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(a) The particular record, paper, etc., a copy of which is desired and whether certified or uncertified;
(b) The purpose for which such copy is desired to be used.
The Administrator of Veterans' Affairs is authorized to fix a schedule of fees for copies and certifications of such records.
SEC. 413. The beginning and termination dates of the wars shall be: The World War, April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, but as to service in Russia, the ending date shall be April 1, 1920; the Spanish-American War, April 21, 1898, and August 13, 1898; the Philippine Insurrection, August 13, 1898, and July 4, 1902, but as to engagements in the Moro Province, the ending date shall be July 15, 1903; the Boxer Rebellion, June 20, 1900, and May 12, 1901. Period of service entered into within the war period as defined shall be considered war service regardless of any change in status subsequent to the termination of the war period, provided the service is continuous.
SEC. 414. The term “military or naval forces” shall mean the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, the Naval Reserves, the National Naval Volunteers, and all other branches of the United States service while serving pursuant to law with the Army or Navy.
SEC. 415. The term “person who served” shall mean a person, whether male or female and whether commissioned, enlisted, enrolled or drafted, who was finally accepted for active service in the military or naval forces of the United States, members of training camps authorized by law, and such other persons heretofore recognized by statute as having a pensionable status.
SEC. 416. The term “veteran of any war" shall include the following persons: World War: Any officer, enlisted man, member of the Army Nurse Corps (female) or Navy Nurse Corps (female) who was employed in the active military or naval service of the United States on or after April 6, 1917, and before November 12, 1918, provided, however, if the person was serving with the United States military forces in Russia the dates herein shall be extended to April 1, 1920. SpanishAmerican War: Any officer or enlisted man who was employed in the active military or naval service of the United States on or after April 21, 1898, and before August 13, 1898, including those women who served as Army nurses under contracts on or after April 21, 1898, and before August 13, 1898: Provided, That for the purpose of hospitalization the term “veteran of any war” shall include persons who served overseas as contract surgeons of the Army on or after April 21, 1898, and before August 13, 1898. Philippine Insurrection: Any officer or enlisted man employed in the active military or naval service of the United States, including those women who served as Army nurses under contracts, who actually participated in the Philippine Insurrection on or after August 13, 1898, and before July 5, 1902, provided, however, if the person was serving in the United States military forces engaged in the hostilities in the Moro Province, the ending date shall be July 15, 1903. Boxer Rebellion: Any officer or enlisted man, including those women who served as Army nurses under contracts, employed in actual participation in the Boxer Rebellion on or after June 20, 1900, and before May 13, 1901.
Sec. 417. The term "wife” or "widow" of a veteran of the Spanish-American War shall mean a person who was married to the veteran prior to August 13, 1901.
The term “wife” or “widow" of a veteran of the Boxer Rebellion shall mean a person who was married to the veteran prior to May 13, 1904.
The term "wife” or “widow" of a veteran of the Phillipipne Insurrection shall mean a person who was married to the veteran prior to July 5, 1905.
The term “wife” or “widow" of a veteran who was engaged in the hostilities in the Moro Province shall mean a person who was married to the veteran prior to July 15, 1906; of a World War Veteran who was married to the veteran prior to November 11, 1921; of a peace time veteran who was married to the veteran prior to the expiration of three years subsequent to his discharge from the enlistment, during which the injury or disease on account of which claim is being filed was incurred.
Sec. 418. The term "child" shall mean a child including a child legally adopted, unmarried and under the age of 18 years, unless prior to reaching the age of 18, the child becomes or has become permanently incapable of self-support by reason of mental or physical defect.
Sec. 419. The term “mother” or “father" shall mean a natural mother or father of the veteran, or mother or father of the veteran through legal adoption.
Sec. 420. An injury or disease will be deemed to have been incurred "in line of duty” when the person on whose account benefits are claimed was, at the time the injury was suffered or disease contracted, in the active service in the military or naval forces, whether on active duty or on authorized leave for a period of time
which does not materially interfere with the performance of his regular routine of duty, unless it appears that the injury or disease has been caused by misconduct on his part: Provided, however, the requirement will not be met if it appears that the time the injury was suffered or disease contracted, the person on whose account benefits are claimed (1) was avoiding duty by deserting the service or by absenting himself without leave; (2) was absent from his organization or other post of military or naval duty on a furlough or leave of absence which materially interferes with the performance of regular routine of duty; (3) was confined under sentence of court martial or civil court or was resisting lawful arrest; (4) was relieved from all active performance of duty by command of his superior officer as a result of the intemperate use of drugs or alcoholic liquor or because of injury or disease contracted or suffered as a result of his own misconduct; (5) was acting in disobedience of the lawful orders of his superior officer or in violation of the rules and regulations of his organization; or (6) whether at his post or lawfully absent, if the injury or disease was, in fact, caused by something not involving misconduct but done in pursuing some private business or avocation.
Where the injury or disease occurs while on leave, the burden of proof shall be on the claimant to show that it was incurred in the line of duty, but where the injury or disease occurs while at camp or post of duty, the burden shall be upon the Government to show that the disability was not in line of duty,
Sec. 421. A disability will be held to have resulted from misconduct when it is due to venereal disease, unless it is affirmatively shown that the disease was, in fact, innocently acquired, other than through the sexual relation, or when caused by an act of commission or omission, wrong in itself; or by an act contrary to the principles of good morals; or as a result of gross negligence, gross carelessness, alcoholism, drug addiction, self-infliction of wounds, etc.
Sec. 422. The Administrator of Veterans' Affairs is hereby authorized to incur necessary court costs and other expenses incident to proceedings for the commitment of mentally incompetent veterans to a Veterans' Administration hospital or home when necessary for treatment or domiciliary purposes.
SEC. 423. The Administrator of Veterans Affairs is hereby authorized to recognize representatives of the American Red Cross, the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, the Grand Army of the Republic, the United Spanish War Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Veterans' Association, Inc., and such other organizations as he shall approve, in the presentation of claims. However, no such representative shall be recognized until a certificate has been filed in the Veterans' Administration, under such rules as the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs may prescribe, certifying that no fee or compensation of whatsoever nature shall be charged veterans or the dependents of veterans for service rendered. The rules prescribed by the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs shall contain a provision requiring in each claim the filing of a power of attorney in such manner and form as the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs may prescribe. The Administrator of Veterans' Affairs is further authorized in his discretion under such regulations as he may prescribe, to recognize any person for the purpose of a particular claim under the conditions and limitations of this section.
Sec. 424. The Administrator of Veterans' Affairs is hereby authorized, under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe, to recognize agents, attorneys, or other persons in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims under statutes administered by the Veterans' Administration. The rules and regulations prescribed by the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs shall require of such persons, agents, and attorneys, before being recognized as representatives of claimants, that they shall show that they are of good moral character and in good repute, possessed of the necessary qualifications to enable them to render such claimants valuable service, and otherwise competent to advise and assist such claimants in the presentation of their claims, and the Administrator of Veterans Affairs shall, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, suspend or exclude from further practice before the Veterans' Administration any such person, agent, or attorney shown to be incompetent, disreputable, or who refuses to comply with the said rules and regulations or who shall in any manner deceive, mislead, or threaten any claimant, or prospective claimant, by word, circular, letter, or by advertisement.
Sec. 425. The Administrator of Veterans' Affairs is further authorized to determine and pay fees in allowed claims for monetary benefits under statutes administered by the Veterans' Administration to persons, agents, and attorneys recognized as provided in section 424 of this Act, and to prescribe rules and regulations governing entitlement to and the amount and mode of payment of such fees: Provided, That payment of such fees shall not exceed $10, in any one claim
and in all cases fees shall be deducted from the amount of monetary benefit allowed.
Sec. 426. No person shall be entitled to compensation for his services in prosecuting a claim except as provided in section 425 of this Act, and any person who shall, directly or indirectly, solicit, contract for, charge, or receive, or who shall attempt to solicit, contract for, charge, or receive any fee or compensation except as provided in section 425 of this Act, or who shall wrongfully withhold from a claimant the whole or any part of the benefit or claim allowed or due a beneficiary or claimant shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall for every offense be fined not exceeding $500, or imprisoned at hard labor not exceeding two years, or both, in the discretion of the court.
SEC. 427. This Act shall not affect that part of section 500, World War Veterans' Act, 1924, as amended, United States Code, Title 38, section 551, insofar as it pertains to fees and penalties for receipt of illegal fees or compensation for services in insurance suits, or section 309, World War Adjusted Compensation Act, 1924, as amended, United States Code, Title 38, section 619, pertaining to unlawful fees, or United States Code, Title 38, section 244, pertaining to commutation for artificial limbs. All other Acts, or part of Acts, pertaining to recognition of organizations or recognition of or payment of fees to agents, attorneys, or other persons, for the preparation, presentation, or prosecution of claims for benefits administered by the Veterans' Administration are hereby repealed. All offenses committed and all penalties or forfeitures incurred under the Acts repealed herein may be prosecuted and punished in the same manner and with the same effect as if said repeal had not been made.
Sec. 428. No person who is entitled to any benefits shall participate in any determination or decision with respect to any claim for benefits.
(a) The phrase “entitled to any benefits” means:
(1) Any person receiving monetary benefits on the date of enactment of this Act whose right to receive monetary benefits continues under the provisions of this Act.
(2) Any person whose claim heretofore or hereafter filed proceeds to an adjudication under this Act resulting in an award of monetary benefits while such award continues.
(b) The phrase "participate in any determination or decision with respect to any claim for benefits” means:
(1) Any person acting within the limits of constituted authority who is charged with the responsibility for determination or decision involving the exercise of discretion in the allowance or disallowance of monetary benefits.
(2) Any person acting within the limits of constituted authority who jointly witif others having similar authority is charged with the responsibility for determination or decision involving the exercise of discretion in the allowance or disallowance of monetary benefits.
Sec. 429. The phrase "Veterans' Administration facilities” as used in this Act, shall only include those facilities over which the Veterans' Administration has direct and exclusive jurisdiction, and such other facilities as the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs may deem necessary to contract for in order to provide hospital care in emergency cases for veterans of any war suffering from injuries or disease incurred or aggravated in line of duty in active military or naval service, within the limits of such contracts, and contract facilities for women veterans of any war suffering from injuries or diseases incurred or aggravated in fact in line of duty in the active military or naval service and contract facilities generally in the territories and possessions which are deemed reasonably necessary by the Administrator of Veterans Affairs in order to provide hospital treatment for veterans suffering from injuries or diseases incurred or aggravated in fact in line of duty in the active military or naval service.
Sec. 430. For the purpose of the laws administered by the Veterans' Administration the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs and such persons to whom the Administrator may delegate such authority, shall have the power to issue subpenas for and compel the attendance of witnesses within a radius of 100 miles from the place of hearing, to require the production of books, papers, and documents and other evidence, to administer oaths, and to examine witnesses upon any matter within the jurisdiction of the Administration.
In the case of disobedience to a subpena the Administrator may invoke the aid of any district court of the United States or the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia in requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence, and such court, within the jurisdiction of which the inquiry is carried on, may, in case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpena issued to any officer, agent, or employee of any corporation or other person, issue an order requiring such corporation or other person to appear before the Administrator or to give evidence touching the matter in question; and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by such court as a contempt thereof. Any person so required to attend as a witness shall be allowed and paid the same fees and mileage as are paid witnesses in the district courts of the United States.
Sec. 431. The Administrator is authorized to detail from time to time employees of the Veterans' Administration to make examinations into the merits of claims for benefits of the laws administered by the Veterans' Administration, whether pending or adjudicated, and to aid claimants in the preparation or presentation of their claims, and to make investigations concerning any matter under the jurisdiction of the Veterans' Administration; and any such person so detailed shall have power to administer oaths, affirmations, take affidavits, and certify to the correctness of papers and documents pertaining to any law which the Veterans' Administration is charged with administering, and any such oath, affirmation or affidavit administered or taken by or before such employee when certified under his hand and authenticated by the seal of the Veterans' Administration may be offered in evidence or used in any court of the United States and shall have like force and effect as if administered or taken before a clerk of such court without further proof of the identity or authenticity of such employee.
Sec. 432. That section 8 of the World War Veterans' Act, 1924, as amended, Forty-third Statutes at Large, page 609 (U. S. C., title 38, secs. 431 and 432), Twenty-second Statutes at Large, page 175 (U. S. C., title 38, secs. 121 and 124), and Twenty-sixth Statutes at Large, page 1083 (U. S. C. title 38, sec. 122), are hereby repealed and any other Acts or parts of Acts in conflict or inconsistent with the provisions of sections 430, 431, and 432 of this Act are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict or inconsistency: Provided, That the repeal of laws as provided by this section shall not affect any act done or right or liability accrued, but all such rights and liabilities under said laws shall continue and may be enforced in the same manner as if said repeal had not been made, and all offenses committed and all penalties incurred under such repealed laws may be prosecuted and published in the same manner and with the same effect as if paid repeal had not been made,
SEC. 433. The Administrator of Veterans' Affairs subject to the general direction of the President and in accordance with the provisions of this Act shall administer, execute, and enforce the provisions of this title and for such purpose shall have the same authority and powers as are provided in sections 425, 430, 433, 434, 440, 442, 443, 444, 447, 451, 453, 455, 457, 458, 459, 459a, 4590, title 38, United States Code, and such other sections of title 38, United States Code, as relate to the administration of the laws providing relief to veterans and their dependents.
Sec. 434. The provisions of section 10 of the Act of July 3, 1930 (46 Stat. 995; sec. 459f, title 38, U. S. C.), are hereby continued in full force and effect.
SEC. 435. Section 109 of the Act of March 4, 1909 (35 Stat. 1107-08; sec. 198, title 18, U. S. C.), is hereby amended to read as follows:
"Sec. 109. Whoever, being an officer of the United States, or a person holding any place of trust or profit, or discharging any official function under, or in connection with, any executive department of the Government of the United States, or under the Senate or House of Representatives of the United States, shall act as an agent or attorney for prosecuting any claim against the United States, or in any manner, or by any means, otherwise than in discharge of his proper official duties, shall aid or assist in the prosecution or support of any such claim, or receive any gratuity, or any share of or interest in any claim from any claimant against the United States, with intent to aid or assist, or in consideration of having aided or assisted, in the prosecution of such claim, shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both: Provided, That for the purposes of this section it shall not be deemed a discharge of his proper official duties for any officer or person as described in this section to represent any claimant before any official or group of the Veterans' Administration or the Board of Veterans' Appeals concerning any claim under their jurisdiction: Provided, however, That the status of any claim shall be furnished by the Veterans' Administration or the Board of Veterans' Appeals upon request of a Member of Congress, subject to the provisions of laws governing disclosure of information from the records of the Veterans' Administration, only where he furnishes evidence satisfactory to the Veterans' Administration or the Board of Veterans' Appeals that the information is requested in the interest of the claimant and that he represents such claimant."
TITLE V. APPEALS
SEC. 500. There is hereby created an establishment of the Government to be known as the Board of Veterans' Appeals, located in Washington, District of Columbia, which shall be independent of the executive departinents and under the control and management of a Chairman who shall be directly responsible to the President of the United States.
Sec. 501. The Board of Veterans' Appeals shall be composed of a Chairman, a Vice Chairman, and not to exceed 30 associate members of whom not more than one-half shall be adherents of the same political party.
SEC. 502. All members of the Board of Veterans' Appeals shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
SEC. 503. The Chairman shall receive the salary of $12,000 per annum, the Vice Chairman, $11.000 per annum, and each associate member, $10,000 per annum, the salaries of all members of the Board to be paid monthly.
SEC. 504. All members of the Board of Veterans' Appeals, except as hereinafter provided, shall hold office for ten years and shall be eligible for reappointment.
Sec. 505. Any member of the Board of Veterans' Appeals may be removed only by impeachment.
Sec. 506. The Chairman, Vice Chairman, associate members, General Counsel, and legal assistants shall each have the right to elect whether he shall be subject to the Act of July 3, 1926 (44 Stat. 904–913; secs. 691-738, title 5, U. S. C.), and amendments thereto: Provided, That in no event shall any such person be retained in office after he shall have attained the age of seventy years.
Sec. 507. All books, records, documents, papers, furniture, office equipment, and other property in use by the present Board of Veterans' Appeals as now constituted shall be the property of the Board of Veterans' Appeals created by this Act.
Sec. 508. The Chairman is hereby authorized to employ a General Counsel, legal assistants, and such other employees as may be necessary to the efficient conduct of the Board of Veterans' Appeals. All such employees except the General Counsel and legal assistants shall be subject to the civil-service laws.
Sec. 509. The Board of Veterans' Appeals shall have a seal with such device as it may order.
Sec. 510. The Chairman may from time to time divide the Board into sections of three members, assign the members of the Board thereto and designate the chief thereof. If a section, as a result of a vacancy or absence or inability of a member assigned thereto to serve thereor, is composed of a number of members less than designated for the section the Chairman may assign other members to the section or direct the section to proceed with the transaction of business without awaiting any additional assignment of members thereto. A hearing docket shall be maintained and formal recorded hearings shail be held by such associate member or members as the Chairman may designate, the associate member or members being of the section which will make final determination in the claim. A section of the Board shall make a determination on any proceeding instituted before the Board and on any motion in connection therewith assigned to such section by the Chairman and shall make a report of any such determination, which report shall constitute its final disposition of the proceeding
Sec. 511. The determination of the section, when unanimously concurred in by the members of the section, shall be the final determination of the Board except that such Board on its own motion may correct an obvious error in the record or, may upon the basis of additional official information from the War or Navy Department, reach a contrary conclusion. In the event of a disagreement among the members of the section the concurrence of the Chairman with the majority of members of such section shall constitute the final determination of the Board, subject to correction only on a showing of obvious error or when, in the opinion of the Board, a contrary conclusion is justified on the basis of additional official information furnished by the War or Navy Department.
SEC. 512. All questions on claims involving benefits under the laws administered by the Veterans' Administration shall be subject to one review on appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals. When a claim shall be disallowed by the Board of Veterans' Appeals it may not thereafter be reopened and allowed and no claim based upon the same factual basis shall be considered except that when subsequent to such disallowance new and material evidence in the form of official reports from the proper service department is secured, the Board of Veterans' Appeals may authorize the reopening of the clain and review of the former decision. The Board of Veterans' Appeals shall not be bound by the legal interpretations or administrative decisions made by the Administrator of Veterans'