JFKWHP-AR6411-A: President Kennedy Visits with Representatives of the Veterans of World War I, 9 March 1961

1961

Home Loans
H.R. 5723 Public Law 87-84, approved July 6, 1961
Extended the direct and guaranteed home loan programs for World War II veterans to July 26, 1967, and for Korean conflict veterans to February 1, 1975; authorized an additional $1.2 billion for direct loan program through fiscal 1967.

NSLI — Dividends
H.R. 4539 — Public Law 87-223, September 13, 1961
Authorizes payment of a special insurance dividend ranging from $100 to $150 to veterans who have national service life insurance of the RS or W varieties.  The RS insurance is entirely term insurance with the premium rate increasing at the end of each 5-year period.  The W insurance is both term and permanent, the permanent plans being the usual ones available and the term insurance of this variety with rates also increasing at the end of each 5-year period.

Outpatient Care — And War Orphans
H.R.3587 —  Public Law 87-377, approved October 4, 1961
Provides for outpatient medical and dental treatment for veterans of the Indian wars on the same basis as similar treatment is furnished to veterans of the Spanish-American War.

Veterans Widows' Compensation
H.R. 6969 — Public Law 87-268, approved September 21, 1961
The purpose of this bill is to make adjustments in the dependency and indemnity compensation rates for widows of veterans whose deaths are service connected.

Under present law widows eligible for service-connected death pensions are paid $112 monthly, plus 12 percent of the pay of the veteran according to rank and years of service.  The lowest payment is $122 monthly and the highest $337.

A widow eligible for non-service-connected death pension, with less than $1,000 annual income (and as many as five children) could receive payments of $135 monthly.

The change enables the Veterans' Administrator to pay a widow or child an amount equal to the greater amount which the beneficiary would have been entitled to under the pension program.

War Veterans —  Eligibility Extended
H.R. 2953 — Public Law 87-101, approved July 2, 1961
Authorizes veterans to qualify for the 90-day service requirement for receiving a pension by adding together two or more separate periods of duty which might have occurred in World War I or II or in the Korean conflict. Such an addition would also benefit the widows and children of deceased veterans. As the law stands veterans may only add up periods of service occurring in one war.

1962

Blind —  Disability Compensation
H.R. 3728 — Public Law 87-610, approved August 28, 1962
Increased compensation for certain veterans disabled by blindness or kidney involvements.

Disability Compensation Increase
H.R. 10743 — Public Law 87-645, approved September 7, 1962
Increased Federal compensation payments to veterans with service-connected disabilities.

Increases range from $1 to $50 a month or 5.3 to 20.8 percent.  Total cost of the additional payments for the first year will be approximately $98 million.

The increase will be payable to veterans of all wars and peacetime service who have service-connected disability rates between 10 and 100 percent.

Increases from 3 to 7 years the presumption of service connection for multiple sclerosis.

Educational Rights
S. 2697 — Public Law 87-815, approved October 15, 1962
Extends the time during which individuals affected by Public Law 87-117 may pursue and complete a program of education or training under the Korean training program for veterans and the war orphans' educational assistance program.

Public Law 87-117, approved August 1, 1961, authorized the President to order up 250,000 ready reservists to active duty for up to 12 months and also extended terms of enlistments and appointments where there might be a shortage of trained personnel in areas of critical need in the foreseeable future.

Endowment at Age 96 — VA
H.R. 10068 — Public Law 87-549, approved July 25, 1962
Provides that an insured who, on or after his 65th birthday, has a 5-year level premium term policy of U.S. Government life insurance (USGLI) in force by payment of premiums may exchange the policy for insurance on a special endowment plan payable at age 96. This plan provides primarily for death protection; however, where the policy is in force on the anniversary date nearest the insured's 96th birthday, the insurance matures as an endowment.

The new special endowment plan of insurance will be offered on a voluntary basis on written application, payment of required premium, and surrender of term policy.

Hospital and Medical Care — Veterans' Administration
S. 3109 — Public Law 87-583, approved August 14, 1962
The purpose of the bill is to furnish hospital and medical care, including outpatient treatment, to peacetime ex-servicemen for service-connected disabilities on the same basis as such care and treatment is furnished war veterans.

NSLI — Assignments
H.R. 10669 — Public Law 87-557, approved July 27, 1962
Broadened assignment provisions of national service life insurance available to World War II veterans and maturing on or after date of enactment of this bill.

Permits assignment by any person entitled to insurance benefits whether the person is principal or contingent beneficiary and regardless of whether delivered to VA before or after payments of insurance are made. Under existing law, an assignment may be made only by a designated principal beneficiary to a permitted class of relatives of the insured—widow, widower, child, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brother, or sister— designated contingent beneficiaries, if any, must join in the assignment, and the assignment must be delivered to VA before any payments of insurance have been made to beneficiary.

Pensions — Hospitalization
H.R. 8282 — Public Law 87-556, approved July 27, 1962
Continued payment of pensions to married veterans while hospitalized at Veterans' Administration expense; however, if a veteran is single, or is not contributing to the support of his wife and family, his pension would be deducted during hospitalization.

Veterans' Administration — Funds
House Joint Resolution 612 — Public Law 87-404, approved February 13, 1962
This joint resolution provided supplemental appropriations for the Veterans' Administration for fiscal 1962.  As enacted it appropriated $55 million for readjustment benefit payments to Korean war veterans attending school under the GI bill of rights.

It also provided for a $115,247,000 increase in the expenditure limitation of the VA loan guarantee revolving fund to enable the Federal Government to repossess homes on which GI home mortgages had been foreclosed. The revolving fund is to be increased by transfer from funds available in the Treasury for the veterans' direct loan program which is financed by Treasury financing rather than direct appropriations.

Vocational Rehabilitation for Blinded Veterans
S. 2869 — Public Law 87-591, approved August 16, 1962
Permits a World War II or Korean veteran blinded by reason of a service-connected disability to obtain vocational rehabilitation training after the termination date otherwise applicable to him but not beyond June 30, 1975.

World War I Emergency Officer Retirement
H.R. 8517 — Public Law 87-875, approved October 24, 1962
Reopened the emergency officers' retirement program to permit a very limited group of former World War I emergency officers to apply for and receive the benefits of the program.  Individuals who would be permitted to make application for retirement benefits would be those who were eligible under the original law but who would have received retired pay at a monthly rate lower than the monthly rate of disability compensation then payable to them from the Veterans' Bureau.

Generally, applications must have been made for these benefits by May 24, 1929.

1963

Autos for Disabled Veterans
S. 449 — Passed Senate May 28; pending in House Veterans' Affairs Committee
Extends to the disabled service-connected veterans of the cold war the present policy of allowing such veterans of World War II and the Korean conflict an allowance of $1,600 toward a specially equipped automobile. The disabled veteran must have suffered from the loss or permanent loss of use of one or both hands or feet or permanent visual impairment to a prescribed degree.

Catholic War Veterans — Incorporation
S. 1914 — Passed Senate October 21; pending in House Judiciary Committee
Confers a Federal charter on the Catholic War Veterans of the United States.

Compensation Increase for Parents and Children of Veterans Dying from Service-Connected Disabilities
H.R. 211 — Public Law 88-21; approved May 15, 1963
Increases by approximately 10 percent the monthly rates of dependency and indemnity compensation payable to widows, children, and parents of veterans dying of service-connected causes.

These rates have not changed since they were established. Considered a cost-of-living increase.

Compensation Increase — Veterans' Widows
H.R. 5250 — Public Law 88-134, approved October 5, 1963
Increases from $112 to $150 the basic monthly rate of dependency and indemnity compensation payable to widows of veterans who died from service-connected disabilities.

Deafness of Both Ears
H.R. 199 — Public Law 88-20, approved May 15, 1963
This bill adds deafness of both ears, having absence of air and bone conduction, to the types of service-connected disabilities for which compensation is awarded.

The monthly compensation for the above-described deafness will be $47 a month, and can be additional to other compensation being received for service-connected disabilities.

Grants-in-Aid for Veteran Hospitalization in the Philippines
H.R. 249 — Public Law 88-40, approved June 13, 1963
This bill extends for 5 years the programs of hospital and medical care assistance for service-connected disabled veterans of the Commonwealth Army of the Philippines. These programs carry two basic forms of assistance: the first reimburses the Republic of the Philippines for expenditures made by it for hospital care for service-connected disabled veterans for the Commonwealth Army. Secondly, the bill extends the program of outpatient care to Commonwealth Army veterans managed directly by the Veterans' Administration.

Jewish War Veterans — Incorporation
S. 1942 — Passed Senate October 21; pending in House Judiciary Committee
Grants a Federal charter to the Jewish War Veterans of the United States.

National Service Life Insurance
H.R. 220 — Passed Senate, amended June 20
Provides a new plan of national service life insurance, generally designated as a modified life plan to be offered primarily to World War II term policyholders as a substitute for their present term policies.

The bill also restores for 1 year, beginning 6 months from date of enactment, eligibility of veterans who had active service between October 8, 1940, and December 31, 1956, inclusive, to apply for national service life insurance.

It offers two types of insurance both of which will be nonparticipating-no dividends. One will be offered to persons in good health and another to persons with service-connected disabilities; however, term insurance could not be initially issued or renewed after the applicant's 50th birthday.