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in determining the widow's gross income for the calendar year in which death occurred. In my opinion there is considerable equity in such a provision as it would prevent the denial of a pension to a widow during the financially precarious year of the veteran's death.

I therefore strongly urge the committee to favorably report the bill, H. R. 460. I wish to thank you for this opportunity of presenting my views on this bill,

Mr. WILLIAMSON. With reference to the first section of H. R. 1352— I would like to take this section by section, I understand it will

provide entitlement for a widow's pension based on non-service-connected death under the same conditions as now provide entitlement for widows of World War I veterans. If a World War I veteran dies, with no service-connected disability, death not attributed to any service whatsoever, the widow is entitled to a pension of $42, provided her income is less than $1,000, if she has no children; or $2,500, if she has children.

The widow of the World War II veteran does not have the same entitlement. The veteran whose death is non-service-connected, must at the time of death have some service-connected disability, not necessarily compensable, but he must have had some service-connected disability.

With reference to the first section of the bill, the Veterans of Foreign Wars is mandated by its forty-seventh national encampment to seek legislation which would equalize the laws with respect to dependents pension for World War II veterans on the same basis as now accorded the dependents of World War I veterans.

The first section of the bill would equalize the eligibility requirements of widows of World War II veterans placing them on a par with those of World War I veterans. We believe such a section is very meritorious and urge the committee to favorably consider it.

Mr. MATHEWS. With respect to the raising of those figures in these various bills on income limitations, have you anything to say on that?

Mr. WILLIAMSON. Yes; we have no objection to section 2, as amended by the American Legion.

Mr. MATHEWS. You are still speaking of H. R. 1352?

Mr. WILLIAMSON.'Yes; I have the legion amendment to section 2. I think you have that amendment in your bill.

Mr. MATHEWS. Mr. Williamson, I hate to interrupt you, but I have to be before the Rules Committee at 10:30. I am turning the chairmanship of this committee over to Mr. Vail, and he will proceed. I will be back, but I don't know how soon that will be.

Mr. VAIL. You may proceed.

Mr. WILLIAMSON. 'I would like to ask at this time, whether the chairman has the proposed amendment to section 2 of the bill?

Mr. VAIL. It was offered by you?
Mr. WILLIAMSON. No; it was offered by the American Legion.
Mr. STANDISH. Yes; we have it in this statement.

Mr. WILLIAMSON. I will just skip over that and get down to the heart of this bill, which is a raising of the income limitations.

Our encampment mandate on this point provides for an increase in the income limitations to $2,000 for the widow without children and $3,000 for the widow with children. The present figures of $1,000 and $2,500 as income limitations for this pension entitlement were placed in the statutes a considerable number of years ago, when a thousand dollars meant a little more than a thousand dollars does


today. Consequently, many widows have been deemed ineligible for pension and at the same time did not have enough money to provide minimum necessities. I believe that the original $1,000 and $2,500 figures were placed in the law and were geared to the income tax exemptions at that time. I think the law stated at that time that a widow would be entitled to a pension the year following the year in which she had no income tax exemption. In other words, if one year she did not pay a tax in view of the $1,000 and $2,500, then she would be entitled to a pension. I think that is where we got the figure of $1,000 and $2,500. Surely that provides no sound basis at the present time for those figures. It makes them more arbitrary than ever. It is our strong recommendation that those figures be increased to $2,000 and $3,000. That is the provision in the bill H. R. 460 introduced by Mr. Johnson.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars also is in accord with section 4 of this bill, which sets up a more reasonable standard for determining the dependency of parents. As I understand it, the standard applied by the Veterans' Administration, and I presume they do apply some standard, is that the income be sufficient to reasonably maintain the parents, minor children, and disabled adults of the household. That is supposed to be the test of dependency. In our opinion, it is a difficult one to apply. I think that there would be less of a headache on the part of the Veterans' Administration and on the part of people like ourselves that have these claims to process, if the Congress set up a figure such as is provided in this law; that the parents would be presumed dependent if the income of one parent did not exceed $1,800 or two parents not exceed $3,000. We have no particular mandate on this point, but I think it would be appropriate to give you our thinking on it. In our opinion it is most desirable for the Congress to establish figures below which there would give sise to a presumption of dependency.

In the bill H. R. 460 as well as H. R. 1352 there is also a provision that the expense of last illness and the burial expenses in excess of $150 be deducted from the gross income. As the situation now stands, the widow may have an income for that year in which her husband died, and her income may be in excess of $1000. Most of this might be spent in connection with the last illness of the veteran. It would therefore only affect the entitlement of the widow for that first year.

We believe it would be most desirable to provide for such entitlement during that first year so long as deducting expenses of last illness would bring her income below the statutory limitations.

Mr. DONOHUE. May I ask a question?
Mr. VAIL. Mr. Donohue.

Mr. DONOHUE. Do you understand from section 4 in the last line that if a widow should, say, obtain $50,000 as result of insurance that was carried on her husband, that she would still be entitled to a pension?

Mr. WILLIAMSON. Yes, section 3 would provide for the widow and section 4 would provide for the parent.

Mr. DONOHUE. For the parent?
Mr. WILLIAMSON. Yes, as I understand it.
Mr. DONOHUE. Would you subscribe to that?

Mr. WILLIAMSON. Well, actually it all resolves itself down to what we think of as income. Actually insurance isn't. It is just the

result of a contract existing between her husband and an insurance underwriter. I think that the Congress has in mind earned income in setting these income limitations.

Mr. DONOHUE. What is your understanding of the payment of a pension? Is it not to enable a widow or a dependent to sustain themselves in the absence of other means of sustaining themselves?

Mr. WILLIAMSON. That is right. It is.

Mr. DONOHUE. Let us assume the case of where instead of collecting $50,000 in insurance, the beneficiary of a policy, be it a widow or a dependent, saw fit to obtain this money under the optional clause contained in most insurance policies, say taking $2,000 a year for 25 years, do you think that they should come within the purview of the pension laws?

Mr. WILLIAMSON. I do for this reason. I think that if you are going to have any pensions at all for widows, I don't think that you can deny it to one group whose husbands happened to have been well insured and not to another. I think you would strike at the root of your whole pension system, if you did that.

Mr. DONOHUE. Aren't you doing that when you place a limitation, say of $1,800 and $3,000?

Mr. WILLIAMSON. No, I don't think so because that is uniform; it affects them all; but I believe if you geared life insurance to a pension entitlement, then I think the benefits would not have a uniform application.

Mr. DONOHUE. Let us assume the case of a veteran, who invested everything he earned during his lifetime into stocks and bonds, and on his death he left them to his widow and the income from those stocks and bonds exceeded $1,800 or $3,000, then what?

Mr. WILLIAMSON. That income is taxable. I think that that is income. That would prevent her from pension entitlement.

Dr. DONOHUE. Isn't the purchase of stocks and bonds a matter of contract ?

Mr. WILLIAMSON. Yes, but the income that will come from the stocks and bonds is not fixed. It is not predetermined in making the contract. They could be worthless, as earned income. It is income that that money is making and I think is properly taxable. I think it should be considered in this pension entitlement. I don't think straight life insurance should.

Mr. DONOHUE. Where do you suppose the $50,000 comes from that the insurance company pays on the occasion of a person's death?

Mr. WILLIAMSON. If the $50,000 were invested, then the income from that would come within these income limitations.

Mr. DoŅOHUE. My question was, where do you suppose that $50,000 comes from that the insurance company pays the beneficiary on the death of the insured?

Mr. WILLIAMSON. It comes out of the insurance fund-money that has been invested.

Mr. DONOHUE. Money the insurance company has invested, is returned to it, placing them in a position to pay death benefits, isn't that so?

Mr. DONOHUE. Yes; that is true.
Mr. VAIL. Is that all?

Mr. VAIL. I think in the interest of speed in the conduct of this hearing, it might be well to dispense with formalities. Any time any question occurs to you, direct it to the witness.

Mr. WILLIAMSON. That is all I would like to comment on, Mr. Chairman, in respect to this bill, and H. R. 1200.

Mr. VAIL. Thank you.
Mr. WILLIAMSON. Thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. STANDISH. We have Mr. McLaughlin of the AMVETS.
Mr. VAIL. Will you state your name?



Mr. McLAUGHLIN. My name is Robert E. McLaughlin. I am legislative consultant for AMVETS, American Veterans of World War II.

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I have a short statement which I would like to insert in the record. I have copies for you, gentlemen, but this statement pertains to all of the bills that the Mathews subcommittee was taking up.

On the subject of income limitations, we wish to support H. R. 2566, which provides for a limitation of $2,000 for the individual, the nonconnected disabled veteran, or widow, when single, or $3,000 for the individual with dependents.

You have our resolutions there, so there is no necessity for me to read it. We have compared all of these bills and we find that that one comes most nearly within the purview of our national convention's resolution.

This statement also treats of our position on arrested tuberculosis in the case of World War II veterans, and I shall be pleased to come up, if you have any questions with respect to our position on that. Mr. VAIL. I have no questions. Mr. DONAHUE. I have none. Mr. Vail. Thank you, Mr. McLaughlin. Mr. MCLAUGHLIN. Thank you. Mr. VAIL. Your statement will be included in the record. (The statement referred to is as follows:)



I appreciate the opportunity to state the views of AMVETS respecting the several bills that are before the committee today. AMVETS has no mandate on the presumption of service incurrence of tropical diseases. However, we are convinced that our national executive committee will approve H. R. 3650 when it is given consideration next week.

The other bills appear to fall into two categories: (1) Amendment of the $1,000 and $2,500 income limitations which disqualify pension beneficiaries, and (2) provision of a statutory award to, veterans with arrested tuberculosis resulting from World War II.

The 1946 AMVET national convention handed down the following resolution on the income disqualification:

Whereas the cost of maintenance has risen sharply; and

Whereas the majority of pension and compensation rates have been recently increased in recognition of such sharp increase in cost of living: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Second National Convention of AMVETS (American Veterans of World War II), assembled at St. Louis, November 21–24, 1946, petition the Government of the United States to increase the present income limitations of veterans and their dependents accordingly; be it further

Resolved, That the widows' income limitation be raised to $1,500 per year for an unremarried widow without children, and to $2,800 per year for an unremarried widow with children; be it further

Resolved, That a permanently and totally disabled veteran without dependents entitled to non-service-connected pension annual income limitation be raised to $2,000; and a permanently and totally disabled veteran with dependents entitled to non-service-connected pension annual income limitation be raised to $3,000.

Under the terms of this resolution it is difficult to choose which of the five bills now under consideration most nearly fits our recommendation. The chairman's bill, H. R. 1352, contains several provisions we are not mandated to support; and for various reasons H. R. 295, 460, and 1453 fall outside the category we can support. H. R. 2566, however, covers both of the points of our resolution with little digression, and contains no embarrassing addenda. AMVETS, therefore, offers its support of H. R. 2566, which would simply increase the income disqualification limit, in the case of non-service-connected veterans, as well as widows and children, to $2,000 for the individual without dependents, and $3,000 for the individual with a dependent or dependents.

Resolution No. 28, passed at the AMVETS 1946 national convention treats of tuberculars as follows:

Whereas there thousands of veterans of World War II who incurred active tuberculosis while in the armed services, as a result of the exposure and arduous conditions which necessarily prevail; and

Whereas many of these veterans will, in a period of from 2 to 5 years reach a physical state of arrest as to their tuberculosis; and

Whereas these veterans will be unable to secure gainful employment, in the majority of the various trades and occupations, because of the nature of their disability; and

Whereas veterans of World War I, faced by a similar contingency were protected by Congress, through the provisions of section 9, of Public Law 448, Sixty-ninth Congress, which provides a statutory award for veterans who have incurred active tuberculosis, service connected and have subsequently been diagnosed as having reached a state of arrest. The provision is made in this law that if the veteran would receive less than $50 per month, this statutory award guarantees the veteran a minimum of $50 per month for the remainder of his life: this minimum having been lifted to $60 per month by the 20 percent increase in pensions and compensation, granted by Public Law 662, Seventy-ninth Congress ; Be it

Resolved, by the Second National Convention of AMVETS (American Veterans of World War II), assembled at St. Louis, November 21–24, 1946, That the Congress of the United States be urged to legislate benefits as outlined by this resolution, to effect protection for veterans of World War II, whose disability of active tuberculosis is service connected, and the circumstances of whose subsequent tuberculosis condition shall place them within the intent and purpose of this resolution.

Neither of the two bills on this subject is exactly in line with the AMVET resoTution. It is, accordingly, our recommendation that H. R. 1200 be amended to provide $60 a month, the amount now paid to similar World War I veterans. If H. R. 1200 be not amended, AMVETS support Mr. Rankin's bill, H. R. 3349, as being nearest to its objective.

Mr. STANDISH. We have the DAV, Mr. Sullivan.

Mr. SULLIVAN. My name is Francis M. Sullivan. I am national legislative director of the Disabled Veterans. This is Mr. Quintus Camp, assistant national director of claims, of the DAV. We would like to testify briefly on the income limitations.

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