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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
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Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
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Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses
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Veterans' Medical Care Appropriations and Funding Process
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Veterans' Health Care Issues in the 109th Congress
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Veterans' Medical Care: FY2006 Appropriations
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Veterans Affairs: Basic Eligibility for Disability Benefit Programs
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Hurricane Katrina and Veterans
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Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
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Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
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Veterans' Medical Care: FY2006 Appropriations
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Military Quality of Life/VA (House) and Military Construction/VA (Senate): FY2006 Appropriations
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Military Quality of Life/VA (House) and Military Construction/VA (Senate): FY2006 Appropriations
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Military Health Care: The Issue of "Promised" Benefits
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Military Benefits for Former Spouses: Legislation and Policy Issues
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Veterans Benefits Issues in the 109th Congress
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Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
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Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
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Agent Orange: Veterans' Complaints Concerning Exposure to Herbicides in South Vietnam
From 1962 to 1971, the United States Air Force (USAF) sprayed various herbicide mixtures (chemicals that kill plants) in South Vietnam. The purpose of the spraying was to defoliate jungle growth to deprive the Communist forces of ground cover, and to destroy enemy crops to restrict food supplies. The most extensively used of these herbicide mixtures was known as Agent Orange, a 50:50 mix of two common herbicides called 1,4,5-T and 2,4-D (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid). The third chemical present in the mixture in small amounts was TCDD, an inevitable by-product of the manufacture of 2,4,5-T. This chemical, called tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin or simply "dioxin," is highly toxic to laboratory animals when administered in its pure form. CRS has been unable to locate any report of a human death from exposure to pure TCDD. This report discusses the human health effects that have occurred from exposure to TCDD, as well as related Congressional concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8607/
Veterans' Medical Care: FY2007 Appropriations
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Military Construction, Military Quality of Life and Veterans' Affairs, FY2007 Appropriations
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Periods of War
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Veterans' Benefits Issues in the 109th Congress
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Military Construction, Military Quality of Life and Veterans' Affairs, FY2007 Appropriations
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Military Construction, Military Quality of Life and Veterans' Affairs, FY2007 Appropriations
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Department of Veteran Affairs: Information Security and Information Technology Management Reorganization
On May 3, 2006, the home of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) data analyst was burglarized, resulting in the theft of a laptop computer and an external data storage device that was reported to contain personal information on more than 26 million veterans and United States military personnel. The VA Secretary testified that he was not informed of the incident until May 16, 2006, almost two weeks after the data had been stolen. VA publicly announced the theft on May 22. On June 29, VA announced that the stolen laptop computer and external hard drive had been recovered intact and that, based on a forensic examination conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the files on the external hard drive had not been compromised. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9513/
Veterans' Benefits Issues in the 109th Congress
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The Workforce Investment Act (WIA): Program-by-Program Overview and FY2007 Funding of Title I Training Programs
Title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) (P.L. 105-220) authorizes several job training programs, including Youth, Adult, and Dislocated Worker Activities, Job Corps, the Native American Program, the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Program, and the Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program. This report briefly summarizes each WIA program, the FY2007 budget request, and for comparison, the FY2006 appropriation (P.L. 109-149). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9968/
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA): Program-by-Program Overview and FY2007 Funding of Title I Training Programs
Title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) (P.L. 105-220) authorizes several job training programs, including Youth, Adult, and Dislocated Worker Activities, Job Corps, the Native American Program, the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Program, and the Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program. This report briefly summarizes each WIA program, the FY2007 budget request, and for comparison, the FY2006 appropriation (P.L. 109-149). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9992/
Veterans' Benefits Issues in the 109th Congress
This report presents a brief overview of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs for veterans as well as some of the issues that have been or likely will be subjects of congressional attention during the 109th Congress. In particular, it outlines the veterans benefits provisions that have seen legislative action. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10347/
Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues
The military retirement system includes benefits for retirement after an active or reserve military career, disability retirement, and survivor benefits for eligible survivors of deceased retirees. The change to the system that has generated the most recent legislative activity involves whether some or all military retirees should be allowed to receive both military retired pay and any VA disability compensation to which they are otherwise entitled; this is referred to as "concurrent receipt." Starting in 1999 (FY2000), provisions in each year's annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorized payments to comparatively small groups (in the tens of thousands) of military retirees in lieu of concurrent receipt. The most significant military retirement issue Congress dealt with in 2005 was whether military retirees with a 100% VA unemployability rating, but less than a 100% disability rating, should be entitled to full concurrent receipt as was provided to 100% disability retirees in 2004. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10339/
Memorials: Creating National, State, and Local Memorials
This report provides information on the mandatory steps to building a memorial on federal property in the District of Columbia. It also provides information on creating memorials in Arlington National Cemetery, within the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery System, and in state veterans' cemeteries. In addition, it discusses public and private initiatives at the state and local levels to create memorials including successful local fund-raising efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10573/
U.S. Periods of War
Many wars or conflicts in U.S. history have federally designated "periods of war," dates marking their beginning and ending. These dates are important for qualification for certain veterans' pension or disability benefits. 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10585/
Unemployment Compensation (Insurance) and Military Service
The Unemployment Compensation (UC) program contains several provisions relevant to current and former military service personnel and their families. The UC program does not provide benefits for military servicemembers on active duty. However, former active duty military personnel (and certain reservists) separated from active duty may be eligible for Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX). Spouses of military service personnel who voluntarily quit a job to accompany their spouses on account of a military transfer may be eligible for UC benefits, based on the laws of the state where the civilian spouse was employed. States may choose to create provisions that remove or limit these tax increases in certain situations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10668/
Veterans Affairs: Historical Budget Authority, Fiscal Years 1940 through 2007
Budget authority -- the amount of money a federal department or agency can spend or obligate to spend by law -- for veterans' benefits and services has increased significantly since FY1940. The increases over time have reflected the impact of increases in the number of veterans as the result of wars and other conflicts, the aging of the veteran population, and changes in benefits and services provided for veterans. This report provides information on the historical budget authority of the Department of Veterans Affairs (formerly the Veterans Administration) for FY1940 through FY2007. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10757/
Veterans Benefits: An Overview
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a wide range of benefits and services to eligible veterans, members of their families, and survivors of deceased veterans. VA programs include disability compensation and pensions, readjustment benefits, and health care programs. The VA also provides life insurance, burial benefits, housing and other loan guaranty programs, and special counseling and outreach programs. While eligibility for specific benefits varies, veterans generally must meet requirements related to discharge type and length of active duty military service. This report provides an overview of major VA benefits and the VA budget. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10761/
Veterans and Homelessness
The current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought renewed attention to the needs of veterans, including the needs of homeless veterans. As the number of veterans increases due to the current wars, there is concern that the number of homeless veterans could rise commensurately. The current economic downturn also has raised concerns that homelessness could increase among all groups, including veterans. Several issues regarding veterans and homelessness have become prominent, in part because of the current conflicts, which this report discusses in detail. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26258/
Military Retirement and Veterans' Compensation: Concurrent Receipt Issues
This report describes the history and background of the offset and the legislative history of recent attempts to eliminate or reduce the offset. It delineates and analyzes the arguments for and against eliminating or reducing the offset and allowing concurrent receipt, and addresses the issues of costs, precedents in other Federal programs, purposes of the two programs, and equity issues. Finally, options other than full concurrent receipt are mentioned. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26093/
The Inapplicability of Limitations on Subcontracting to "Preference Contracts" for Small Businesses: Washington-Harris Group
This report discusses Washington-Harris Group, a protest filed with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) alleging, among other things, that an agency improperly awarded a "preference contract" to a service-disabled veteran-owned small business that proposed to subcontract a greater percentage of work on the contract than allowed under the Small Business Administration's limitations on subcontracting. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29578/
Veterans' Benefits: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for Survivors
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29574/
Veterans and Homelessness
This report discusses several issues relating to homelessness among veterans, which has become more prominent since the beginning of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29695/
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29754/
Legal Issues Related to Proving "Service Connection" for VA Disability Compensation: Statutory Presumptions
This report focuses on several statutory presumptions that relate to the second element of a service-connected claim for disability compensation, and synthesizes the legal principles that guide the Department of Veterans Affairs' application of the statutory presumptions during the claims adjudication process. Specifically, this report will discuss the "presumption of soundness," the presumption of aggravation of a pre-existing injury or disease, the "line of duty" presumption, and finally, the "combat veteran" presumption, all of which are codified at Title 38 of the United States Code. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29616/
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA): A Private Cause of Action
This report discusses the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), the purpose of which is to provide for, strengthen, and expedite the national defense by protecting service members, enabling them to "devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the Nation." This report also discusses related legislation, such as the Veterans' Benefits Act of 2010, which clarifies certain SCRA protections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29624/
Veterans Affairs: Benefits for Service-Connected Disabilities
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29668/
Veterans Affairs: Health Care and Benefits for Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange
This report provides an overview of health care services and disability compensation benefits available to Vietnam veterans, Children of Vietnam Era veterans, and non-Vietnam veterans exposed to herbicides. This is followed by a discussion of litigation pertaining to Navy veterans of the Vietnam Era who served offshore and were never physically present on Vietnamese soil. The report concludes with a discussion of epidemiologic research conducted to study the health effects of Agent Orange and dioxin exposure on Vietnam veterans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29704/
Veterans' Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29602/
U.S. Periods of War
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31444/
Veterans' Benefits: Current Life Insurance Programs
This report provides information on the current Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) life insurance programs available for servicemembers and veterans, management and administration issues, and associated policy issues and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31381/
Veterans' Benefits: Current Life Insurance Programs
This report provides information on the current Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) life insurance programs available for servicemembers and veterans, management and administration issues, and associated policy issues and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31380/