FAQ on Filipino WWII veterans equity compensation fund

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 26 2009 05:55 PM | Updated as of Feb 27 2009 02:03 AM

Source: US Embassy, Manila, Philippines

WORLD WAR II FILIPINO VETERANS EQUITY COMPENSATION FUND


The President of the United States signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009, authorizing the release of a one-time, lump-sum payment to eligible World War II (WWII) Philippine veterans.  These payments are to be made through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs from a $198 million appropriation established for this purpose.  Applying for this benefit will not affect other existing Veterans benefits.


Q:  Who is eligible for the new benefit, a one-time payment authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009?

  • Persons who served 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;

  • Members of the 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;

  • Persons who served in the Philippine Scouts under Section 14 of the Armed Forces Voluntary Recruitment Act of 1945. 

  • To be eligible for the new benefit, service members in each of the three categories above must have been discharged or released from service under conditions other than dishonorable.


Q:  How do I apply for this benefit?
 

  • The United Stated Department of Veterans Affairs is now accepting claims. 

  • Veterans do not need to appear in-person.  There is no fee to apply for this new benefit.  Application forms are available at the U.S. Embassy, the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City and the 13 Philippine Veterans Affairs Offices located throughout the Philippines. 

  • Applications are now being accepted and will continue to be accepted for one year, until February 16, 2010.  Those applications being mailed from within the Philippines may be mailed with required supporting documents, and should be sent to:

                                   U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
                                   1131 Roxas Blvd.
                                   0930 Manila, Philippines

Veterans needing assistance with their application may request an appointment with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Manila Regional Office by calling (2) 528-2500 within Metro Manila or 1 800 1888 5252 toll free, or via e-mail at https://iris.va.gov.  In many cases, any assistance you may need to complete the application can be provided by calling these numbers and you will not need to appear in person.

 

Claims from spouses, widows and children of Filipino WWII veterans cannot be accepted. 


Q:  What information or evidence do I need to submit with my application?

 

  • Filipino WW II veterans wishing to submit a claim for this benefit should be prepared to present the following items to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (if applicable):

  1. Two forms of identification such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, Senior Citizen ID, Bureau of Post ID, Voter ID Card;

  2. Copies of any military discharge documents showing service in one of the three qualifying types of service [See first answer for the three types of services];

  3. Your Philippines Veterans Affairs Office claim number;

  4. Your Philippines Veterans Affairs Pension bank account number;

  5. Your U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs claim number; and

  6. U.S. citizens should bring your U.S. passport.


Q:  Where do I apply for this benefit?

  • Filipino WW II veterans can inquire about or submit a claim at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Manila Regional Office located at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines.  The United States Department of Veterans Affairs will also have representatives available to accept claims at the Philippines Veterans Affairs Office and the Philippine’s Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City beginning February 19, 2009 through February 27, 2009.  Additionally, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs will have representatives at following venues throughout the Philippines on the dates indicated:

 

Location / Province

Address

Dates

Times

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Central Office

Camp Gen. Aguinaldo

Quezon City

02/19/09 – 02/27/09

0800-1700

Veterans Memorial Medical Center

North Ave., Quezon City

02/19/09-02/27/09

0800-1700

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office San Fernando, La Union

National Highway cor. Diversion Rd. Pagdaraoan, San Fernando City, La Union

02/24/09-02/26/09

0800-1700

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Baguio City, Benguet

USAFIPNL Camp Henry T. Allen, Baguio City, Benguet

02/24/09-02/27/09

0800-1700

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Iloilo City, Iloilo

Old Provincial Capitol Bldg., Iloilo City, Iloilo

02/24/09-02/26/09

0800-1700

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Cebu City, Cebu

CENTCOM, Camp Lapu-Lapu Lahug, Cebu City, Cebu

02/24/09-02/26/09

0800-1700

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Tacloban City, Leyte

126 Gomez St. Tacloban City, Leyte

02/24/09-02/26/09

0800-1700

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur

SOUTHCOM Upper Calarian, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur

02/24/09-02/26/09

0800-1700

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Davao City, Davao del Sur

Door 4, Gutierrez Compound, Abad Santos Ave., Davao City, Davao del Sur

02/24/09-02/26/09

0800-1700

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Batangas City, Batangas

Provincial Capitol, Batangas City, Batangas

02/24/09-02/26/09

0800-1700

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Tuguegarao, Cagayan

1-A Callangan Bldg., Bonifacio St. Tuguegarao City, Cagayan

02/24/09-02/26/09

0800-1700

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office San Fernando, Pampanga

Cleofer’s Bldg., Gen. Hizon Extension, San Fernando City, Pampanga

02/24/09-02/26/09

0800-1700

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Legazpi City, Albay

ANST Bldg., Washington Drive, Legazpi City, Albay

02/24/09-02/26/09

0800-1700

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental

Camp Evangelista, Patag, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental

02/24/09-02/26/09

0800-1700

 

 Q:  How long do I have to file a claim?

  • The United States Department of Veterans Affairs must receive all claims no later than February 16, 2010, which is one year from the date of enactment of the legislation, which is February 17, 2009.


Q:  How much will I receive?

 

  • Eligible veterans who are not United States citizens will receive a one-time payment of $9,000.

  • Eligible veterans who are United States citizens will receive a one-time payment of $15,000.


Q:  I am a U.S. citizen, but reside in the Philippines.  Will that affect the amount of my payment?

  • No.  The amount of the payment you are eligible to receive is determined by your citizenship, not by your residence.

Q:  My late husband was a veteran who served during WWII.  May I receive this benefit as his widow?

  • Once an eligible veteran files a claim before February 17, 2010, a surviving spouse can claim the benefit if the veteran passes away before the benefit is paid. 

Q:  My husband was a U.S. citizen who filed a claim for this benefit but died before receiving payment.  I am not a U.S. citizen.  Will I receive the $15,000 he was eligible to receive?

  • Yes.  The amount of the payment is determined by the citizenship of the eligible veteran, not by the citizenship of the surviving spouse.

Q:  Is this benefit considered as income for U.S. income tax purposes?

  • No.  The benefit is not considered income for U.S. income tax purposes.

Q:  Will receipt of this benefit impact or reduce any other U.S. Government assistance or benefits I receive?

  • No.  This is an additional benefit for those eligible and qualified WWII veterans.  It will not change or affect benefits an individual may be receiving under any other Federal or federally assisted program.

Q:  May I apply for or continue to receive other U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs benefits?

  • Yes.  This is an additional benefit for those eligible and qualified Filipino WWII veterans. 

Q:  When will I receive the payment?

  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is working actively to implement this new public law to ensure all eligible veterans receive their rightful benefits as soon as possible.  Claims are now being accepted, and information regarding the actual release of payments will be provided as it becomes available.