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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
U.S. Periods of War

U.S. Periods of War

Date: September 14, 2010
Creator: Torreon, Barbara Salazar
Description: Many wars or conflicts in U.S. history have federally designated "periods of war," dates marking their beginning and ending. This report lists the beginning and ending dates for "periods of war" found in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It also lists and differentiates other beginning dates given in declarations of war, as well as termination of hostilities dates and armistice and ending dates given in proclamations, laws, or treaties.
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Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Date: October 4, 2010
Creator: Scott, Christine
Description: This report provides a descriptive analysis of both nonmonetary and monetary burial veterans' benefits and national cemeteries. It addresses congressional and constituent issues, such as who is eligible to receive burial benefits; who can be buried in a national cemetery; what plans does the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have to build new or expand existing national cemeteries; and what benefits does the VA provide, among others.
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Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) are based on the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). All CSRS retirees and survivors receive COLAs. Under FERS, however, non-disabled retirees under age 62 do not receive COLAs. This report discusses cost-of-living adjustments for government retirees, as well as related legislation.
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Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Date: October 18, 2010
Creator: Scott, Christine
Description: This report provides a descriptive analysis of both nonmonetary and monetary burial veterans' benefits and national cemeteries. It addresses congressional and constituent issues, such as who is eligible to receive burial benefits; who can be buried in a national cemetery; what plans does the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have to build new or expand existing national cemeteries; and what benefits does the VA provide, among others.
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Veterans' Benefits: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for Survivors

Veterans' Benefits: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for Survivors

Date: October 18, 2010
Creator: Scott, Christine
Description: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers directly, or in conjunction with other federal agencies, several benefits for surviving spouses, children, and dependent parents of deceased veterans to provide them with financial, educational, and emotional support. Among these various programs, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a monthly tax-free cash payment for eligible surviving spouses, children, and dependent parents. This report outlines the eligibility requirements and benefit levels for DIC, the policy issues associated with DIC, and legislation in the 111th Congress related to DIC.
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Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs

Date: October 18, 2010
Creator: Scott, Christine & Davis, Carol D.
Description: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers several pension benefit programs for veterans as well as their surviving spouses and dependent children. The most current pension programs available (for those meeting the eligibility criteria on or after January 1, 1979) are the Improved Disability Pension for certain low-income veterans and the Improved Death Pension for certain low-income surviving spouses or children of veterans. There is also a special pension for Medal of Honor recipients. This report describes these programs, including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels. This report will be updated as needed to reflect legislative activity and changes to benefits or eligibility requirements.
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Veterans Affairs: Benefits for Service-Connected Disabilities

Veterans Affairs: Benefits for Service-Connected Disabilities

Date: November 1, 2010
Creator: Weimer, Douglas Reid
Description: This report describes disability compensation, which is a benefit Congress provides to American veterans and their dependents through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Disability compensation is a monthly cash benefit program for veterans currently impaired from past service-connected activities.
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Federal Employees: Pension COLAs and Pay Adjustments Since 1969

Federal Employees: Pension COLAs and Pay Adjustments Since 1969

Date: December 7, 2010
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: Congress has linked adjustments in federal pay to the ECI so that wages for federal employees will remain competitive with wages paid by firms in the private sector. Under the terms of the Federal Employees' Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-509), pay for civilian federal employees is adjusted each year to keep the salaries of federal workers competitive with comparable occupations in the private sector. These annual adjustments in federal employee pay-which are distinct from any pay raises associated with within-grade step increases or promotions to a higher pay grade-are based on changes in the cash compensation paid to workers in the private sector, as measured by the ECI. Under certain circumstances, the President may limit the annual increase in federal pay by executive order.
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Retirement and Survivor Annuities for Former Spouses of Federal Employees

Retirement and Survivor Annuities for Former Spouses of Federal Employees

Date: December 22, 2010
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: This report discusses the retirement benefits for federal employees that are governed by chapters 83 (CSRS) and 84 (FERS) of Title 5 of the United States Code.
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Credit for Military Service Under Civilian Federal Employee Retirement Systems

Credit for Military Service Under Civilian Federal Employee Retirement Systems

Date: December 30, 2010
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: Federal employees with permanent appointments earn pension benefits under one of two retirement plans. Employees hired after 1983 participate in the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). Employees hired before 1984 participate in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) unless they elected to transfer to the FERS during open seasons held in 1987 and 1998. This report discusses the changes in legislation that allowed veterans who subsequently became civilian federal employees to count their years of active-duty military service toward retirement eligibility and pension benefits under CSRS.
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