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M21-1, Part III, Subpart vi, Chapter 4, Section B – Eligibility for Benefits

Overview


In This Section

This section contains the following topics:
Topic
Topic Name
1
2
3
4
5

1.  Eligibility for Benefits Based on Service in the United States Army


Introduction

This topic contains information on the eligibility for benefits administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), based on service in the United States Army by citizens of the Republic of the Philippines during World War II (Filipinos), including information on

Change Date

May 11, 2015

III.vi.4.B.1.a.  Who Is Eligible for Benefits

The United States (U.S.) recognizes service of four groups of Filipinos as qualifying for some VA benefits
  • regular or “old” Philippine Scouts – served as part of the U.S. Army and military service was considered active service in the U.S. Armed Forces throughout its existence
  • service in the Commonwealth Army of the Philippines – called into the service of the U.S. Armed Forces of the Far East (USAFFE)  on or after July 26, 1941 and June 30, 1946; also known as Philippine Commonwealth Army
  • special or “new” Philippine Scouts – served with the U.S. Armed Forces with the consent of the Philippine government between October 6, 1945 and June 30, 1947, and
  • guerrilla service – service with the USAFFE in resistance units recognized by and cooperating with U.S. forces between April 20, 1942 and June 30, 1946
Important:  Only those who served as regular or “old” Philippine Scouts are
  • eligible for all VA benefits and services at full-dollar rates, under the
  • eligibility rules applicable to U.S. Veterans.

III.vi.4.B.1.b.  Eligibility of Veterans with Service in the 14th Infantry, AUS

Veterans who served in the 14th Infantry, Army of the United States (AUS), as distinguished from other 14th Infantry organizations, are recognized only if an affirmative recertification dated August 1, 1953, or later is of record.
When a previous certification of 14th Infantry, AUS service, is withdrawn, take action on pending claims and running awards depending on whether the Veteran had other compensable service in the
  • Philippine Commonwealth Army
  • Philippine Scouts, or
  • guerrilla organization.

III.vi.4.B.1.c.  Benefit Rates Payable

Pay benefits at the full-dollar rate authorized  for U.S. Veterans and their dependents.

2.  Eligibility for Benefits Based on Service in the Philippine Commonwealth Army


Introduction

This topic contains information on eligibility for VA benefits based on service in the Philippine Commonwealth Army, including information on

Change Date

August 14, 2006

III.vi.4.B.2.a.  Service of the Philippine Commonwealth Army in the United States Army

On July 26, 1941, the President of the United States ordered the organized military forces of the government of the Philippines into the service of the Armed Forces of the United States.
This order was not effective from the date of its issuance, but “From and after the dates and hours, respectively, indicated in orders to be issued from time to time by the General Officer, United States Army, designated by the Secretary of War.”
Reference:  For more information on the authority for the Presidential order, seePublic Law (PL) 73-127.

III.vi.4.B.2.b.  Termination of Service of the Philippine Commonwealth Army from the United States Army

On June 30, 1946, service of the Philippine Army in the United States Army was terminated by military order of the President of the United States, dated July 1, 1946.

III.vi.4.B.2.c.  Benefit Eligibility of Veterans

Veterans with service in the Philippine Commonwealth Army are entitled only to service-connected (SC) compensation and clothing allowance benefits.  They arenot entitled to pension.
References:  For more information on

III.vi.4.B.2.d.  Benefit Eligibility of Survivors

Survivors of a  recognized Veteran whose sole service was in the Philippine Commonwealth Army are only eligible for SC death benefits and burial allowance.  They are not entitled to Survivors Pension.
Reference:  For more information on eligibility to VA benefits based on service in the Philippines, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart vi, 4.A.2.

III.vi.4.B.2.e.  Benefit Rates Payable

Benefits to Veterans and survivors are payable at the half-dollar rate, which is a rate equivalent to $0.50 for each dollar authorized to be paid.
Exceptions:
  • Disability compensation and burial benefits may be payable at the full-dollar rate for Veterans who
    • are U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens, and
    • reside in the U.S. or resided in the U.S. or its territories at the time of death.
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) may be payable at the full-dollar rate for survivors who
    • are U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens, and
    • reside in the U.S or its territories.
  • If the service department certifies that Philippine Commonwealth Army service was followed by AUS service and disability or death was the result of the AUS service, benefits are payable at the full-dollar rate and income for dependent parents or Parents’ DIC is computed at the full-dollar rate.
References:  For more information on

3.  Eligibility for Benefits Based on Service in the Philippine Scouts


Introduction

This topic contains information on the

Change Date

May 11, 2015

III.vi.4.B.3.a.  Eligibility of Regular or “Old” Philippine Scouts

Regular or “old” Philippine Scouts who enlisted prior to October 6, 1945, are entitled to the same benefits as those that United States Army Veterans and their dependents are eligible for under all applicable laws.

III.vi.4.B.3.b.  Eligibility of Special or “New” Philippine Scouts

Special or “new” Philippine Scouts whose only service began on or after October 6, 1945, under PL 79-190, are entitled only to SC compensation and clothing allowance benefits.  Their dependents are entitled only to SC death benefits and burial allowance.
Reference:  For more information on benefits payable for Philippine service, seeM21-1, Part III, Subpart iv, 4.A.2.

III.vi.4.B.3.c.  Benefit Rates Payable

Benefits for
  • regular or “old” Philippine Scouts and their dependents are payable at the full-dollar rate authorized by applicable law, and
  • special or “new” Philippine Scouts and their dependents are payable at the half-dollar rate, which is a rate equivalent to $0.50 for each dollar authorized to be paid under 38 U.S.C. 107(b).
Exception:  Disability compensation, DIC, and burial benefits may be payable at the full-dollar rate for special Philippine Scouts and their dependents who
  • are U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens, and
  • reside in the U.S. or resided in the U.S. or its territories at the time of death.
Reference:  For more information on benefits payable at the full-dollar rate based on U.S. residency, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart vi, 4.D.

4.  Eligibility for Benefits Based on Guerrilla Service


Introduction

This topic contains information on the eligibility of guerrilla service for benefits, including

Change Date

August 14, 2006

III.vi.4.B.4.a.  Definition:  Guerrilla

guerrilla is a person who served in a unit that resisted the Japanese after capitulation of the Armed Forces.  The unit must have been under a commissioned officer of the
  • United States Army
  • United States Navy
  • United States Marine Corps, or
  • Philippine Army, that was recognized by, and cooperating with, the Armed Forces of the United States.

III.vi.4.B.4.b.  Definition:  USAFFE Guerrilla

United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFEguerrilla is a guerrilla who also had service in the Armed Forces of the United States, including the Regular Philippine Scouts or the Philippine Commonwealth Army.

III.vi.4.B.4.c.  Eligibility of Veterans With USAFFE Guerrilla Service

Veterans who provided acceptable guerrilla service as USAFFE guerrillas are eligible to receive SC compensation and clothing allowance benefits.  Their dependents are eligible to receive SC death benefits and burial allowance.
Reference:  For more information on benefits payable for Philippine service, seeM21-1, Part III, Subpart iv, 4.A.2.

III.vi.4.B.4.d.  Guerrilla Service Requirements

The table below describes the three categories of guerrilla service and the corresponding service requirements for benefits.
Category of Guerrilla Service
Description
1
Service recognized by Guerrilla Affairs Division (GAD) as shown on a reconstructed troop roster, casualty roster, or individual letter of recognition.
Note:  This type of service is
  • usually certified by the service department as “Recognized guerrilla service,” and
  • qualifying service for compensation.
2
Guerrilla service not recognized by GAD, but in a guerrilla unit under the command of a commissioned officer of the U.S. Armed Forces (including the Regular Philippine Scouts) or in the Philippine Commonwealth Army.
Notes:  This type of service
  • will be certified by the service department as“Unrecognized guerrilla service under …..” (naming the officer and, if the officer was a member of the Philippine Commonwealth Army, giving the officer’s rank and organization).
  • is qualifying service for compensation only if the person was a former member of the Armed Forces of the United States, including the Regular Philippine Scouts, or the Philippine Commonwealth Army.
3
Guerrilla service not recognized by GAD and not under the command of a commissioned officer of the Armed Forces of the United States or Philippine Commonwealth Army.
Note:  This type of service is certified as “Unrecognized anti-Japanese activity” and is not, in and of itself, qualifying service for compensation.
Exception:
This type of service may be considered active service for VA benefits under 38 CFR 3.41 if it was performed by a person
  • who was a former member of the Armed Forces of the United States, including the
    • Regular or “old” Philippine Scouts, or
    • Philippine Commonwealth Army, and
  • whose injury or death is determined to have been inflicted by the Japanese because of unrecognized anti-Japanese guerilla activity.

III.vi.4.B.4.e.  One-Day Recognition of Guerrilla Service

The service department sometimes gives recognition for one day of guerilla service to a person who is listed on a casualty roster.  The date of casualty may have been before the beginning date of recognition or after the terminal date of recognition of the unit.
Accept the certification by the service department in such cases to establish active service for that day.
Reference:  For more information on service recognized by GAD, see M21-1, Part III, Subpart vi, 4.B.4.d.

III.vi.4.B.4.f.  Closing of the Guerrilla Rosters

As of June 30, 1948, the reconstructed guerrilla rosters were closed.
On August 9, 1949, the President of the United States informed the President of the Philippines that the Philippine guerrilla rosters would not be reopened.

III.vi.4.B.4.g.  Benefit Rates Payable

Benefits for guerrilla service are payable at the half-dollar rate, which is a rate equivalent to $0.50 for each dollar authorized to be paid under 38 U.S.C. 107(a).
Exception:  Disability compensation, DIC, and burial benefits for Veterans who are U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens and reside in the U.S., or resided in the U.S. or its territories at the time of death, may be payable at the full-dollar rate.
References:  For more information on

5.  Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC)


Introduction

This topic contains information on FVEC, to include

Change Date

May 11, 2015

III.vi.4.B.5.a.  Description of FVEC

On February 17, 2009, the President of the United States signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, under PL 111-5, Section 1002, “Payments to Eligible Persons Who Served in the United States Armed Forces in the Far East During World War II”.
This law authorized a one-time payment to eligible Filipino Veterans through the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC) fund
  • $9,000 for non-U.S. citizens
  • $15,000 for Filipino Veterans with U.S. citizenship.

III.vi.4.B.5.b.  FVEC Eligibility

Any person who was discharged or released from service under conditions other than dishonorable was eligible, with the following service requirements
  • Before July 1, 1946, in the organized military forces of the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, while such forces were in the service of the Armed Forces of the U.S. pursuant to the military order of the President dated July 26, 1941.  This included organized guerilla forces who served under commanders appointed, designated, or subsequently recognized by the Commander in Chief, Southwest Pacific Area, or other competent authority in the Army of the U.S., or
  • In the Philippine Scouts under Section 14 of the Armed Forces Voluntary Recruitment Act of 1945.
FVEC eligibility applied to eligible Veterans only, and did not extend to dependents.
A surviving spouse of an eligible Filipino Veteran was eligible to receive the one-time payment if the Veteran filed an FVEC claim but died prior to receipt of the funds.

III.vi.4.B.5.c.  Release Clause

Acceptance of payment under section 1002(c) barred the person from coming back later to assert a claim for
  • either a larger payment under Section 1002(e) for a person who later becomes a U.S. citizen, or
  • payment on some other basis not currently recognized by statute, such as
    • entitlement to additional damages for human suffering
    • the difference between the compensation actually received and compensation at the full-dollar rate
    • reparations
    • restitution, or
    • payment under some other equitable theory.
Important: In light of Section 1002(h)(2), acceptance of a payment under Section 1002(c) does not prevent Filipinos from continuing to receive any benefits to which they may have been entitled under Title 38 as of the day before the date of enactment of PL 111-5.

III.vi.4.B.5.d.  Time Limit

To be eligible for the one-time FVEC payment, VA must have received the FVEC application no later than February 16, 2010.
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