Imagini ale paginilor
[ocr errors]

vision in existing law. Under the regulations it is necessary that the claimant be “continuously” as well as “constantly” in need of such service; whereas, as a matter of fact, there are many cases in which the ill claimant for all practical purposes needs the services of either a nurse or attendant to enable him to carry out the medical regimen prescribed for the malady from which he is suffering, and yet it can not be legally held that he needs such assistance “ constantly."

Section 13 of the bill amends subdivision (7) of section 202 of the act to provide that in any case where the estate of an insane veteran who has no dependents equals or exceeds $3,000, further payment of compensation shall be suspended until the estate is reduced below that amount, in which event payment will again be resumed up to $3,000. The purpose of this amendment is to avoid the building up of large estates for these insane veterans who have no dependent relatives and whose estates will otherwise escheat. The interest of the veteran is fully protected for the reason that in the event he recovers his

npetency the amount suspended will be paid to him. Page 25, lines 6 to 18:

Section 13 of H. R. 10381, as it passed the House of Representatives, also provided that the statutory award of $50 per month should be granted for arrested or cured tuberculosis of service origin whether or not a condition of active tuberculosis was shown to exist either during service or prior to the time limit specified for connecting tuberculosis disabilities with service by presumption. The existing law as interpreted by the Comptroller General requires that the statutory award can be paid only when the veteran is able to show that either during service or within the time limit required for presumptive service connection active tuberculosis existed.

Your committee eliminated this amendment as it was informed by the experts of the bureau that in their opinion this amendment could not be justified. It was pointed out that medical statistics show that at least 75 per cent of the entire population has been infected with tuberculosis, but, due to immunity and physical resistance, the condition does not become disabling in the majority of cases. It is also agreed that unless preceded by a more or less extensive period of activity the condition diagnosed as arrested or cured tuberculosis is not in itself seriously disabling either from a medical or industrial standpoint. When it is considered that thousands of men entered the military service without any notation of these arrested conditions and completed their military service without any adverse effect, it did not seem to your committee that the Government should pay compensation at the rate of $50 per month to these men for the remainder of their lives. It was felt that such a provision is essentially a pension measure, based upon other than actual disability, and, in view of the fact that the Government to date has not recognized any obligation to pay compensation for disabilities not acquired in the service, it did not seem just to prefer these men over all others, particularly when many of the others are disabled to a far greater extent. The adoption of the amendment would, in reality, be the paying of a bounty of $50 per month for a diagnosed condition of which the veteran in all probability would never have been aware had it not been for the medical examination in the military service.


Section 13 of the bill also amends subdivision (7) of section 202 of the act by providing that the director shall insert in the schedule of disability ratings a minimum rating of permanent partial 25 per cent for arrested or apparently cured tuberculosis. This provision will not be of particular effect where the only service connected disability is that of active tuberculosis and the veteran is entitled to the statutory award of $50 per month, since that award is in excess of the 25 per cent rating established by this amendment. If, however, the veteran has in addition to a service-connected tubercular disability another disability of service origin he will be enabled to obtain a combined rating, and in such rating the disability resulting from the service-connected tubercular condition will be evaluated in the degree specified. The combined total disability rating may thus entitle the veteran to an amount in excess of $50 per month. It is further noted that the medical council of the bureau has advised the director that persons with arrested tuberculosis have a minimum industrial handicap of 25 per cent if such arrested tuberculosis follows a period of activity.

Page 26, lines 3 to 17:

Section 14 of the bill as it passed the House of Representatives did not contain any provision authorizing the hospitalization of contract surgeons who served overseas in the Spanish-American War under the provisions of subdivision (10), section 202, when facilities are available. Under the present law, these persons are not able to obtain such hospitalization as they are not veterans. It came to the attention of your committee that there are a small number of these contract surgeons who are in need of this hospitalization and who served with troops in Cuba, in the Philippines, or in foreign waters during the Spanish-American War, in similar capacities to that of the Regular Army commissioned medical personnel. Accordingly an amendment to the section as contained in H. R. 10381 has been inserted to enable these surgeons to obtain hospital treatment from the bureau if service was rendered overseas during the Spanish-American War and if facilities are available.

Page 26, line 22:

Section 14 of the bill as it passed the House of Representatives amends section 202 of the act by authorizing the payment of compensation at specific rates to the dependents of a World War veteran hospitalized under that section who files an affidavit with the commanding officer of the hospital to the effect that his annual income is less than $1,000, where the veteran remains in the hospital for a period of 30 days or more. The payments are to commence after the expiration of the 30-day period and to continue during the further period of hospitalization and for two calendar months thereafter. There is no such provision in existing law. Your committee has inserted the words "hereafter where ” on line 22, page 26,

“ instead of the word " where” merely for clarification purposes, and to show clearly that payments under this section will not be retroactive

[ocr errors]

Section 14 of the bill also amends section 202 of the act by defining the term “Spanish-American War” for the purposes of the section to mean the period between April 21, 1898, and July 4, 1902, and the term“ veteran” is deemed to include those persons retired or not dishonorably separated from the active list of the Army or Navy. The purpose of defining the Spanish-American War is to fix the same period for the term Spanish-American War as used in connection with the hospital provisions as is accepted for pensions. The defining of the term “veteran" is for the purpose of overcoming a decision of the Comptroller General to the effect that men on the retired list of the Army and Navy are not veterans of the World War, although they served in the World War, because they have not been separated from the military or naval service.


Page 27, line 21, to line 12 on page 28:

Section 14 of the bill as it passed the House of Representatives authorizes the payment to a veteran hospitalized under the section at the rate of $8 per month in the event he certifies he is finan. cially in need, unless he is entitled to compensation or pension equal to or in excess of that amount. There is no such provision in existing law. Your committee felt that this amendment is desirable, but believed that, as in the case of payments to dependents of veterans hospitalized under the same section, payments should not begin until after the expiration of 30 days of hospitalization. Unless such limitation is placed in the bill, small amounts would be payable for short periods of hospitalization which would be administratively difficult to handle and would in reality confer no real benefit on the veteran. Therefore your committee has redrafted the entire provision and it now appears on page 28, lines 4 to 12.

Section 15 amends subdivision (15) of section 202, which provides that any person who is now receiving a gratuity or pension from the United States shall not receive compensation under this section unless he shall first surrender all claim to further payments of such gratuity or pension, by providing that where such surrender of pension is made, any disability incurred in the military service of the United States, by reason of which said pension would be payable, shall be evaluated in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (4), section 202, and shall be payable as compensation under this act. Provision is also made for the combining of such rate with other ratings. The purpose of this amendment is to permit a person to receive adequate compensation for all disabilities incurred in the service.

Section 16 of the bill repeals section 206 of the act, which requires the filing of proof in certain cases prior to April 6, 1930.

Section 17 of the bill repeals section 209 of the act, which requires the filing of claims prior to April 6, 1930, in certain cases.

Section 18 amends section 210 of the World War veterans' act, as amended, by the addition of a proviso to the effect that nothing therein shall be construed to permit the payment of compensation


under the World War veterans' act, as amended, for any period prior to June 7, 1924. This amendment is designed to place the stamp of approval on the interpretation of the World War veterans' act, 1924, by the bureau to the effect that in cases first brought within the purview of the statute by the act of June 7, 1924, no compensation could be paid for any period prior to that date.

Section 19 adds two provisos to section 212 of the World War veterans' act, 1924, as amended by adding (1) that where a veteran dies after June 7, 1924, as a result of disease or injury for which he was entitled to compensation by virtue of an accrued right under the war risk insurance act, as amended, his dependents shall be entitled to the compensation provided by section 201 of the act; and (2) that an application for compensation under the provisions of the war risk insurance act, as amended, or the World War veterans' act, 1924, as amended, shall be deemed to be a claim for compensation under all subsequent amendments. In connection with the first of these matters there were a small number of veterans who incurred disabilities between July 2, 1921, and June 7, 1924, and who, under the war risk insurance act as amended August 9, 1921, were entitled to disability compensation. The World War veterans' act, 1924, as amended, however, provides for payment of compensation only where death or disability was incurred between April 6, 1917, and July 2, 1921. Where a veteran of this class died before June 7, 1924, his dependents acquired an accrued right to compensation under the war risk insurance act, as amended, which is payable under the World War veterans' act, 1924, as amended, but in the event the veteran died subsequent to June 7, 1924, although he received disability compensation up to the time of his death by virtue of an accrued right under the war risk insurance act, as amended, his dependents (who acquired no such accrued right) are not entitled to death compensation. It is the opinion of the committee that the widows, children, and dependent parents of these veterans should be entitled to compensation.

The second proviso is designed to overcome the ruling of the Comptroller General to the effect that a claim which has been disallowed under an earlier statute can not be reviewed and paid, under a subsequent amendment bringing the case within the purview of the law, without the filing of a new claim. The bureau has always followed the practice of reviewing these cases without requiring another application, on the theory that section 305 of the war risk insurance act, as amended, and section 205 of the World War veterans' act, 1924, as amended, which authorize the bureau at any time, upon its own motion or upon application, to review disallowed cases, permitted such action. The committee believes the practice of the bureau to be legally sound, administratively advisable, and reasonable from the point of view of both the veteran and the Government.

Section 20 adds a new section to the World War veterans' act. 1924, as amended, to be known as section 214 and to authorize the director, in his discretion, to pay to the dependents of a compensable incompetent veteran who disappears the same amount of compensation as is provided in section 201 of the World War veterans' act,

SR-71-2VOL 2- -62

1924, as amended, for dependents of veterans. When a veteran disappears it is necessary for the bureau to suspend all payments of compensation pending his reappearance or proof of his death. This works great hardship upon the dependents and it is the opinion of the committee that there should be legal authority for paying an allowance to the dependents under such circumstances.

Section 21 proposes a slight amendment to paragraph 3 of section 301 of the statute. This section now provides that where an insured whose yearly renewable term insurance has matured by reason of permanent and total disability is found and declared to be no longer permanently and totally disabled and is required to renew payment of premiums on said term insurance, and this contingency is extended beyond the period during which said yearly renewable term insurance otherwise must be converted, there shall be given an additional period of two years in which to renew payment of premiums and to convert said term insurance. The amendment provides that during the same two years he shall also have the right to reinstate his term insurance should it lapse. There are a number of cases in which the insured has permitted his insurance to lapse either by failure to pay the first premium at the required time or, having once renewed the payment of premiums and before conversion, has permitted the insurance to lapse. In such cases the insured, unless in a state of health which would meet the requirements for direct application for converted insurance under section 310 of the World War veterans' act, as amended, is precluded from carrying Government insurance. This amendment would, within the 2-year period prescribed, permit him to reinstate his old term insurance and convert it under less rigid requirements as to good health. The records of the bureau show that there are at present 100 cases in which insurance has been allowed to lapse after recovery from a disability rated permanent and total, 48 of which lapsed for the nonpayment of the first premium due after the rerating, and 52 for the nonpayment of premiums subsequent to the first. In a number of cases the remittance to cover the monthly premium was only a few days late. The fourth paragraph of this section is also amended, the purpose being merely to carry through the entire act the amendment included in section 3 of this bill, which, as explained heretofore, amends section 16 of the World War veterans' act, as amended, to authorize specifically refund of unearned premiums on yearly renewable term insurance.

Section 22 amends section 304 of the World War veterans' act, as amended, by changing the language of the last proviso thereof, which now states that no yearly renewable term insurance shall be reinstated after July 2, 1927, to provide an exception in favor of those who will reinstate term insurance during the 2-year period allowed in section 301 for those who have recovered from permanent and total disability.

Section 23 amends section 307, which relates to the incontestability of insurance contracts. The purpose is to make all contracts or policies of insurance incontestable from date of isouance, reinstatement, or conversion, for all reasons except fraud, nonpayment of premiums, or that the applicant was not a member of the military

[ocr errors]
« ÎnapoiContinuați »