 of the Seventy-eighth Congress.

A 25-percent increase is provided in H. R. 1297 for veterans and their dependents of World Wars I and II, while 3628 iş identical to 1083. H. R. 4078 provides a 10-percent increase.

Without objection, I will insert at this point in the record the five bills to which I have referred, as well as the Veterans' Administration reports thereon and certain excerpts from the 1950 annual report of the Administration of Veterans Affairs. (The bills and reports referred to follow:)

(H. R. 365, 82d Cong., 1st sess.) A BILL To provide certain equitable adjustments in disability compensation and pension to meet the rise

in the cost of living Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all monthly rates of compensation and pension payable to veterans of World War I and World War II and dependents of such veterans which are payable under any laws or regulations administered by the Veterans' Administration are hereby increased by 15 per centum: Provided, That such increase shall not apply to the increased rates provided under Public Law Numbered 868, Eightieth Congress. The increases provided by this section shall be effective from the first day of the first month following the passage of this Act.

(H. R. 1083, 820 Cong., 1st sess.) A BILL To provide for an increase in monthly rates of compensation and pensions payable to veterans and

their dependents, and for other purposes Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all monthly rates of compensation and pension payable to veterans and their dependents and to dependents of deceased

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veterans which are payable under any laws or regulations administered by the Veterans' Administration are hereby increased by 15 per centum: Prowided, That such increase shall not apply to subsistence allowances payable under Public Laws Numbered 16 and 346, Seventy-eighth Congress, as amended.

The increases provided by this section shall be effective from the first day of the first month following the passage of this Act.

(H. R. 1297, 82d Cong., 1st sess.) A BILL To provide certain equitable adjustments in disability compensation and pension to meet the

rise in the cost of living Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all monthly rates of compensation and pension payable to veterans of World War I and World War II and dependents of such veterans which are payable under any laws or regulations administered by the Veterans' Administration are hereby increased by 25 per centum: Provided, That such increase shall

not apply to the increased rates provided under Public Law Numbered 868, Eightieth Congress. The increases provided by this section shall be effective from the first day of the first month following the passage of this Act.

(H. R. 3628, 82d Cong., 1st sess.) A BILL To provide for an increase in monthly rates of compensation and pensions payable to veterans and

their dependents, and for other purposes Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all monthly rates of compensation and pension payable to veterans and their dependents and to dependents of deceased veterans which are payable under any laws or regulations administered by the Veterans' Administration are hereby increased by 15 per centum: Provided, That such increase shall not apply to subsistence allowances payable under Public Laws Numbered 16 and 346, Seventy-eighth Congress, as amended.

(H. R. 4078, 82d Cong., Ist sess.)

A BILL To increase disability and death compensation rates Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all monthly rates of disability compensation payable to veterans of World War I and World War II, including veterans entitled to wartime rates under Public, 359, Seventy-seventh Congress, December 19, 1941, which are payable under any laws or regulations administered by the Veterans' Administration are hereby increased by 10 per centum.

SEC. 2. Paragraph IV of part I of Veterans Regulation Numbered 1 (a), as amended, is hereby amended to read as follows:

"The surviving widow, child, or children, and dependent mother or father of any deceased person who died as the result of injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by active military or naval service as provided in part I, paragraph I, hereof, or who was, or is thereafter, rated as permanently and totally serviceconnected disabled under laws administered by the Veterans' Administration as of the date of death, regardless of the cause of death, shall be entitled to receive compensation at the monthly rates specified next below:

"Widow but no child, $85; widow with one child, $120 (with $30 for each additional child); no widow but one child, $70; no widow but two children, $100 (equally divided) (with $30 for each additional child; total amount to be equally divided); dependent mother or father, $70 (or both), $40 each."

SEC. 3. The increases provided by this Act shall be effective from the first day of the first month following the passage of this Act.

[No. 116]

COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION,

Washington 25, D. C., May 14, 1951. Hon. John E. RANKIN, Chairman, Committee on l'eterans' Affairs,

House of Representatives, Washington 25, D. C. DEAR MR. RANKIN: This is in reply to your request for a report by the Veterans' Administration on H. R. 1083, Eighty-second Congress, a bill to provide for an increase in monthly rates of compensation and pensions payable to veterans and their dependents, and for other purposes.

The bill proposed “that all monthly rates of compensation and pension payable to veterans and their dependents and to dependents of deceased veterans which are payable under any laws or regulations administered by the Veterans' Administration are hereby increased by 15 per centum: Provided, That such increase shall not apply to subsistence allowances payable under Public Laws Numbered 16 and 346, Seventy-eighth Congress, as amended.”

The bill, if enacted, would authorize an increase of 15 percent in the rate of compensation or pension payable to veterans and dependents of deceased veterans of the Mexican War, Indian wars, Civil War, Spanish-American War, including the Boxer Rebellion and Philippine Insurrection, World War I, World War II, and of peacetime service. It does not appear that the bill contemplates an increase in other than cases having entitlement under public laws. If the bill is intended to cover cases having entitlement under private laws, it should be clarified in this respect.

I'he majority of cases now on the rolls are receiving compensation and pension under Public, No. 2, Seventy-third Congress, as amended, and the Veterans Regulations issued pursuant thereto, and the bill, if enacted, would increase the monthly rates of disability compensation for service-connected conditions prescribed by paragraph II, part I, Veterans Regulation No. 1 (a), as amended. These basic rates under this paragraph were last increased by section 3 (a) of Public Law 339, Eighty-first Congress, October 10, 1949. The proposed increases in the present rates are shown in the following table:

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If the disabled person has suffered the anatomical loss or loss of use of one foot, or one hand, or blindness of one eve, having only light perception, the above present rates are increased by $42. Rates ranging from $240 to $360 per month are provided for the loss or loss of use of two or more extremeties, certain degrees of blindness, combinations of such disabilities, and total deafness in combination with total blindness. Under the provisions of the bill, the $42 rate would be increased to $48.30, and the other rates would be increased from $276 to $414, respectively.

Section i of Public Law 877, Eightieth Congress, July 2, 1948, as amended by section 4 of Public Law 339, Eighty-first Congress, October 10, 1949, provides additional disability compensation on account of dependents in the case of a veteran having a disability incurred in or aggravated by service as provided in part I, or paragraph I (c), part II of Veterans Regulation No. 1 (a), as amended, who is rated at not less than 50 percent. The increases in additional compensation proposed by the bill are shown in the following table:

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