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BENEFITS IN CASE OF VETERANS

Sec217[42 U.S.C. 417] (a)(1) For purposes of determining entitlement to and the amount of any monthly benefit for any month after August 1950, or entitlement to and the amount of any lump-sum death payment in case of a death after such month, payable under this title on the basis of the wages and self-employment income of any World War II veteran, and for purposes of section 216(i)(3), such veteran shall be deemed to have been paid wages (in addition to the wages, if any, actually paid to him) of $160 in each month during any part of which he served in the active military or naval service of the United States during World War II. This subsection shall not be applicable in the case of any monthly benefit or lump-sum death payment if—

(A) a larger such benefit or payment, as the case may be, would be payable without its application; or

(B) a benefit (other than a benefit payable in a lump sum unless it is a commutation of, or a substitute for, periodic payments) which is based, in whole or in part, upon the active military or naval service of such veteran during World War II is determined by any agency or wholly owned instrumentality of the United States (other than the Department of Veterans Affairs) to be payable by it under any other law of the United States or under a system established by such agency or instrumentality.

The provisions of clause (B) shall not apply in the case of any monthly benefit or lump-sum death payment under this title if its application would reduce by $0.50 or less the primary insurance amount (as computed under section 215 prior to any recomputation thereof pursuant to subsection (f) of such section) of the individual on whose wages and self-employment income such benefit or payment is based. The provisions of clause (B) shall also not apply for purposes of section 216(i)(3).

(2) Upon application for benefits or a lump-sum death payment on the basis of the wages and self-employment income of any World War II veteran, the Commissioner of Social Security shall make a decision without regard to clause (B) of paragraph (1) of this subsection unless the Commissioner has been notified by some other agency or instrumentality of the United States that, on the basis of the military or naval service of such veteran during World War II, a benefit described in clause (B) of paragraph (1) has been determined by such agency or instrumentality to be payable by it. If the Commissioner has not been so notified, the Commissioner of Social Security shall then ascertain whether some other agency or wholly owned instrumentality of the United States has decided that a benefit described in clause (B) of paragraph (1) is payable by it. If any such agency or instrumentality has decided, or thereafter decides, that such a benefit is payable by it, it shall so notify the Commissioner of Social Security, and the Commissioner of Social Security shall certify no further benefits for payment or shall recompute the amount of any further benefits payable, as may be required by paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3) Any agency or wholly owned instrumentality of the United States which is authorized by any law of the United States to pay benefits, or has a system of benefits which are based, in whole or in part, on military or naval service during World War II shall, at the request of the Commissioner of Social Security, certify to the Commissioner, with respect to any veteran, such information as the Commissioner of Social Security deems necessary to carry out the Commissioner’s functions under paragraph (2) of this subsection.

(b)(1) Subject to paragraph (3), any World War II veteran who died during the period of three years immediately following his separation from the active military or naval service of the United States shall be deemed to have died a fully insured individual whose primary insurance amount is the amount determined under section 215(c) as in effect in December 1978. Notwithstanding section 215(d) as in effect in December 1978, the primary insurance benefit (for purposes of section 215(c) as in effect in December 1978) of such veteran shall be determined as provided in this title as in effect prior to the enactment of this section[213], except that the 1 per centum addition provided for in section 209(a)(4)(B) of this Act as in effect prior to the enactment of this section shall be applicable only with respect to calendar years prior to 1951. This subsection shall not be applicable in the case of any monthly benefit or lump-sum death payment if—

(A) a larger such benefit or payment, as the case may be, would be payable without its application;

(B) any pension or compensation is determined by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to be payable by him on the basis of the death of such veteran;

(C) the death of the veteran occurred while he was in the active military or naval service of the United States; or

(D) such veteran has been discharged or released from the active military or naval service of the United States subsequent to July 26, 1951.

(2) Upon an application for benefits or a lump-sum death payment on the basis of the wages and self-employment income of any World War II veteran, the Commissioner of Social Security shall make a decision without regard to paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection unless the Commissioner has been notified by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs that pension or compensation is determined to be payable by that Commissioner of Social Security by reason of the death of such veteran. The Commissioner of Social Security shall thereupon report such decision to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. If the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in any such case has made an adjudication or thereafter makes an adjudication that any pension or compensation is payable under any law administered by it, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall notify the Commissioner of Social Security, and the Commissioner of Social Security shall certify no further benefits for payment, or shall recompute the amount of any further benefits payable, as may be required by paragraph (1) of this subsection. Any payments theretofore certified by the Commissioner of Social Security on the basis of paragraph (1) of this subsection to any individual, not exceeding the amount of any accrued pension or compensation payable to him by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, shall (notwithstanding the provisions of section 3101 of title 38, United States Code[214]) be deemed to have been paid to him by that Secretary on account of such accrued pension or compensation. No such payment certified by the Commissioner of Social Security, and no payment certified by the Commissioner for any month prior to the first month for which any pension or compensation is paid by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall be deemed by reason of this subsection to have been an erroneous payment.

(3)(A) The preceding provisions of this subsection shall apply for purposes of determining the entitlement to benefits under section 202, based on the primary insurance amount of the deceased World War II veteran, of any surviving individual only if such surviving individual makes application for such benefits before the end of the 18-month period after the month in which the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 was enacted[215].

(B) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply if any person is entitled to benefits under section 202 based on the primary insurance amount of such veteran for the month preceding the month in which such application is made.

(c) In the case of any World War II veteran to whom subsection (a) is applicable, proof of support required under section 202(h) may be filed by a parent at any time prior to July 1951 or prior to the expiration of two years after the date of the death of such veteran, whichever is the later.

(d) For the purposes of this section—

(1) The term “World War II” means the period beginning with September 16, 1940, and ending at the close of July 24, 1947.

(2) The term “World War II veteran” means any individual who served in the active military or naval service of the United States at any time during World War II and who, if discharged or released therefrom, was so discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable after active service of ninety days or more or by reason of a disability or injury incurred or aggravated in service in line of duty; but such term shall not include any individual who died while in the active military or naval service of the United States if his death was inflicted (other than by an enemy of the United States) as lawful punishment for a military or naval offense.

(e)(1) For purposes of determining entitlement to and the amount of any monthly benefit or lump-sum death payment payable under this title on the basis of wages and self-employment income of any veteran (as defined in paragraph (4)), and for purposes of section 216(i)(3), such veteran shall be deemed to have been paid wages (in addition to the wages, if any, actually paid to him) of $160 in each month during any part of which he served in the active military or naval service of the United States on or after July 25, 1947, and prior to January 1, 1957. This subsection shall not be applicable in the case of any monthly benefit or lump-sum death payment if—

(A) a larger such benefit or payment, as the case may be, would be payable without its application; or

(B) a benefit (other than a benefit payable in a lump sum unless it is a commutation of, or a substitute for, periodic payments) which is based, in whole or in part, upon the active military or naval service of such veteran on or after July 25, 1947, and prior to January 1, 1957, is determined by any agency or wholly owned instrumentality of the United States (other than the Department of Veterans Affairs) to be payable by it under any other law of the United States or under a system established by such agency or instrumentality.

The provisions of clause (B) shall not apply in the case of any monthly benefit or lump-sum death payment under this title if its application would reduce by $0.50 or less the primary insurance amount (as computed under section 215 prior to any recomputation thereof pursuant to subsection (f) of such section) of the individual on whose wages and self-employment income such benefit or payment is based. The provisions of clause (B) shall also not apply for purposes of section 216(i)(3). In the case of monthly benefits under this title for months after December 1956 (and any lump-sum death payment under this title with respect to a death occurring after December 1956) based on the wages and self-employment income of a veteran who performed service (as a member of a uniformed service) to which the provisions of section 210(l)(1) are applicable, wages which would, but for the provisions of clause (B), be deemed under this subsection to have been paid to such veteran with respect to his active military or naval service performed after December 1950 shall be deemed to have been paid to him with respect to such service notwithstanding the provisions of such clause, but only if the benefits referred to in such clause which are based (in whole or in part) on such service are payable solely by the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Coast and Geodetic Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps, or Public Health Service.

(2) Upon application for benefits or a lump-sum death payment on the basis of the wages and self-employment income of any veteran, the Commissioner of Social Security shall make a decision without regard to clause (B) of paragraph (1) of this subsection unless the Commissioner has been notified by some other agency or instrumentality of the United States that, on the basis of the military or naval service of such veteran on or after July 25, 1947, and prior to January 1, 1957, a benefit described in clause (B) of paragraph (1) has been determined by such agency or instrumentality to be payable by it. If the Commissioner has not been so notified, the Commissioner of Social Security shall then ascertain whether some other agency or wholly owned instrumentality of the United States has decided that a benefit described in clause (B) of paragraph (1) is payable by it. If any such agency or instrumentality has decided, or thereafter decides, that such a benefit is payable by it, it shall so notify the Commissioner of Social Security, and the Commissioner of Social Security shall certify no further benefits for payment or shall recompute the amount of any further benefits payable, as may be required by paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3) Any agency or wholly owned instrumentality of the United States which is authorized by any law of the United States to pay benefits, or has a system of benefits which are based, in whole or in part, on military or naval service on or after July 25, 1947, and prior to January 1, 1957, shall, at the request of the Commissioner of Social Security, certify to the Commissioner, with respect to any veteran, such information as the Commissioner of Social Security deems necessary to carry out the Commissioner’s functions under paragraph (2) of this subsection.

(4) For the purposes of this subsection, the term “veteran” means any individual who served in the active military or naval service of the United States at any time on or after July 25, 1947, and prior to January 1, 1957, and who, if discharged or released therefrom, was so discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable after active service of ninety days or more or by reason of a disability or injury incurred or aggravated in service in line of duty; but such term shall not include any individual who died while in the active military or naval service of the United States if his death was inflicted (other than by an enemy of the United States) as lawful punishment for a military or naval offense.

(f)(1) In any case where a World War II veteran (as defined in subsection (d)(2)) or a veteran (as defined in subsection (e)(4)) has died or shall hereafter die, and his or her surviving spouse or child is entitled under subchapter III of chapter 83 of title 5, United States Code, to an annuity in the computation of which his or her active military or naval service was included, clause (B) of subsection (a)(1) or clause (B) of subsection (e)(1) shall not operate (solely by reason of such annuity) to make such subsection inapplicable in the case of any monthly benefit under section 202 which is based on his or her wages and self-employment income; except that no such surviving spouse or child shall be entitled under section 202 to any monthly benefit in the computation of which such service is included by reason of this subsection (A) unless such surviving spouse or child after December 1956 waives his or her right to receive such annuity, or (B) for any month prior to the first month with respect to which the Director of the Office of Personnel Management certifies to the Commissioner of Social Security that (by reason of such waiver) no further annuity will be paid to such surviving spouse or child under such subchapter III on the basis of such veteran’s military or civilian service. Any such waiver shall be irrevocable.

(2) Whenever a surviving spouse waives his or her right to receive such annuity such waiver shall constitute a waiver on his or her own behalf; a waiver by a legal guardian or guardians, or, in the absence of a legal guardian, the person (or persons) who has the child in his or her care, of the child’s right to receive such annuity shall constitute a waiver on behalf of such child. Such a waiver with respect to an annuity based on a veteran’s service shall be valid only if the surviving spouse and all children, or, if there is no surviving spouse, all the children, waive their rights to receive annuities under subchapter III of chapter 83 of title 5, United States Code, based on such veteran’s military or civilian service.

Appropriation to Trust Funds

(g)(1) Within thirty days after the date of the enactment of the Social Security Amendments of 1983[216], the Commissioner of Social Security shall determine the amount equal to the excess of—

(A) the actuarial present value as of such date of enactment of the past and future benefit payments from the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, and the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund under this title and title XVIII, together with associated administrative costs, resulting from the operation of this section (other than this subsection) and section 210 of this Act as in effect before the enactment of the Social Security Amendments of 1950[217], over

(B) any amounts previously transferred from the general fund of the Treasury to such Trust Funds pursuant to the provisions of this subsection as in effect immediately before the date of the enactment of the Social Security Amendments of 1983[218].

Such actuarial present value shall be based on the relevant actuarial assumptions set forth in the report of the Board of Trustees of each such Trust Fund for 1983 under sections 201(c) and 1817(b). Within thirty days after the date of the enactment of the Social Security Amendments of 1983, the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer the amount determined under this paragraph with respect to each such Trust Fund to such Trust Fund from amounts in the general fund of the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.

(2) The Commissioner of Social Security shall revise the amount determined under paragraph (1) with respect to each such Trust Fund in 1985 and each fifth year thereafter, as determined appropriate by the Commissioner of Social Security from data which becomes available to the Commissioner after the date of the determination under paragraph (1) on the basis of the amount of benefits and administrative expenses actually paid from such Trust Fund under this title or title XVIII and the relevant actuarial assumptions set forth in the report of the Board of Trustees of such Trust Fund for such year under section 201(c) or 1817(b). Within 30 days after any such revision, the Secretary of the Treasury, to the extent provided in advance in appropriation Acts, shall transfer to such Trust Fund, from amounts in the general fund of the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, or from such Trust Fund to the general fund of the Treasury, such amounts as the Secretary of the Treasury determines necessary to take into account such revision.

(h)(1) For the purposes of this section, any individual who the Commissioner of Social Security finds—

(A) served during World War II (as defined in subsection (d)(1)) in the active military or naval service of a country which was on September 16, 1940, at war with a country with which the United States was at war during World War II;

(B) entered into such active service on or before December 8, 1941;

(C) was a citizen of the United States throughout such period of service or lost his United States citizenship solely because of his entrance into such service;

(D) had resided in the United States for a period or periods aggregating four years during the five-year period ending on the day of, and was domiciled in the United States on the day of, such entrance into such active service; and

(E)(i) was discharged or released from such service under conditions other than dishonorable after active service of ninety days or more or by reason of a disability or injury incurred or aggravated in service in line of duty, or

(ii) died while in such service,

shall be considered a World War II veteran (as defined in subsection (d)(2)) and such service shall be considered to have been performed in the active military or naval service of the United States.

(2) In the case of any individual to whom paragraph (1) applies, proof of support required under section 202(f) or (h) may be filed at any time prior to the expiration of two years after the date of such individual’s death or the date of the enactment of this subsection[219], whichever is the later.


[213]  August 28, 1950 [P.L. 81-734; 64 Stat. 477].

[214]  See Vol. II, Title 38. P.L. 102-40 redesignated §3101 as §5301.

[215]  P.L. 101-508 was enacted in November 1990.

[216]  April 20, 1983 [P.L. 98-21; 97 Stat. 65].

[217]  August 28, 1950 [P.L. 81-734; 64 Stat. 477].

[218]  April 20, 1983 [P.L. 98-21; 97 Stat. 65].

[219]  August 28, 1958 [P.L. 85-840; 72 Stat. 1013].