Collapse to view only § 102. Dependent parents

§ 101. DefinitionsFor the purposes of this title—
(1) The terms “Secretary” and “Department” mean the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Veterans Affairs, respectively.
(2) The term “veteran” means a person who served in the active military, naval, air, or space service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.
(3) The term “surviving spouse” means (except for purposes of chapter 19 of this title) a person of the opposite sex who was the spouse of a veteran at the time of the veteran’s death, and who lived with the veteran continuously from the date of marriage to the date of the veteran’s death (except where there was a separation which was due to the misconduct of, or procured by, the veteran without the fault of the spouse) and who has not remarried or (in cases not involving remarriage) has not since the death of the veteran, and after September 19, 1962, lived with another person and held himself or herself out openly to the public to be the spouse of such other person.
(4)
(A) The term “child” means (except for purposes of chapter 19 of this title (other than with respect to a child who is an insurable dependent under subparagraph (B) or (C) of section 1965(10) of such chapter) and section 8502(b) of this title) a person who is unmarried and—
(i) who is under the age of eighteen years;
(ii) who, before attaining the age of eighteen years, became permanently incapable of self-support; or
(iii) who, after attaining the age of eighteen years and until completion of education or training (but not after attaining the age of twenty-three years), is pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution;
and who is a legitimate child, a legally adopted child, a stepchild who is a member of a veteran’s household or was a member at the time of the veteran’s death, or an illegitimate child but, as to the alleged father, only if acknowledged in writing signed by him, or if he has been judicially ordered to contribute to the child’s support or has been, before his death, judicially decreed to be the father of such child, or if he is otherwise shown by evidence satisfactory to the Secretary to be the father of such child. A person shall be deemed, as of the date of death of a veteran, to be the legally adopted child of such veteran if such person was at the time of the veteran’s death living in the veteran’s household and was legally adopted by the veteran’s surviving spouse before August 26, 1961, or within two years after the veteran’s death; however, this sentence shall not apply if at the time of the veteran’s death, such person was receiving regular contributions toward the person’s support from some individual other than the veteran or the veteran’s spouse, or from any public or private
(B) For the purposes of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, in the case of an adoption under the laws of any jurisdiction other than a State (as defined in section 101(20) of this title and including the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands)—
(i) a person residing outside any of the States shall not be considered to be a legally adopted child of a veteran during the lifetime of such veteran (including for purposes of this subparagraph a Commonwealth Army veteran or new Philippine Scout, as defined in section 3566 of this title) unless such person—(I) was less than eighteen years of age at the time of adoption;(II) is receiving one-half or more of such person’s annual support from such veteran;(III) is not in the custody of such person’s natural parent, unless such natural parent is such veteran’s spouse; and(IV) is residing with such veteran (or in the case of divorce following adoption, with the divorced spouse who is also an adoptive or natural parent) except for periods during which such person is residing apart from such veteran (or such divorced spouse) for purposes of full-time attendance at an educational institution or during which such person or such veteran (or such divorced spouse) is confined in a hospital, nursing home, other health-care facility, or other institution; and
(ii) a person shall not be considered to have been a legally adopted child of a veteran as of the date of such veteran’s death and thereafter unless—(I) at any time within the one-year period immediately preceding such veteran’s death, such veteran was entitled to and was receiving a dependent’s allowance or similar monetary benefit under this title for such person; or(II) for a period of at least one year prior to such veteran’s death, such person met the requirements of clause (i) of this subparagraph.
(5) The term “parent” means (except for purposes of chapter 19 of this title) a father, a mother, a father through adoption, a mother through adoption, or an individual who for a period of not less than one year stood in the relationship of a parent to a veteran at any time before the veteran’s entry into active military, naval, air, or space service or if two persons stood in the relationship of a father or a mother for one year or more, the person who last stood in the relationship of father or mother before the veteran’s last entry into active military, naval, air, or space service.
(6) The term “Spanish-American War” (A) means the period beginning on April 21, 1898, and ending on July 4, 1902, (B) includes the Philippine Insurrection and the Boxer Rebellion, and (C) in the case of a veteran who served with the United States military forces engaged in hostilities in the Moro Province, means the period beginning on April 21, 1898, and ending on July 15, 1903.
(7) The term “World War I” (A) means the period beginning on April 6, 1917, and ending on November 11, 1918, and (B) in the case of a veteran who served with the United States military forces in Russia, means the period beginning on April 6, 1917, and ending on April 1, 1920.
(8) The term “World War II” means (except for purposes of chapters 31 and 37 of this title) the period beginning on December 7, 1941, and ending on December 31, 1946.
(9) The term “Korean conflict” means the period beginning on June 27, 1950, and ending on January 31, 1955.
(10) The term “Armed Forces” means the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard, including the reserve components thereof.
(11) The term “period of war” means the Spanish-American War, the Mexican border period, World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict, the Vietnam era, the Persian Gulf War, and the period beginning on the date of any future declaration of war by the Congress and ending on the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or concurrent resolution of the Congress.
(12) The term “veteran of any war” means any veteran who served in the active military, naval, air, or space service during a period of war.
(13) The term “compensation” means a monthly payment made by the Secretary to a veteran because of service-connected disability, or to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of a veteran because of the service-connected death of the veteran occurring before January 1, 1957.
(14) The term “dependency and indemnity compensation” means a monthly payment made by the Secretary to a surviving spouse, child, or parent (A) because of a service-connected death occurring after December 31, 1956, or (B) pursuant to the election of a surviving spouse, child, or parent, in the case of such a death occurring before January 1, 1957.
(15) The term “pension” means a monthly or other periodic payment made by the Secretary to a veteran because of service, age, or non-service-connected disability, or to a surviving spouse or child of a veteran because of the non-service-connected death of the veteran.
(16) The term “service-connected” means, with respect to disability or death, that such disability was incurred or aggravated, or that the death resulted from a disability incurred or aggravated, in line of duty in the active military, naval, air, or space service.
(17) The term “non-service-connected” means, with respect to disability or death, that such disability was not incurred or aggravated, or that the death did not result from a disability incurred or aggravated, in line of duty in the active military, naval, air, or space service.
(18) The term “discharge or release” includes (A) retirement from the active military, naval, air, or space service, and (B) the satisfactory completion of the period of active military, naval, air, or space service for which a person was obligated at the time of entry into such service in the case of a person who, due to enlistment or reenlistment, was not awarded a discharge or release from such period of service at the time of such completion thereof and who, at such time, would otherwise have been eligible for the award of a discharge or release under conditions other than dishonorable.
(19) The term “State home” means a home established by a State (other than a possession) or Indian tribe (as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304)) for veterans disabled by age, disease, or otherwise who by reason of such disability are incapable of earning a living. Such term also includes such a home which furnishes nursing home care for veterans.
(20) The term “State” means each of the several States, Territories, and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. For the purpose of section 2303 and chapters 34 and 35 of this title, such term also includes the Canal Zone.
(21) The term “active duty” means—
(A) full-time duty in the Armed Forces, other than active duty for training;
(B) full-time duty (other than for training purposes) as a commissioned officer of the Regular or Reserve Corps 1
1 See Change of Name note below.
of the Public Health Service (i) on or after July 29, 1945, or (ii) before that date under circumstances affording entitlement to “full military benefits” or (iii) at any time, for the purposes of chapter 13 of this title;
(C) full-time duty as a commissioned officer in the commissioned officer corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or its predecessor organization the Coast and Geodetic Survey (i) on or after July 29, 1945, or (ii) before that date (I) while on transfer to one of the Armed Forces, or (II) while, in time of war or national emergency declared by the President, assigned to duty on a project for one of the Armed Forces in an area determined by the Secretary of Defense to be of immediate military hazard, or (III) in the Philippine Islands on December 7, 1941, and continuously in such islands thereafter, or (iii) at any time, for the purposes of chapter 13 of this title;
(D) service as a cadet at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy, or as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy; and
(E) authorized travel to or from such duty or service.
(22) The term “active duty for training” means—
(A) full-time duty in the Armed Forces performed by Reserves for training purposes;
(B) full-time duty for training purposes performed as a commissioned officer of the Reserve Corps 1 of the Public Health Service (i) on or after July 29, 1945, or (ii) before that date under circumstances affording entitlement to “full military benefits”, or (iii) at any time, for the purposes of chapter 13 of this title;
(C) in the case of members of the Army National Guard or Air National Guard of any State, full-time duty under section 316, 502, 503, 504, or 505 of title 32, or the prior corresponding provisions of law;
(D) duty performed by a member of a Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program when ordered to such duty for the purpose of training or a practice cruise under chapter 103 of title 10 for a period of not less than four weeks and which must be completed by the member before the member is commissioned; and
(E) authorized travel to or from such duty.
The term does not include duty performed as a temporary member of the Coast Guard Reserve.
(23) The term “inactive duty training” means—
(A) duty (other than full-time duty) prescribed for Reserves (including commissioned officers of the Reserve Corps 1 of the Public Health Service), or for members of the Space Force in a space force active status (as defined in section 101(e)(1) of title 10), by the Secretary concerned under section 206 of title 37 or any other provision of law;
(B) special additional duties authorized for Reserves (including commissioned officers of the Reserve Corps 1 of the Public Health Service), or for members of the Space Force in a space force active status (as defined in section 101(e)(1) of title 10), by an authority designated by the Secretary concerned and performed by them on a voluntary basis in connection with the prescribed training or maintenance activities of the units to which they are assigned; and
(C) training (other than active duty for training) by a member of, or applicant for membership (as defined in section 8140(g) of title 5) in, the Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps prescribed under chapter 103 of title 10.
In the case of a member of the Army National Guard or Air National Guard of any State, such term means duty (other than full-time duty) under sections 316, 502, 503, 504, or 505 of title 32, or the prior corresponding provisions of law. Such term does not include (i) work or study performed in connection with correspondence courses, (ii) attendance at an educational institution in an inactive status, or (iii) duty performed as a temporary member of the Coast Guard Reserve.
(24) The term “active military, naval, air, or space service” includes—
(A) active duty;
(B) any period of active duty for training during which the individual concerned was disabled or died from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated in line of duty; and
(C) any period of inactive duty training during which the individual concerned was disabled or died—
(i) from an injury incurred or aggravated in line of duty; or
(ii) from an acute myocardial infarction, a cardiac arrest, or a cerebrovascular accident occurring during such training.
(25) The term “Secretary concerned” means—
(A) the Secretary of the Army, with respect to matters concerning the Army;
(B) the Secretary of the Navy, with respect to matters concerning the Navy or the Marine Corps;
(C) the Secretary of the Air Force, with respect to matters concerning the Air Force or the Space Force;
(D) the Secretary of Homeland Security, with respect to matters concerning the Coast Guard;
(E) the Secretary of Health and Human Services, with respect to matters concerning the Public Health Service; and
(F) the Secretary of Commerce, with respect to matters concerning the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or its predecessor organization the Coast and Geodetic Survey.
(26) The term “Reserve” means a member of a reserve component of one of the Armed Forces.
(27) The term “reserve component” means, with respect to the Armed Forces—
(A) the Army Reserve;
(B) the Navy Reserve;
(C) the Marine Corps Reserve;
(D) the Air Force Reserve;
(E) the Coast Guard Reserve;
(F) the Army National Guard of the United States; and
(G) the Air National Guard of the United States.
(28) The term “nursing home care” means the accommodation of convalescents or other persons who are not acutely ill and not in need of hospital care, but who require nursing care and related medical services, if such nursing care and medical services are prescribed by, or are performed under the general direction of, persons duly licensed to provide such care. Such term includes services furnished in skilled nursing care facilities, in intermediate care facilities, and in combined facilities. It does not include domiciliary care.
(29) The term “Vietnam era” means the following:
(A) The period beginning on November 1, 1955, and ending on May 7, 1975, in the case of a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period.
(B) The period beginning on August 5, 1964, and ending on May 7, 1975, in all other cases.
(30) The term “Mexican border period” means the period beginning on May 9, 1916, and ending on April 5, 1917, in the case of a veteran who during such period served in Mexico, on the borders thereof, or in the waters adjacent thereto.
(31) The term “spouse” means a person of the opposite sex who is a wife or husband.
(32) The term “former prisoner of war” means a person who, while serving in the active military, naval air, or space service, was forcibly detained or interned in line of duty—
(A) by an enemy government or its agents, or a hostile force, during a period of war; or
(B) by a foreign government or its agents, or a hostile force, under circumstances which the Secretary finds to have been comparable to the circumstances under which persons have generally been forcibly detained or interned by enemy governments during periods of war.
(33) The term “Persian Gulf War” means the period beginning on August 2, 1990, and ending on the date thereafter prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law.
(34) The term “agency of original jurisdiction” means the activity which entered the original determination with regard to a claim for benefits under laws administered by the Secretary.
(35) The term “relevant evidence” means evidence that tends to prove or disprove a matter in issue.
(36) The term “supplemental claim” means a claim for benefits under laws administered by the Secretary filed by a claimant who had previously filed a claim for the same or similar benefits on the same or similar basis.
(37) The term “toxic exposure” includes the following:
(A) A toxic exposure risk activity, as defined in section 1710(e)(4) of this title.
(B) An exposure to a substance, chemical, or airborne hazard identified in the list under section 1119(b)(2) of this title.
(38) The term “toxic-exposed veteran” means any veteran described in section 1710(e)(1) of this title.
(Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958,
§ 102. Dependent parents
(a) Dependency of a parent, which may arise before or after the death of a veteran, shall be determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary.
(b) Dependency of a parent shall not be denied (1) solely because of remarriage, or (2) in any case in any State where the monthly income for a mother or father does not exceed minimum levels which the Secretary shall prescribe by regulation, giving due regard to the marital status of the mother or father and additional members of the family whom the mother or father is under a moral or legal obligation to support.
(c) For the purposes of this section, in determining monthly income the Secretary shall not consider any payments under laws administered by the Secretary because of disability or death or payments of bonus or similar cash gratuity by any State based upon service in the Armed Forces.
(Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1109; Pub. L. 89–358, § 4(e), (f), Mar. 3, 1966, 80 Stat. 24; Pub. L. 92–540, title IV, § 408, Oct. 24, 1972, 86 Stat. 1092; Pub. L. 94–432, title IV, § 402, Sept. 30, 1976, 90 Stat. 1372; Pub. L. 99–576, title VII, § 701(1), Oct. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 3289; Pub. L. 102–54, § 14(a)(2), June 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 282; Pub. L. 102–83, § 4(a)(1), (b)(1), (2)(E), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 403–405.)
§ 103. Special provisions relating to marriages
(a) Whenever, in the consideration of any claim filed by a person as the widow or widower of a veteran for gratuitous death benefits under laws administered by the Secretary, it is established by evidence satisfactory to the Secretary that such person, without knowledge of any legal impediment, entered into a marriage with such veteran which, but for a legal impediment, would have been valid, and thereafter cohabited with the veteran for one year or more immediately before the veteran’s death, or for any period of time if a child was born of the purported marriage or was born to them before such marriage, the purported marriage shall be deemed to be a valid marriage, but only if no claim has been filed by a legal widow or widower of such veteran who is found to be entitled to such benefits. No duplicate payments shall be made by virtue of this subsection.
(b) Where a surviving spouse has been legally married to a veteran more than once, the date of original marriage will be used in determining whether the statutory requirement as to date of marriage has been met.
(c) In determining whether or not a person is or was the spouse of a veteran, their marriage shall be proven as valid for the purposes of all laws administered by the Secretary according to the law of the place where the parties resided at the time of the marriage or the law of the place where the parties resided when the right to benefits accrued.
(d)
(1) The remarriage of the surviving spouse of a veteran shall not bar the furnishing of benefits to such person as the surviving spouse of the veteran if the remarriage is void, or has been annulled by a court with basic authority to render annulment decrees unless the Secretary determines that the annulment was secured through fraud by either party or collusion.
(2)
(A) The remarriage of the surviving spouse of a veteran shall not bar the furnishing of benefits specified in paragraph (5) to such person as the surviving spouse of the veteran if the remarriage has been terminated by death or divorce unless the Secretary determines that the divorce was secured through fraud or collusion.
(B) The remarriage after age 57 of the surviving spouse of a veteran shall not bar the furnishing of benefits specified in paragraph (5) to such person as the surviving spouse of the veteran. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, the remarriage after age 55 of the surviving spouse of a veteran shall not bar the furnishing of benefits under chapter 13 or section 1781 of this title to such person as the surviving spouse of the veteran.
(3) If the surviving spouse of a veteran ceases living with another person and holding himself or herself out openly to the public as that person’s spouse, the bar to granting that person benefits as the surviving spouse of the veteran shall not apply in the case of the benefits specified in paragraph (5).
(4) The first month of eligibility for benefits for a surviving spouse by reason of paragraph (2)(A) or (3) shall be the month after—
(A) the month of the termination of such remarriage, in the case of a surviving spouse described in paragraph (2)(A); or
(B) the month of the cessation described in paragraph (3), in the case of a surviving spouse described in that paragraph.
(5) Paragraphs (2)(A) and (3) apply with respect to benefits under the following provisions of this title:
(A) Section 1311, relating to dependency and indemnity compensation.
(B) Section 1781, relating to medical care for survivors and dependents of certain veterans.
(C) Chapter 35, relating to educational assistance.
(D) Chapter 37, relating to housing loans.
(E) Section 1562(a)(2), relating to Medal of Honor special pension.
(e) The marriage of a child of a veteran shall not bar recognition of such child as the child of the veteran for benefit purposes if the marriage is void, or has been annulled by a court with basic authority to render annulment decrees unless the Secretary determines that the annulment was secured through fraud by either party or collusion.
(Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1109; Pub. L. 87–674, § 2, Sept. 19, 1962, 76 Stat. 558; Pub. L. 90–77, title I, § 101(b), Aug. 31, 1967, 81 Stat. 178; Pub. L. 91–376, § 4, Aug. 12, 1970, 84 Stat. 789; Pub. L. 93–527, § 9(a), Dec. 21, 1974, 88 Stat. 1705; Pub. L. 99–576, title VII, § 701(2), Oct. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 3290; Pub. L. 101–508, title VIII, § 8004(a), Nov. 5, 1990,
§ 104. Approval of educational institutions
(a) For the purpose of determining whether or not benefits are payable under this title (except chapter 35 of this title) for a child over the age of eighteen years and under the age of twenty-three years who is attending a school, college, academy, seminary, technical institute, university, or other educational institution, the Secretary may approve or disapprove such educational institutions.
(b) The Secretary may not approve an educational institution under this section unless such institution has agreed to report to the Secretary the termination of attendance of any child. If any educational institution fails to report any such termination promptly, the approval of the Secretary shall be withdrawn.
(Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1110; Pub. L. 91–24, § 1(c), June 11, 1969, 83 Stat. 33; Pub. L. 99–576, title VII, § 701(3), Oct. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 3290; Pub. L. 102–83, § 4(b)(1), (2)(E), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404, 405.)
§ 105. Line of duty and misconduct
(a) An injury or disease incurred during active military, naval, air, or space service will be deemed to have been incurred in line of duty and not the result of the veteran’s own misconduct when the person on whose account benefits are claimed was, at the time the injury was suffered or disease contracted, in active military, naval, air, or space service, whether on active duty or on authorized leave, unless such injury or disease was a result of the person’s own willful misconduct or abuse of alcohol or drugs. Venereal disease shall not be presumed to be due to willful misconduct if the person in service complies with the regulations of the appropriate service department requiring the person to report and receive treatment for such disease.
(b) The requirement for line of duty will not be met if it appears that at the time the injury was suffered or disease contracted the person on whose account benefits are claimed (1) was avoiding duty by deserting the service or by absenting himself or herself without leave materially interfering with the performance of military duties; (2) was confined under sentence of court-martial involving an unremitted dishonorable discharge; or (3) was confined under sentence of a civil court for a felony (as determined under the laws of the jurisdiction where the person was convicted by such court).
(c) For the purposes of any provision relating to the extension of a delimiting period under any education-benefit or rehabilitation program administered by the Secretary, the disabling effects of chronic alcoholism shall not be considered to be the result of willful misconduct.
(Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1110; Pub. L. 99–576, title VII, § 701(4), Oct. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 3290; Pub. L. 100–689, title I, § 109, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4170; Pub. L. 101–508, title VIII, § 8052(a)(1), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–351; Pub. L. 102–83, § 4(a)(1), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 403; Pub. L. 116–283, div. A, title IX, § 926(a)(2), Jan. 1, 2021, 134 Stat. 3829.)
§ 106. Certain service deemed to be active service
(a)
(1) Service as a member of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps for ninety days or more by any woman who before October 1, 1943, was honorably discharged for disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty which rendered her physically unfit to perform further service in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps or the Women’s Army Corps shall be considered active duty for the purposes of all laws administered by the Secretary.
(2) Any person entitled to compensation or pension by reason of this subsection and to employees’ compensation based upon the same service under subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 5 must elect which benefit she will receive.
(b) Any person—
(1) who has applied for enlistment or enrollment in the active military, naval, air, or space service and has been provisionally accepted and directed or ordered to report to a place for final acceptance into such service; or
(2) who has been selected or drafted for service in the Armed Forces and has reported pursuant to the call of the person’s local draft board and before rejection; or
(3) who has been called into the Federal service as a member of the National Guard, but has not been enrolled for the Federal service; and
who has suffered an injury or contracted a disease in line of duty while en route to or from, or at, a place for final acceptance or entry upon active duty, will, for the purposes of chapters 11, 13, 19, 21, 31, and 39 of this title, and for purposes of determining service-connection of a disability under chapter 17 of this title, be considered to have been on active duty and to have incurred such disability in the active military, naval, air, or space service.
(c) For the purposes of this title, an individual discharged or released from a period of active duty shall be deemed to have continued on active duty during the period of time immediately following the date of such discharge or release from such duty determined by the Secretary concerned to have been required for that individual to proceed to that individual’s home by the most direct route, and in any event that individual shall be deemed to have continued on active duty until midnight of the date of such discharge or release.
(d)
(1) For the purposes of this title, any individual—
(A) who, when authorized or required by competent authority, assumes an obligation to perform active duty for training or inactive duty training; and
(B) who is disabled or dies from an injury or covered disease incurred while proceeding directly to or returning directly from such active duty for training or inactive duty training, as the case may be;
shall be deemed to have been on active duty for training or inactive duty training, as the case may be, at the time such injury or covered disease was incurred.
(2) In determining whether or not such individual was so authorized or required to perform such duty, and whether or not such individual was disabled or died from injury or covered disease so incurred, the Secretary shall take into account the hour on which such individual began so to proceed or to return; the hour on which such individual was scheduled to arrive for, or on which such individual ceased to perform, such duty; the method of travel employed; the itinerary; the manner in which the travel was performed; and the immediate cause of disability or death.
(3) Whenever any claim is filed alleging that the claimant is entitled to benefits by reason of this subsection, the burden of proof shall be on the claimant.
(4) For purposes of this subsection, the term “covered disease” means any of the following:
(A) Acute myocardial infarction.
(B) A cardiac arrest.
(C) A cerebrovascular accident.
(e) Each person who has incurred a disability as a result of an injury or disease described in subsection (b) shall be entitled to the same rights, privileges, and benefits under title 5 as a preference eligible described in section 2108(3)(C) of title 5.
(f) Service as a member of the Alaska Territorial Guard during World War II of any individual who was honorably discharged therefrom under section 8147 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2001, shall be considered active duty for purposes of all laws administered by the Secretary.
(Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1110; Pub. L. 87–102, § 1, July 21, 1961, 75 Stat. 219; Pub. L. 88–616, Oct. 2, 1964, 78 Stat. 994; Pub. L. 89–311, § 5, Oct. 31, 1965, 79 Stat. 1156; Pub. L. 97–295, § 4(3), Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1305; Pub. L. 99–576, title VII, § 701(5), Oct. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 3291; Pub. L. 102–83, § 4(a)(1), (b)(1), (2)(E), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 403–405; Pub. L. 106–259, title VIII, § 8147(a), Aug. 9, 2000, 114 Stat. 705; Pub. L. 106–419, title III, § 301(b), Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1852; Pub. L. 116–283, div. A, title IX, § 926(a)(3), Jan. 1, 2021, 134 Stat. 3829.)
§ 107. Certain service deemed not to be active service
(a) Service 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 United States pursuant to the military order of the President dated July 26, 1941, including among such military forces organized guerrilla forces under commanders appointed, designated, or subsequently recognized by the Commander in Chief, Southwest Pacific Area, or other competent authority in the Army of the United States, shall not be deemed to have been active military, naval, or air service for the purposes of any law of the United States conferring rights, privileges, or benefits upon any person by reason of the service of such person or the service of any other person in the Armed Forces, except benefits under—
(1) contracts of National Service Life Insurance entered into before February 18, 1946;
(2) chapter 10 of title 37; and
(3) chapters 11, 13 (except section 1312(a)), 23, and 24 (to the extent provided for in section 2402(a)(8)) of this title.
Except as provided in subsection (c) or (d), payments under such chapters shall be made at a rate of $0.50 for each dollar authorized, and where annual income is a factor in entitlement to benefits, the dollar limitations in the law specifying such annual income shall apply at a rate of $0.50 for each dollar. Any payments made before February 18, 1946, to any such member under such laws conferring rights, benefits, or privileges shall not be deemed to have been invalid by reason of the circumstance that such member’s service was not service in the Armed Forces or any component thereof within the meaning of any such law.
(b) Service in the Philippine Scouts under section 14 of the Armed Forces Voluntary Recruitment Act of 1945 shall not be deemed to have been active military, naval, or air service for the purposes of any of the laws administered by the Secretary except—
(1) with respect to contracts of National Service Life Insurance entered into (A) before May 27, 1946, (B) under section 620 or 621 of the National Service Life Insurance Act of 1940, or (C) under section 1922 of this title; and
(2) chapters 11, 13 (except section 1312(a)), 23, and 24 (to the extent provided for in section 2402(a)(8)) of this title.
Except as provided in subsection (c) or (d), payments under such chapters shall be made at a rate of $0.50 for each dollar authorized, and where annual income is a factor in entitlement to benefits, the dollar limitations in the law specifying such annual income shall apply at a rate of $0.50 for each dollar.
(c) In the case of benefits under subchapters II and IV of chapter 11 of this title and subchapter II of chapter 13 (except section 1312(a)) of this title paid by reason of service described in subsection (a) or (b) to an individual residing in the United States who is a citizen of, or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in, the United States, the second sentence of the applicable subsection shall not apply.
(d)
(1) With respect to benefits under chapter 23 of this title, in the case of an individual described in paragraph (2), the second sentence of subsection (a) or (b), as otherwise applicable, shall not apply.
(2) Paragraph (1) applies to any individual whose service is described in subsection (a) and who dies after November 1, 2000, or whose service is described in subsection (b) and who dies after the date of the enactment of the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003, if the individual, on the individual’s date of death—
(A) is a citizen of, or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in, the United States;
(B) is residing in the United States; and
(C) either—
(i) is receiving compensation under chapter 11 of this title; or
(ii) if the individual’s service had been deemed to be active military, naval, or air service, would have been paid pension under section 1521 of this title without denial or discontinuance by reason of section 1522 of this title.
(Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1111; Pub. L. 87–268, § 1(b), Sept. 21, 1961, 75 Stat. 566; Pub. L. 89–641, § 2(a), Oct. 11, 1966, 80 Stat. 885; Pub. L. 97–295, § 4(4), Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1305; Pub. L. 99–576, title VII, § 701(6), Oct. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 3291; Pub. L. 102–83, §§ 4(a)(1), 5(c)(1), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 403, 406; Pub. L. 103–446, title V, § 507(a), Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4664; Pub. L. 106–377, § 1(a)(1) [title V, § 501(a)(1)], Oct. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 1441, 1441A–57; Pub. L. 106–419, title III, §§ 331(b), 332(a), Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1856; Pub. L. 107–14, § 8(a)(1), June 5, 2001, 115 Stat. 34; Pub. L. 107–330, title III, § 308(g)(2), Dec. 6, 2002, 116 Stat. 2828; Pub. L. 108–183, title II, §§ 211(a), 212(a), Dec. 16, 2003, 117 Stat. 2657; Pub. L. 111–275, title V, § 502(d)(1), Oct. 13, 2010, 124 Stat. 2882.)
§ 108. Seven-year absence presumption of death
(a) No State law providing for presumption of death shall be applicable to claims for benefits under laws administered by the Secretary.
(b) If evidence satisfactory to the Secretary is submitted establishing the continued and unexplained absence of any individual from that individual’s home and family for seven or more years, and establishing that after diligent search no evidence of that individual’s existence after the date of disappearance has been found or received, the death of such individual as of the date of the expiration of such period shall be considered as sufficiently proved.
(c) Except in a suit brought pursuant to section 1984 of this title, the finding of death made by the Secretary shall be final and conclusive.
(Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1112; Pub. L. 99–576, title VII, § 701(7), Oct. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 3291; Pub. L. 102–83, §§ 4(a)(1), (b)(1), (2)(E), 5(c)(1), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 403–406.)
§ 109. Benefits for discharged members of allied forces
(a)
(1) In consideration of reciprocal services extended to the United States, the Secretary, upon request of the proper officials of the government of any nation allied or associated with the United States in World War I (except any nation which was an enemy of the United States during World War II), or in World War II, may furnish to discharged members of the armed f
(2) The Secretary, in carrying out the provisions of this subsection, may contract for necessary services in private, State, and other Government hospitals.
(3) All amounts received by the Department as reimbursement for such services shall be credited to the current appropriation of the Department from which expenditures were made under this subsection.
(b) Persons who served in the active service in the armed forces of any government allied with the United States in World War II and who at time of entrance into such active service were citizens of the United States shall, by virtue of such service, and if otherwise qualified, be entitled to the benefits of chapters 31 and 37 of this title in the same manner and to the same extent as veterans of World War II are entitled. No such benefit shall be extended to any person who is not a resident of the United States at the time of filing claim, or to any person who has applied for and received the same or any similar benefit from the government in whose armed forces such person served.
(c)
(1) Any person who served during World War I or World War II as a member of any armed force of the Government of Czechoslovakia or Poland and participated while so serving in armed conflict with an enemy of the United States and has been a citizen of the United States for at least ten years shall, by virtue of such service, and upon satisfactory evidence thereof, be entitled to hospital and domiciliary care and medical services within the United States under chapter 17 of this title to the same extent as if such service had been performed in the Armed Forces of the United States unless such person is entitled to, or would, upon application thereof, be entitled to, payment for equivalent care and services under a program established by the foreign government concerned for persons who served in its armed forces in World War I or World War II.
(2) In order to assist the Secretary in making a determination of proper service eligibility under this subsection, each applicant for the benefits thereof shall furnish an authenticated certification from the French Ministry of Defense or the British War Office as to records in either such Office which clearly indicate military service of the applicant in the Czechoslovakian or Polish armed forces and subsequent service in or with the armed forces of France or Great Britain during the period of World War I or World War II.
(d)
(1) Any person described in paragraph (2) is eligible for the benefits specified in subsection (a) to the same extent and under the same conditions (including with respect to applicable reciprocity requirements) as a discharged member of the armed forces of a government specified in such subsection who is eligible for such benefits under such subsection.
(2) A person described in this paragraph is a person whom the Secretary determines served in Vietnam as a member of the armed forces of the Republic of Korea at any time during the period beginning on January 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975, or such other period as determined appropriate by the Secretary for purposes of this subsection.
(Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1112; Pub. L. 94–491, Oct. 14, 1976, 90 Stat. 2363; Pub. L. 99–576, title VII, § 701(8), Oct. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 3291; Pub. L. 102–83, § 4(a)(3), (4), (b)(1), (2)(E), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404, 405; Pub. L. 118–20, § 2, Nov. 13, 2023, 137 Stat. 108.)
§ 110. Preservation of disability ratings

A rating of total disability or permanent total disability which has been made for compensation, pension, or insurance purposes under laws administered by the Secretary, and which has been continuously in force for twenty or more years, shall not be reduced thereafter, except upon a showing that such rating was based on fraud. A disability which has been continuously rated at or above evaluation for twenty or more years for compensation purposes under laws administered by the Secretary shall not thereafter be rated at less than such evaluation, except upon a showing that such rating was based on fraud. The mentioned period shall be computed from the date determined by the Secretary as the date on which the status commenced for rating purposes.

(Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1113; Pub. L. 87–825, § 6, Oct. 15, 1962, 76 Stat. 950; Pub. L. 88–445, § 1(a), (b), Aug. 19, 1964, 78 Stat. 464; Pub. L. 91–32, June 23, 1969, 83 Stat. 38; Pub. L. 102–83, § 4(a)(1), (b)(1), (2)(E), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 403–405.)
§ 111. Payments or allowances for beneficiary travel
(a) Under regulations prescribed by the President pursuant to the provisions of this section, the Secretary may pay the actual necessary expense of travel (including lodging and subsistence), or in lieu thereof an allowance based upon mileage (at a rate of 41.5 cents per mile), of any person to or from a Department facility or other place in connection with vocational rehabilitation, counseling required by the Secretary pursuant to chapter 34 or 35 of this title, or for the purpose of examination, treatment, or care. Actual necessary expense of travel includes the reasonable costs of airfare if travel by air is the only practical way to reach a Department facility. In addition to the mileage allowance authorized by this section, there may be allowed reimbursement for the actual cost of ferry fares, and bridge, road, and tunnel tolls.
(b)
(1) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section and notwithstanding subsection (g)(2) of this section or any other provision of law, if, with respect to any fiscal year, the Secretary exercises the authority under this section to make any payments, the Secretary shall make the payments provided for in this section to or for the following persons for travel during such fiscal year for examination, treatment, or care for which the person is eligible:
(A) A veteran or other person whose travel is in connection with treatment or care for a service-connected disability.
(B) A veteran with a service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more.
(C) A veteran receiving pension under section 1521 of this title.
(D) A veteran (i) who is not traveling by air and whose annual income (as determined under section 1503 of this title) does not exceed the maximum annual rate of pension which would be payable to such veteran if such veteran were eligible for pension under section 1521 of this title, or (ii) who is determined, under regulations prescribed by the Secretary, to be unable to defray the expenses of the travel for which payment under this section is claimed.
(E) Subject to paragraph (3) of this subsection, a veteran or other person whose travel to or from a Department facility is medically required to be performed by a special mode of travel and who is determined under such regulations to be unable to defray the expenses of the travel for which payment under this section is claimed.
(F) A veteran whose travel to a Department facility is incident to a scheduled compensation and pension examination.
(G) A veteran with vision impairment, a veteran with a spinal cord injury or disorder, or a veteran with double or multiple amputations whose travel is in connection with care provided through a special disabilities rehabilitation program of the Department (including programs provided by spinal cord injury centers, blind rehabilitation centers, and prosthetics rehabilitation centers) if such care is provided—
(i) on an in-patient basis; or
(ii) during a period in which the Secretary provides the veteran with temporary lodging at a facility of the Department to make such care more accessible to the veteran.
(2) The Secretary may make payments provided for in this section to or for any person not covered by paragraph (1) of this subsection for travel by such person for examination, treatment, or care. Such payments shall be made in accordance with regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe.
(3)
(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, the Secretary shall not make payments under this section for travel performed by a special mode of travel unless (i) the travel by such mode is medically required and is authorized by the Secretary before the travel begins, or (ii) the travel by such mode is in connection with a medical emergency of such a nature that the delay incident to obtaining authorization from the Secretary to use that mode of travel would have been hazardous to the person’s life or health.
(B) In the case of travel by a person to or from a Department facility by special mode of travel, the Secretary may provide payment under this section to the provider of the transportation by special mode before determining the eligibility of such person for such payment if the Secretary determines that providing such payment is in the best interest of furnishing care and services. Such a payment shall be made subject to subsequently recovering from such person the amount of the payment if such person is determined to have been ineligible for payment for such travel.
(C) In the case of transportation of a person to or from a Department facility by ambulance, the Secretary may pay the provider of the transportation the lesser of the actual charge for the transportation or the amount determined by the fee schedule established under section 1834(l) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395m(l)) unless the Secretary has entered into a contract for that transportation with the provider.
(4) In determining for purposes of subsection (a) whether travel by air is the only practical way for a veteran to reach a Department facility, the Secretary shall consider the medical condition of the veteran and any other impediments to the use of ground transportation by the veteran.
(c)
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the Secretary, in making a payment under this section to or for a person described in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (D) of subsection (b)(1) of this section for travel for examination, treatment, or care, shall deduct from the amount otherwise payable an amount equal to $3 for each one-way trip.
(2) In the case of a person who is determined by the Secretary to be a person who is required to make six or more one-way trips for needed examination, treatment, or care during the remainder of the calendar month in which the determination is made or during any subsequent calendar month during the one-year period following the last day of the month in which the determination is made, the amount deducted by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection from payments for trips made to or from such facility during any such month shall not exceed $18.
(3) No deduction shall be made pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection in the case of a person whose travel to or from a Department facility is performed by a special mode of travel for which payment under this section is authorized under subsection (b)(3) of this section.
(4) The Secretary may waive the deduction requirement of paragraph (1) of this subsection in the case of the travel of any veteran for whom the imposition of the deduction would cause severe financial hardship. The Secretary shall prescribe in regulations the conditions under which a finding of severe financial hardship is warranted for purposes of this paragraph.
(d) Payment of the following expenses or allowances in connection with vocational rehabilitation, counseling, or upon termination of examination, treatment, or care, may be made before the completion of travel:
(1) The mileage allowance authorized by subsection (a) of this section.
(2) Actual local travel expenses.
(3) The expense of hiring an automobile or ambulance, or the fee authorized for the services of a nonemployee attendant.
(e)
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), when any person entitled to mileage under this section requires an attendant (other than an employee of the Department) in order to perform such travel, the attendant may be allowed expenses of travel upon the same basis as such person.
(2)
(A) Without regard to whether an eligible veteran entitled to mileage under this section for travel to a Department facility for the purpose of medical examination, treatment, or care requires an attendant in order to perform such travel, an attendant of such veteran described in subparagraph (B) may be allowed expenses of travel (including lodging and subsistence) upon the same basis as such veteran during—
(i) the period of time in which such veteran is traveling to and from a Department facility for the purpose of medical examination, treatment, or care; and
(ii) the duration of the medical examination, treatment, or care episode for such veteran.
(B) An attendant of a veteran described in this subparagraph is a provider of personal care services for such veteran who is approved under paragraph (6) of section 1720G(a) of this title or designated under paragraph (7) of such section 1720G(a).
(C) The Secretary may prescribe regulations to carry out this paragraph. Such regulations may include provisions—
(i) to limit the number of attendants that may receive expenses of travel under this paragraph for a single medical examination, treatment, or care episode of an eligible veteran; and
(ii) to require such attendants to use certain travel services.
(D) In this subsection, the term “eligible veteran” has the meaning given that term in section 1720G(a)(2) of this title.
(f) The Secretary may provide for the purchase of printed reduced-fare requests for use by veterans and their authorized attendants when traveling at their own expense to or from any Department facility.
(g)
(1) Beginning one year after the date of the enactment of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, the Secretary may adjust the mileage rate described in subsection (a) to be equal to the mileage reimbursement rate for the use of privately owned vehicles by Government employees on official business (when a Government vehicle is available), as prescribed by the Administrator of General Services under section 5707(b) of title 5.
(2) If an adjustment in the mileage rate under paragraph (1) results in a lower mileage rate than the mileage rate otherwise specified in subsection (a), the Secretary shall, not later than 60 days before the date of the implementation of the mileage rate as so adjusted, submit to Congress a written report setting forth the adjustment in the mileage rate under this subsection, together with a justification for the decision to make the adjustment in the mileage rate under this subsection.
(h)
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may make payments to or for any person traveling in, to, or from the Freely Associated States for receipt of care or services authorized to be legally provided by the Secretary in the Freely Associated States under section 1724(f)(1) of this title.
(2)
(3) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to carry out this subsection.
(4) In this subsection, the term “Freely Associated States” means—
(A) the Federated States of Micronesia, during such time as it is a party to the Compact of Free Association set forth in section 201 of the Compact of Free Association Act of 1985 (Public Law 99–239; 48 U.S.C. 1901 note);
(B) the Republic of the Marshall Islands, during such time as it is a party to the Compact of Free Association set forth in section 201 of the Compact of Free Association Act of 1985 (Public Law 99–239; 48 U.S.C. 1901 note); and
(C) the Republic of Palau, during such time as it is a party to the Compact of Free Association between the United States and the Government of Palau set forth in section 201 of Joint Resolution entitled “Joint Resolution to approve the ‘Compact of Free Association’ between the United States and the Government of Palau, and for other purposes” (Public Law 99–658; 48 U.S.C. 1931 note).
(Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1113; Pub. L. 86–590, July 5, 1960, 74 Stat. 329; Pub. L. 89–358, § 4(g), Mar. 3, 1966, 80 Stat. 24; Pub. L. 89–455, June 18, 1966, 80 Stat. 208; Pub. L. 94–581, title I, § 101, Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2842; Pub. L. 96–151, title II, § 201(a), Dec. 20, 1979, 93 Stat. 1093; Pub. L. 97–295, § 4(5), Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1305; Pub. L. 100–322, title I, § 108(a), (b)(1), (c)–(e)(1), May 20, 1988, 102 Stat. 496–498; Pub. L. 102–83, §§ 4(a)(3), (4), (6), (b)(1), (2)(E), 5(c)(1), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404–406; Pub. L. 103–446, title XII, § 1201(e)(1), Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4685; Pub. L. 110–387, title IV, § 401(a)(1), (b), Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4122; Pub. L. 111–163, title I, § 104, title III, § 305(a)–(d), May 5, 2010, 124 Stat. 1140, 1151, 1152; Pub. L. 112–56, title II, § 263, Nov. 21, 2011, 125 Stat. 732; Pub. L. 112–154, title VII, § 704, Aug. 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 1206; Pub. L. 112–260, title II, § 202(b)(1)–(3), Jan. 10, 2013, 126 Stat. 2424; Pub. L. 114–58, title VI, § 601(1), Sept. 30, 2015, 129 Stat. 538; Pub. L. 114–223, div. A, title II, § 250(a), Sept. 29, 2016, 130 Stat. 892; Pub. L. 118–42, div. G, title II, § 209(a)(3), Mar. 9, 2024, 138 Stat. 439.)
§ 111A. Transportation of individuals to and from Department facilities
(a)Transportation by Secretary.—
(1) The Secretary may transport any person to or from a Department facility or other place in connection with vocational rehabilitation, counseling required by the Secretary pursuant to chapter 34 or 35 of this title, or for the purpose of examination, treatment, or care.
(2) The authority granted by paragraph (1) shall expire on September 30, 2024.
(b)Transportation by Third-parties.—
(1) The Secretary, in consultation and coordination with the Secretary of Transportation and appropriate representatives of veterans’ service organizations, shall take all appropriate steps to facilitate the establishment and maintenance of a program under which such organizations, or individuals who are volunteering their services to the Department, would take responsibility for the transportation, without reimbursement from the Department, to Department facilities of veterans (primarily those residing in areas which are geographically accessible to such facilities) who seek services or benefits from the Department under chapter 17 or other provisions of this title.
(2)
(A) Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020, the Secretary shall develop and establish a national protocol for the administration of medical examinations for volunteer drivers to participate in the program described in paragraph (1).
(B) In developing the protocol required by subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consult with such persons as the Secretary determines have an interest in the program described in paragraph (1).
(C)
(i) The Secretary shall implement the protocol by first conducting a one-year pilot program using the protocol.
(ii) After conducting the pilot program required by clause (i), the Secretary shall assess the pilot program and make such changes to the protocol as the Secretary considers appropriate.
(iii) After making changes to the protocol under clause (ii), the Secretary shall implement the protocol in phases during the course of one year.
(Added and amended Pub. L. 112–260, title II, § 202(a), (b), Jan. 10, 2013, 126 Stat. 2423, 2424; Pub. L. 113–59, § 6, Dec. 20, 2013, 127 Stat. 662; Pub. L. 113–175, title IV, § 401, Sept. 26, 2014, 128 Stat. 1905; Pub. L. 114–58, title IV, § 401, Sept. 30, 2015, 129 Stat. 534; Pub. L. 114–228, title IV, § 401, Sept. 29, 2016, 130 Stat. 939; Pub. L. 115–62, title IV, § 401, Sept. 29, 2017, 131 Stat. 1164; Pub. L. 115–251, title I, § 161, Sept. 29, 2018, 132 Stat. 3171; Pub. L. 116–159, div. E, title II, § 5204, Oct. 1, 2020, 134 Stat. 750; Pub. L. 116–315, title VII, § 7001, Jan. 5, 2021, 134 Stat. 5054; Pub. L. 117–180, div. E, title II, § 201, Sept. 30, 2022, 136 Stat. 2137.)
§ 112. Presidential memorial certificate program
(a) At the request of the President the Secretary may conduct a program for honoring the memory of deceased persons eligible for burial in a national cemetery by reason of any of paragraphs (1), (2), (3), or (7) of section 2402(a) of this title, by preparing and sending to eligible recipients a certificate bearing the signature of the President and expressing the country’s grateful recognition of the deceased individual’s service in the Armed Forces. The award of a certificate to one eligible recipient will not preclude authorization of another certificate if a request is received from some other eligible recipient.
(b) For the purpose of this section an “eligible recipient” means the next of kin, a relative or friend upon request, or an authorized service representative acting on behalf of such relative or friend.
(c) A certificate may not be furnished under the program under subsection (a) on behalf of a deceased person described in section 2411(b) of this title.
(Added Pub. L. 89–88, § 1(a), July 24, 1965, 79 Stat. 264; amended Pub. L. 102–83, § 4(b)(1), (2)(E), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404, 405; Pub. L. 107–330, title II, § 201(a), Dec. 6, 2002, 116 Stat. 2823; Pub. L. 112–154, title VI, § 603, Aug. 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 1201; Pub. L. 114–315, title III, § 302(a), Dec. 16, 2016, 130 Stat. 1551.)
§ 113. Treatment of certain programs under sequestration procedures
(a) The following programs shall be exempt from sequestration or reduction under part C of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 901 et seq.) or any other sequestration law and shall not be included in any report specifying reductions in Federal spending:
(1) Benefits under chapter 21 of this title, relating to specially adapted housing and mortgage-protection life insurance for certain veterans with service-connected disabilities.
(2) Benefits under section 2307 of this title, relating to burial benefits for veterans who die as the result of a service-connected disability.
(3) Benefits under chapter 39 of this title, relating to automobiles and adaptive equipment for certain disabled veterans and members of the Armed Forces.
(4) Assistance and services under chapter 31 of this title, relating to training and rehabilitation for certain veterans with service-connected disabilities.
(5) Benefits under chapter 35 of this title, relating to educational assistance for survivors and dependents of certain veterans with service-connected disabilities.
(6) Benefits under subchapters I, II, and III of chapter 37 of this title, relating to housing loans for certain veterans and for the spouses and surviving spouses of certain veterans.
(b) The following accounts of the Department shall be exempt from sequestration or reduction under part C of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 901 et seq.) or any other sequestration law and shall not be included in any report specifying reductions in Federal spending:
(1) The following life insurance accounts:
(A) The National Service Life Insurance Fund authorized by section 1920 of this title.
(B) The Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance Fund authorized by section 1922 of this title.
(C) The Veterans Special Life Insurance Fund authorized by section 1923 of this title.
(D) The Veterans Reopened Insurance Fund authorized by section 1925 of this title.
(E) The United States Government Life Insurance Fund authorized by section 1955 of this title.
(F) The Veterans Insurance and Indemnity appropriation authorized by section 1919 of this title.
(2) The following revolving fund accounts:
(A) The Department of Veterans Affairs Special Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Activities Fund established by section 1718(c) of this title.
(B) The Veterans’ Canteen Service revolving fund authorized by section 7804 of this title.
(c)
(1) A benefit under section 2301, 2303, 2306, or 2308 of this title that is subject to reduction under a sequestration order or sequestration law shall be paid in accordance with the rates determined under the sequestration order or law (if any) in effect on the date of the death of the veteran concerned.
(2) A benefit paid to, or on behalf of, an eligible veteran for pursuit of a program of education or training under chapter 30, 31, 34, 35, or 36 of this title that is subject to a sequestration order or a sequestration law shall be paid in accordance with the rates determined under the sequestration order or law (if any) in effect during the period of education or training for which the benefit is paid.
(3) In implementation of a sequestration order or law with respect to each account from which a benefit described in paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection is paid (including the making of determinations of the amounts by which such benefits are to be reduced), the total of the amounts (as estimated by the Secretary after consultation with the Director of the Congressional Budget Office) by which payments of such benefit will be reduced by reason of such paragraph after the last day of the period during which such order or law is in effect shall be deemed to be additional reductions in the payments of such benefit made, and in new budget authority for such payments, during such period.
(d) In computing the amount of new budget authority by which a budget account of the Department is to be reduced for a fiscal year under a report of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, or under an order of the President under part C of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, the base from which the amount of the reduction for such account is determined shall be established without regard to any amount of new budget authority in such account (determined under section 251(a)(6) 1
1 See References in Text note below.
of such Act) for any of the programs listed in subsection (a) of this section.
(e) This section applies without regard to any other provision of law (whether enacted before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this section) unless such Act expressly provides that it is enacted as a limitation to this section.
(f) For the purposes of this section:
(1) The term “sequestration” means a reduction in spending authority and loan guarantee commitments generally throughout the Government under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 901 et seq.) or any other law.
(2) The term “sequestration law” means a law enacted with respect to a sequestration under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 901 et seq.) or any other law (under the procedures specified in that Act or otherwise).
(3) The term “sequestration order” means an order of the President issued under part C of such Act.
(Added Pub. L. 99–576, title VI, § 601(a)(1), Oct. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 3287; amended Pub. L. 100–198, § 12(a), Dec. 21, 1987, 101 Stat. 1325; Pub. L. 100–322, title IV, § 411(b), (c), May 20, 1988, 102 Stat. 547; Pub. L. 102–40, title IV, § 402(d)(1), May 7, 1991, 105 Stat. 239; Pub. L. 102–83, §§ 4(a)(2)(B)(i), (3), (4), (b)(1), (2)(E), 5(c)(1), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 403–406; Pub. L. 116–315, title II, § 2202(b)(1)(D), Jan. 5, 2021, 134 Stat. 4985.)
§ 114. Multiyear procurement
(a) The Secretary may enter into a multiyear contract for the procurement of supplies or services if the Secretary makes each of the following determinations:
(1) Appropriations are available for obligations that are necessary for total payments that would be required during the fiscal year in which the contract is entered into, plus the estimated amount of any cancellation charge payable under the contract.
(2) The contract is in the best interest of the United States by reason of the effect that use of a multiyear, rather than one-year, contract would have in—
(A) reducing costs;
(B) achieving economies in contract administration or in any other Department activities;
(C) increasing quality of performance by or service from the contractors; or
(D) encouraging effective competition.
(3) During the proposed contract period—
(A) there will be a continuing or recurring need for the supplies or services being procured;
(B) there is not a substantial likelihood of substantial changes in the need for such supplies or services in terms of the total quantity of such supplies or services or of the rate of delivery of such supplies or services; and
(C) the specifications for the supplies or services are expected to be reasonably stable.
(4) The risks relating to the prospective contractor’s ability to perform in accordance with the specifications and other terms of the contract are not excessive.
(5) The use of a multiyear contract will not inhibit small business concerns in competing for the contract.
(6) In the case of the procurement of a pharmaceutical item for which a patent has expired less than four years before the date on which the solicitation of offers is issued, there is no substantial likelihood that increased competition among potential contractors would occur during the term of the contract as the result of the availability of generic equivalents increasing during the term of the contract.
(b)
(1) A multiyear contract authorized by this section shall contain—
(A) a provision that the obligation of the United States under the contract during any fiscal year which is included in the contract period and is subsequent to the fiscal year during which the contract is entered into is contingent on the availability of sufficient appropriations (as determined by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (2)(A) of this subsection) if, at the time the contract is entered into, appropriations are not available to cover the total estimated payments that will be required during the full term of the contract; and
(B) notwithstanding section 1502(a) of title 31, a provision for the payment of reasonable cancellation charges to compensate the contractor for nonrecurring, unrecovered costs, if any, if the performance is cancelled pursuant to the provision required by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.
(2)
(A) If, during a fiscal year after the fiscal year during which a multiyear contract is entered into under this section, the Secretary determines that, in light of other funding needs involved in the operation of Department programs, the amount of funds appropriated for such subsequent fiscal year is not sufficient for such contract, the Secretary shall cancel such contract pursuant to the provisions required by paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection.
(B) Cancellation charges under a multiyear contract shall be paid from the appropriated funds which were originally available for performance of the contract or the payment of cancellation costs unless such funds are not available in an amount sufficient to pay the entire amount of the cancellation charges payable under the contract. In a case in which such funds are not available in such amount, funds available for the procurement of supplies and services for use for the same purposes as the supplies or services procured through such contract shall be used to the extent necessary to pay such cost.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to restrict the Secretary’s exercise of the right to terminate for convenience a contract under any other provision of law which authorizes multiyear contracting.
(d) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations for the implementation of this section.
(e) For the purposes of this section:
(1) The term “appropriations” has the meaning given that term in section 1511 of title 31.
(2) The term “multiyear contract” means a contract which by its terms is to remain in effect for a period which extends beyond the end of the fiscal year during which the contract is entered into but not beyond the end of the fourth fiscal year following such fiscal year. Such term does not include a contract for construction or for a lease of real property.
(3) The term “nonrecurring, unrecovered costs” means those costs reasonably incurred by the contractor in performing a multiyear contract which (as determined under regulations prescribed under subsection (d) of this section) are generally incurred on a one-time basis.
(Added Pub. L. 100–322, title IV, § 404(a), May 20, 1988, 102 Stat. 545; amended Pub. L. 101–237, title VI, § 601(a), (b)(1), Dec. 18, 1989, 103 Stat. 2094; Pub. L. 102–83, § 4(a)(3), (4), (b)(1), (2)(E), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404, 405.)
§ 115. Acquisition of real property
For the purposes of sections 314, 315, 316, and 2406 of this title and subchapter I of chapter 81 of this title, the Secretary may acquire and use real property—
(1) before title to the property is approved under section 3111 of title 40; and
(2) even though the property will be held in other than a fee simple interest in a case in which the Secretary determines that the interest to be acquired is sufficient for the purposes of the intended use.
(Added Pub. L. 102–86, title IV, § 402(a), Aug. 14, 1991, 105 Stat. 422; amended Pub. L. 102–83, § 5(c)(1), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 406; Pub. L. 103–446, title XII, § 1201(d)(1), Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4684; Pub. L. 107–217, § 3(j)(1), Aug. 21, 2002, 116 Stat. 1300.)
§ 116. Reports to Congress: cost information
Whenever the Secretary submits to Congress, or any committee of Congress, a report that is required by law or by a joint explanatory statement of a committee of conference of the Congress, the Secretary shall include with the report—
(1) a statement of the cost of preparing the report; and
(2) a brief explanation of the methodology used in preparing that cost statement.
(Added Pub. L. 106–419, title IV, § 403(d)(1)(A), Nov. 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 1864.)
§ 117. Advance appropriations for certain accounts
(a)In General.—For each fiscal year, new budget authority provided in an appropriations Act for the covered accounts of the Department shall—
(1) be made available for that fiscal year; and
(2) include, for each such account, advance new budget authority that first becomes available for the first fiscal year after the budget year.
(b)Estimates Required.—The Secretary shall include in documents submitted to Congress in support of the President’s budget submitted pursuant to section 1105 of title 31, United States Code, detailed estimates of the funds necessary for the covered accounts of the Department for the fiscal year following the fiscal year for which the budget is submitted.
(c)Covered Accounts of the Department.—For purposes of this section, the term “covered accounts of the Department” means the following accounts of the Department of Veterans Affairs account:
(1) Veterans Benefits Administration, Compensation and Pensions.
(2) Veterans Benefits Administration, Readjustment Benefits.
(3) Veterans Benefits Administration, Veterans Insurance and Indemnities.
(4) Veterans Health Administration, Medical Services.
(5) Veterans Health Administration, Medical Support and Compliance.
(6) Veterans Health Administration, Medical Facilities.
(7) Veterans Health Administration, Medical Community Care.
(d)Annual Report.—Not later than July 31 of each year, the Secretary shall submit to Congress an annual report on the sufficiency of the Department’s resources for the next fiscal year beginning after the date of the submittal of the report for the provision of medical care. Such report shall also include estimates of the workload and demand data for that fiscal year.
(Added Pub. L. 111–81, § 3(a), Oct. 22, 2009, 123 Stat. 2137; amended Pub. L. 113–235, div. I, title II, § 244(a), Dec. 16, 2014, 128 Stat. 2568; Pub. L. 114–315, title VI, § 601(a), Dec. 16, 2016, 130 Stat. 1569.)
§ 118. Submission of reports to Congress in electronic form
(a)In General.—Whenever the Secretary or any other official of the Department is required by law to submit to Congress (or any committee of either chamber of Congress) a report, the Secretary or other official shall submit to Congress (or such committee) a copy of the report in an electronic format.
(b)Treatment.—The submission of a copy of a report in accordance with this section shall be treated as meeting any requirement of law to submit such report to Congress (or any committee of either chamber of Congress).
(c)Report Defined.—For purposes of this section, the term “report” includes any certification, notification, or other communication in writing.
(Added Pub. L. 111–163, title X, § 1003(a), May 5, 2010, 124 Stat. 1182.)
§ 119. Contracting for statistical analyses and data evaluation
(a)In General.—The Secretary may enter into a contract or other agreement with an academic institution or other qualified entity, as determined by the Secretary, to carry out statistical analyses and data evaluation as required of the Secretary by law.”.1
1 So in original. The quotation marks and second period probably should not appear.
(b)Rule of Construction.—Nothing in this section may be construed to limit the authority of the Secretary to enter into contracts or other agreements for statistical analyses and data evaluation under any other provision of law.
(Added Pub. L. 116–171, title III, § 306(a), Oct. 17, 2020, 134 Stat. 805.)