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M21-1, Part IX, Subpart ii, Chapter 3 – Medal of Honor Pension

Overview


1.  General Information on Medal of Honor Pension


Introduction

This topic contains information on the Medal of Honor Pension, including

Change Date

September 5, 2017

IX.ii.3.1.a.  Definition:  Medal of Honor Pension

Medal of Honor Pension is a monthly entitlement paid to Veterans who were awarded the Medal of Honor for distinguished military service.  The monthly entitlement is paid as either a sole benefit or a benefit added to pension or compensation rates.
Reference:  For more information on the rates of payment for Medal of Honor Pension, see the Special Benefit Allowances Rate Table on the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Special Benefit Allowances Rates web page.

IX.ii.3.1.b.  Special Provisions of Medal of Honor Pension

Medal of Honor Pension is a special benefit that
  • does not deprive the Veteran of entitlement to any other pension, compensation, or other benefit, right, or privilege under any laws of the United States, and
  • is not subject to reduction under 38 CFR 3.551.
Reference:  For more information on Medal of Honor Pension, see

IX.ii.3.1.c.  Dates of Entitlement and Payment

The date of entitlement to Medal of Honor Pension is the date the Veteran or service member makes a written application to the Secretary of the military branch in which he/she served per 38 CFR 3.802(b).
The date of payment of Medal of Honor Pension is determined in accordance with the provisions of 38 CFR 3.31.

IX.ii.3.1.d.  When to Pay Medal of Honor Pension

If the service department or Department of Transportation certifies that a Veteran or service member is entitled to Medal of Honor Pension,
  • add the Medal of Honor entitlement amount to any current award, or
  • pay it as the sole benefit from the date certified.

IX.ii.3.1.e.  Processing an Award of Medal of Honor Pension

Follow the steps in the table below to process awards for Medal of Honor Pension.
Step
Action
1
  • On the ADD NEW AWARD screen, select Medal of Honor in the AWARD TYPE field.
  • After choosing the award type, select the ACCEPT button to create the award record.
2
On the MEDAL OF HONOR tab,
  • select Eligible in the DECISION field
  • enter the date of the event for which the Medal of Honor was awarded in the EVENT DATE field
  • enter the date the Medal of Honor was awarded in the MEDAL OF HONOR DATE field, and
  • enter the first day of the month after the date of the event for which the Veteran earned the Medal of Honor in the AWARD EFFECTIVE DATE field.
3
Annotate the award document by
  • indicating that Medal of Honor Pension is awarded as the sole benefit, or
  • citing the authority for paying Medal of Honor Pension as an additional benefit.

IX.ii.3.1.f.  Retroactive Lump-Sum Payment Eligibility

Public Law 107-330 authorized a retroactive lump-sum payment of Medal of Honor Pension, back to the date of heroism, which led to the award.
Reference:  For more information on retroactive lump sum payments, see 38 CFR 3.802(c).

IX.ii.3.1.g.  Amount of Lump-Sum Benefits Payable

The amount of retroactive lump-sum benefits payable is equal to the total amount of Medal of Honor Pension the Veteran would have received during the period that
  • begins on the first day of the month after the date of the event for which the Veteran earned the Medal of Honor, and
  • ends on the last day of the month preceding the month in which Medal of Honor Pension was awarded.

IX.ii.3.1.h.  Calculating the Retroactive Lump-Sum Amount

Calculate the retroactive lump-sum amount by using the monthly Medal of Honor Pension rates in effect
  • from the first day of the month after the date of the event for which the Veteran earned the Medal of Honor, and
  • to the last day of the month preceding the month in which the award of Medal of Honor Pension is effective.
Reference:  For more information on Medal of Honor Pension rates of payment, see the Special Benefit Allowances Rate Table on the VBA Special Benefit Allowances Rates web page.

IX.ii.3.1.i.  Reviewing Cases for Entitlement to Lump-Sum Payment

Review the claims folder to determine whether a retroactive lump sum is payable whenever routinely encountering cases in which a Veteran was receiving Medal of Honor Pension as of October 1, 2003.
Important:  If the Veteran has already been paid from the first day of the month after the date of the event for which the Medal of Honor was awarded, a retroactive lump sum payment is not warranted.

IX.ii.3.1.j.  Notification to Veteran of Retroactive Lump Sum Payment is in Order

If payment of a retroactive lump sum is in order, inform the Veteran in the decision notice
  • of the reason for the retroactive payment, and
  • how it was calculated.
Historical_M21-1IX_ii_3_7-10-15.doc May 19, 2019 73 KB
Change-July-10-2015-Transmittal-Sheet-M21-1IX_ii_3_TS.docx May 19, 2019 40 KB
9-5-17_Key-Changes_M21-1IX_ii_3.docx May 19, 2019 46 KB
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