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S. 266, AS REFERRED TO THE COMMITTEE Subsection (B) of Public Law 662, Seventh-ninth Congress, is amended to read as follows:

(B) Where any veteran having neither wife, child, nor dependent parent is being furnished hospital treatment, institutional or domiciliary care by the Veterans' Administration, and shall be rated by the Veterans Administration, in accordance with regulations as being incompetent by reason of mental illness, the pension, compensation, or retirement pay for such veteran shall be subject to the provisions of subsection (A) of this section Provided. That no payment of a lump sum herein authorized shall be made until after the expiration of six months following a finding of competency Provided further. That in any case where the estate of such incompetent veteran derived from any source equals or exceeds $1,500, further payments of such benefits [will] shall not be made until the estate is reduced to $500 [:], but the amount which would be payable but for this Provis0 shall be paid to the veteran as provided for the lump sum in the preceding proviso but in the event of the veterans death no pari thereof shall be payable And provided further, That all or any part of the pension, compensation, or retirement pay payable on account of any incompetent veteran may, in the discretion of the Administrator, and in accordance with instructions issued by the Administrator, be paid to the chief officer of the institution wherein the veteran is hospitalized, to be properly accounted for by said chief officer and to be used for the benefit of the veteran; or may be paid to the guardian of the veteran in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of section 21 of the World War Veterans Act, 1924, as amended; or, in the event the veteran has a wife, child, or dependent parent, may, in the discretion of the Administrator, be paid to his wife or apportioned on behalf of such wife, child, or dependent parent; or otherwise be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 3 of section 21 of the World War Veterans' Act. 1924, as amended.

S. 266, AS REPORTED BY COMMITTEE

Subsection (B) of Public Law 662, Seventy-ninth Congress, is amended to read as follows:

(B) Where any veteran having neither wife, child, nor dependent parent is being furnished hospital treatment, institutional or domiciliary care by the Veterans' Administration, and shall be rated by the Veterans' Administration in accordance with regulations as being incompetent by reason of mental illness, the pension, compensation, or retirement pay for such veteran shall be subject to the provisions of subsection (A) of this section: Provided. That no payment of a lump sum herein authorized shall be made until after the expiration of six months following a finding of competency: Provided further, That in any case where the estate of such incompetent veteran derived from any source equals or exceeds $1,500, further payments of such benefits [will] shall not be made until the estate is reduced to $500 [:], but the amount which would be payable bu for this proviso shall be paid to the veteran as provided for the lump sum in the preceding proviso but in the event of the veteran's death no part thereof shall be payable. And provided further. That all or any part of the pension, compensation, or retirement pay payable on account of any incompetent veteran may, in the discretion of the Administrator, and in accordance with instructions issued by the Administrator, be paid to the chief officer of the institution wherein the veteran is hospitalized, to be properly accounted for by said chief officer and to be used for the benefit of the veteran; or may be paid to the guardian of the veteran in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of section 21 of the World War Veterans' Act. 1924, as amended: or, in the event the veteran has a wife, child, or dependent parent, may, in the discretion of the Administrator, be paid to his wife or apportioned on behalf of such wife, child, or dependent parent; or otherwise be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 3 of section 21 of the World War Veterans' Act, 1924 as amended

ADJUSTING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF CERTAIN AWARDS OF PENSIONS AND COMPENSATIONS PAYABLE BY THE VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION

JULY 7, 1949.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of

of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. RANKIN, from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, submitted

the following

REPORT

(To accompany S. 8111

The Committee on Veterans Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (S. 811) to adjust the effective date of certain awards of pensions and compensations payable by the Veterans' Administration, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments, and recommend that the bill, as amended, do pass.

The amendments are as follows:
Page 2, line 5, strike out the word day' and insert in lieu"date".
Page 2, line 5. strike out the word “claim” and insert in lieu“award":

Page 2, line 6, strike out the word "allowed" and insert in lieu "effective".

Page 2, line 6, strike out the word "it" and insert in lieu “claim":

Page 2, line 6, strike out the words 'within one year of the" and insert in lieu thereof the words on the date of”.

EXPLANATION OF THE BILL

This bill as amended authorizes retroactive awards of compensation, pension, or increases of either, for those persons now on the rolls who were prevented from filing their claims at an earlier date because of capture, internment or other enemy action during World War II: It applies to all veterans, widows, and dependents.

Benefits are payable in disability cases from the date of discharge if the claim is filed within 1 year from discharge, and in death cases, benefits are payable from he date of the death of the person who served if the claim is filed within 1 year from such death. Otherwise, benefits are payable from the date of application. Generally pensions based upon age or non-service-connected disability are paid effective from date of application or date of attaining the required age or degree of disability, whichever is the later.

This bill makes an exception to the general rule above outlined in that it provides for the award of pension or compensation to be adjusted so as to be effective as of the date the award would have been effective had claim been filed on the date of death, discharge, or the occurrence of age or any disability or increased disability.

The bill only authorizes payments of pension or compensation to which the claimants would have been entitled had it been possible for them to meet the requirements of the existing law as to date of filing claim. No new cases would be added to the rolls as a result of this legislation.

The report of the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs on this bill is as follows:

VETERANS' ADMINISTRATION,

Washington 25, D. C., July 5, 1949. Hon. John E. RANKIN, Chairman, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,

House of Representatives, Washington 25, D. C. DEAR MR. RANKIN: Reference is made to your request of June 29, 1949, for a report by the Veterans' Administration on S. 811, Eighty-first Congress, an act to adjust the effective date of certain awards of pensions and compensations payable by the Veterans' Administration, as passed by the Senate on May 6, 1949.

The purpose of the bill is to authorize retroactive awards of pension and compensation in the cases of certain persons now on the rolls who were prevented from filing their claims at an earlier date because of internment or other enemy action The bill provides as follows:

“That notwithstanding the provisions of any other law which prescribes the effective date of awards of pensions and compensation, in the case of any claimant for pension or compensation under laws administered by the Veterans Adminis. tration, who is receiving a current pension or compensation on the date of the enactment of this Act, whose claim arose with respect to the disability or death or attainment of a specified age of a member or former member of the armed forces on and after December 7, 1941, and who was unable to file such claim by reason of being interned by a country with which the United States was at war or was otherwise prevented from filing such claim by action of such country, the award of pension or compensation shall be adjusted so as to be effective as of the day the claim would have been allowed had it been filed within one year of the death, discharge from the armed forces, or the occurrence of age or any disability or increased disability giving rise to a claim for pension, increased pension, compensation, or increased compensation: Provided, That claims for the benefits of this Act shall be filed within one year from the date of enactment of this Act

Under existing laws and regulations, there is no limitation on the time within which application may be made for compensation or pension, but benefits are payable in disability cases from date of discharge if claim is filed within 1 year from discharge, and in death cases benefits generally are payable from date of death if claim is filed within 1 year from death Otherwise, such benefits are payable prospectively from the date of application. The general rule as to pensions based upon age or non-service-connected disability is that payment is made from date of application or date of attaining the required age or degree of disability, whicbever is the later It will be noted that, except in cases in which benefits are pay. able from the date of discharge or death, the presumption that claim was filed within 1 year is ambiguous because the effective date of the award would be fixed by the exact date on which the claim is presumed to have been filed It could be presumed that claim was filed on the first, last, or any intermediate date following the attainment of the required age or the occurrence of increased disability and hence the bill does not fix any exact effective date for awarding benefits in such cases.

While there are doubtless some hardship cases in which veterans or their dependents were prevented for several years by enemy action from making application for compensation or pension or increase thereof, the extension proposed by the bill would constitute a departure from the generally uniform laws governing the effective dates of awards and might have the effect in certain cases of opening the door to stale claims.

Compensation and pension are gratuities primarily designed for the current partial support of veterans and their dependents. The enactment of such legislation as here proposed might in some instances involve large retroactive payments to noncitizens as well as citizens which would run into thousands of dollars and cover a period of more than 6 years. The usual policy of the Congress has been not to encourage or authorize the payment of retroactive compensation or pension for a period longer than 1 year, thus avoiding the establishment of large estates for veterans or their dependents which may be inherited ultimately by collateral heirs to whom the Government owes no obligation,

It is believed that this bill would be difficult of administration for the reason that, in many cases, it would be impossible to secure accurate evidence upon which to base determinations thereunder.

There is no information available upon which to base an estimate of the cost of the bill, if enacted.

Advice has been received from the Bureau of the Budget that the enactment of the proposed legislation would not be in accord with the program of the President. Sincerely yours,

O. W. CLARK (For Carl R. Gray, Jr., Administrator).

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