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the establishment of a definite rule that before suit is brought a claimant must make a claim for insurance and prosecute his case on appeal through the appellate agencies of the bureau before he shall have the right to enter suit. Your committee felt that in view of the fact that the Government has set up in the bureau expensive machinery for hearing claims it was unfair for a veteran to disregard this machinery on the basis of the disallowance of his claim by some subordinate board and enter suit.

(7) A savings clause was added at the end to protect the suits already brought from adverse effect by any amendment included in this section.

(8) A new paragraph is added authorizing the Attorney General, with the approval of the court, to compromise suits. Your committee felt this would be beneficial to both ex-service men and the Government.

Section 5: Section 5 of the bill adds a subdivision to section 21 to place authority in the director to pay compensation to the person having custody and control of an incompetent or minor beneficiary during the time compensation payments to a guardian may be suspended or withheld under section 21 of the statute as it now stands. At the present time, when the director suspends payments to a guardian, there is no authority to pay any compensation unless the veteran is in a hospital, in which case all or any part of the compensation may be apportioned to his dependents, if any, and also to the medical officer in charge of the hospital for the benefit of the veteran himself under authority of section 202, subdivision (7). Section 23 of the war risk insurance act contained a provision similar to the one proposed by this bill, but it was eliminated by the act of June 7, 1924, apparently upon the assumption that these cases would be taken care of by section 202 (7). It has developed, however, that the provision of section

7 202 (7) is not adequate.

This section also authorizes the reestablishment of the fund known as "fund due incompetent beneficiaries," which was established under section 23 of the war risk insurance act and into which the bureau has always paid to the credit of an incompetent beneficiary any part of the fund not paid to the chief officer of the institution in which he is an inmate, or apportioned to his dependents under the provisions of section 202 (7). "The Comptroller General has ruled, however, that subsequent to June 7, 1924, no legal authority existed for this fund and although he has permitted it to be continued until June 30, 1930, it will be necessary to amend the law to provide therefor subsequent to that date.

This section also provides that in case the incompetent veteran recovers and is found competent, the balance remaining in the fund may be paid to him, or, if he does not recover, to his guardian, or in the event of his death to his personal representative. In case, however, escheat would result upon death of the veteran, it is provided that the escheat shall be to the United States, as will also be the case with any funds derived from compensation or insurance that are in the hands of a guardian, curator, conservator, or other fiduciary at the time of the veteran's death.

Section 6: Section 6 of the bil roposes to amend section 28 of the World War veterans' act, as amended, to provide that said section,

as amended, shall be deemed to be in effect as of June 7, 1924. Section 28 of the World War veterans' act, as amended, authorizes the waiver of recovery of payments from any person, who, in the judgment of the director is without fault on his part, and where, in the judgment of the director such recovery would defeat the purpose of benefits otherwise authorized or would be against equity and good conscience, and further provides that no disbursing Officer shall be held liable for any amount paid by him to any person where the recovery of such amount is waived under this section. The lastmentioned provision, relieving the disbursing officers from liability, was inserted in the statute at the second session of the Seventieth Congress on recommendation of the Director of the United States Veterans' Bureau, it having been shown that the Comptroller General of the United States had held that, although recovery might be waived so far as the payee was concerned, the disbursing officer was nevertheless liable under his bond for any erroneous disbursement. Although the committee believed that the language was sufficiently clear and unambiguous to express the intention of Congress that these disbursing officers should no longer be liable, for amounts, the recovery of which had been waived prior to the amendments, as well as those which might be waived prior to the amendments, as well as those which might be waived subsequent thereto, the Comptroller General has ruled that there is no authority to apply this amendment retroactively so as to relieve disbursing officers for disallowances set up against their accounts prior to May 29, 1928. This amendment specifically declaring that section 28, as amended, shall be deemed to be in effect as of June 7, 1924, is therefore now included at the request of the director of the bureau.

Section 7: Section 7 of the bill contains new matter proposed by your committee and provides an amendment to section 30 to enable the director of the bureau, under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe, to permit the representatives of ex-service organizations mentioned in section 500 to inspect bureau records. As the members are aware, the provisions in the existing law makes confidential the records of bureau claimants, except in certain instances which are specified in the law. Section 500 of the act, however, authorizes the recognized representatives of the American Red Cross, the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans of the World War, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and such other organizations as shall be approved by the director to represent claimants before the bureau, and to be recognized by the bureau in connection with this work. To effectively carry out this responsibility it is believed to be essential that representatives of these organizations be permitted to inspect the bureau records under appropriate regulations, with the understanding, of course, that the information thereby obtained will be kept absolutely confidential and be used only in presenting claims before the bureau.

Section 8: Section 8 of the bill provides that checks properly issued to beneficiaries which are undelivered for any reason shall be retained in the files of the bureau until such time as delivery may be accomplished or until three full fiscal years have elapsed after the end of the fiscal year in which issued. At the present time these checks are forwarded to the General Accounting Office when they are undelivered and more than three months old. This is in accordance with the established regulations of the Comptroller General. It is believed that this amendment will facilitate the delivery of these checks, as the work of the bureau is now unduly complicated under existing procedure, especially in the supervision of awards to fiduciaries for minors and incompetent beneficiaries. In such cases, when the checks are remailed by the General Accounting Office, the bureau receives no notice thereof, unless certification is made to the payee other than the one in whose favor the checks were originally drawn. It will readily be seen therefore, that fiduciaries may receive payments of which the bureau will have no knowledge and will therefore be unable to require a proper accounting as contemplated by section 21 of the World War veterans' act, as amended.

Section 9: Section 9 adds a section to Title I of the World War veterans' act, as amended, to be known as section 38, to authorize the director to buy uniforms for all personnel employed as watchmen, elevator operators, and elevator starters in the Arlington Building, in order that they may present an appearance indicating the official capacity in which they serve. This follows the practice in other governmental departments.

Section 10: Section 10 adds a section to be known as section 39 to enable the Secretary of War to accumulate in the city of Washington all medical and service records now scattered throughout the United States in many Army stations. The records are with particular regard to veterans of the World War and are of inestimable value in enabling both the veterans and the Veteran's Bureau to determine if certain allegations made in connection with claim for compensation can be supported by the records, thus eliminating delay and the necessity for much affidavit evidence which must now be furnished in lieu of such records. The approximate cost of the enactment is not estimated but it has several times been recommended in connection with appropriation acts submitted for the War Department.

Section 11 also amends section 200 of the act by adding a paragraph authorizing the payment of a disability allowance to any honorably discharged ex-service man who entered the service prior to November 11, 1918, and served 90 days or more during the World War, and who is suffering from a 25 per cent or more permanent disability not the result of his own willful misconduct which was not acquired in the service during the World War, or for which compensation is not payable. The disability allowance is as follows: 25 per cent permanent disability, $12 per month; 50 per cent permanent disability, $18 per month; 75 per cent permanent disability, $24 per month; total permanent disability, $40 per month. The disability allowance provided by this paragraph is in no event to commence prior to the passage of the amendatory act; is to date only from the time of application therefor. The application for the benefit is to be made on such forms as the director shall prescribe. Provision is made whereby a person drawing either compensation or disability allowance, who later becomes entitled to the other in a greater amount than the one he is receiving, may elect to take the greater benefit, but in no event can one person draw the two benefits at the same time, and any payments previously made over the period covered by a new award are to be deducted from the amount payable under the new award.

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The term “compensation" as used in Titles I and V is defined to include the disability allowance. This is for the purpose of making the guardianship provisions, the tax exemption provision, and other similar provisions in Title I applicable to the disability allowance and to make the penal provisions of Title V applicable to the disability allowance.

Section 12: Section 12 of the bill contains the provision changing the existing law regarding dependency allowance for fathers and mothers of deceased veterans. Your committee felt that an amendment to subdivision (f) should be adopted which would provide that where death compensation is payable to a widow and children and there is a dependent mother and father, the total amount payable to the dependent mother and father should not be less than $20 per month. This amendment is made necessary because the present law provides that while the rate payable for a dependent mother or father is $20, or both, $30, the amount payable in such cases shall not exceed the difference between the total amount payable to the widow and children and the sum of $75. It is possible under the present law that the dependent mother and father may receive nothing because of the fact that the veteran left a widow and several children.

Section 12: Section 12 of the bill also amends subdivision (1) of section 201 of the present law relating to burial expenses by authorizing burial and funeral expenses in the cases where death occurs in a national military home irrespective of whether the veteran is receiving compensation or other benefits, and in addition thereto the actual and necessary cost of transportation of the body of the person, including preparation of the body, to the place of burial within the continental limits of the United States, its Territories, or possessions, and including also, in the discretion of the director, the actual necessary cost of transportation of an attendant, and authorizes the furnishing of a flag to drape the casket of every deceased veteran of any war.

Section 13: Section 13 amends subdivisions (3) and (5) of section 202 of the act by providing compensation of $25 per month, independent of any other compensation that may be payable under the World War veterans' act, 1924, as amended, to any person who suffered the loss of the use of a creative organ or one foot or one hand or both feet or both hands, in the active service in line of duty between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, except if the veteran served with the United States military forces in Russia, in which event the time is extended to April 1, 1920. This section also removes the necessity for showing the constant need of a nurse or attendant where claim for a nurse or attendant allowance is made. Your committee felt that these men who suffered a disability in line of duty during the period of actual warfare are entitled to this additional amount. The purpose of the amendment with reference to nurse or attendant allowance is to overcome the bureau interpretation as applied to the provision 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 14: Section 14 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 competency the amount suspended will be paid to him.

Section 14: Section 14 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.

Section 15: Section 15 of the bill authorizes 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 SpanishAmerican War and if facilities are available.

Section 15: Section 15 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.

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