Subchapter E. PARALYZED VETERANS PENSION
5.43. Application procedures.
5.44. Criteria and procedure for determination of peacetime combat-related activities.
5.45. Review of applications.
5.47. Effective date of pension.
§ 5.41. Definitions.
The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, have the following meanings, unless the context already indicates otherwise:
ActTitle 51 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 7702 (relating to paralyzed veterans pension).
BureauThe Bureau for Veterans Affairs of the Commonwealth.
DepartmentThe Department of Military Affairs of the Commonwealth.
ExtremitiesThe limbs of a human body, such as the arms and hands or legs and feet. The term does not include fingers and toes.
Loss of useA person is deemed to have lost the use of limbs when the persons balance, propulsion or manipulation is affected so as to permanently preclude locomotion or use of the arms and hands without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, wheelchairs or other devices.
Military or naval forces of the United StatesThe United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, and members of the reserve components and forces thereof including the Army and Air National Guard, when they are in a military duty status.
Paralyzed veteranA person who served in the military or naval forces of the United States, or a womens organization officially connected therewith, during established war or armed conflict service dates, who gave the Commonwealth as the persons place of residence at the time of entry into military service and who is currently a resident of Pennsylvania and who, while performing duties connected with military or naval service, suffered an injury or incurred a disease which resulted in the loss of, or loss of use of, two or more extremities. The term does not include persons separated from the military or naval forces or womens organizations officially connected therewith under other than honorable conditions. The term includes persons who are paralyzed as a result of peacetime combat-related actions as defined in this section.
Peacetime combat-related actionA military action resulting in casualties to members of the military or naval forces or officially connected womens organizations of the United States during periods other than established war or armed conflict service dates when one of the following events take place:
(i) American armed forces are engaged in hostilities or exchange fire with the armed forces of a foreign state or terrorists.
(ii) American armed forces are engaged in operational activities incident to engagements with the armed forces of a foreign state or terrorists.
(iii) American armed forces are the targets or victims of hostile fire or terrorist attack.
Terrorist attackAn act of violence, including bombings, kidnappings, shootings and assaults, perpetrated by individuals or groups against members of the military or naval forces of the United States for political, anarchist or other motives.
War or armed conflict service datesPeriods of war or armed conflict, including the Spanish-American War, the Mexican border period, World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam Era and periods beginning on the date of a future declaration of war by Congress and ending on the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or concurrent resolution, as well as dates established by Federal statute or 38 CFR (relating to pensions, bonuses and veterans relief) as being periods of war or armed conflict.
Womens organization officially-connected with the military or naval forcesAn organization for females that is affiliated with the Armed Forces and whose members are recognized as veterans by the United States Veterans Administration.
§ 5.42. Eligibility.
§ 5.43. Application procedures.
(a) Form. An application for the Paralyzed Veterans Pension shall be made on a form prescribed by the Adjutant General. The form is available from the following sources:
(1) Department of Military Affairs, Bureau for Veterans Affairs, Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, Pennsylvania 17003-5002 or through the Adjutant Generals Field Offices located in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre.
(2) County Directors of Veterans Affairs in each county seat.
(3) Governors Veterans Outreach and Assistance Centers.
(4) Veterans service organizations.
(5) American Red Cross.
(b) Completion and execution of form. An applicant shall complete and sign the application form, certifying to the truthfulness of its contents under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to authorities). The signature shall be witnessed and the form dated.
(c) Documentation. The application shall submit the following documents along with the application form:
(1) The appropriate United States Department of Veterans Affairs or Department of Defense form requesting and consenting to the release of information from the applicants Federal records. The Department will use this form to obtain verification from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense of the applicants disability rating reflecting the loss, or loss of use, of the extremities. The current location of the applicants Veterans Administration medical records shall be indicated on this form.
(2) A copy of the applicants Report of Separation from Active Duty in the Armed Forces of the United States covering the period when the applicant sustained the injury or incurred the disease resulting in the loss of, or loss of use of, extremities.
(3) An applicant for a pension resulting from loss of, or loss of use of, limbs in peacetime combat-related actions may be required to submit additional documentation to verify the nature of the combat-related action and to verify that the loss of, or loss of use of, extremities resulted from the actions.
(d) Submission of application. An applicant shall mail or otherwise deliver the completed application, together with supporting documentation, to the following address: Paralyzed Veterans Pension, Department of Military Affairs, Bureau for Veterans Affairs, Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, Pennsylvania 17003-5002.
§ 5.44. Criteria and procedure for determination of peacetime combat-related actions.
(a) The Department will determine whether a peacetime action of the United States military and naval forces or officially-connected womens organization qualifies as a combat-related action or situation as defined in § 5.41 (relating to definitions). In making the determination, the Department will consider the following criteria:
(1) The nature, purpose and extent of the military action.
(2) The duty status of the military personnel participating in the action.
(3) The location where the action occurred.
(4) Whether the United States government identified the action or situation as combat-related by the award of decorations, payment of combat or hostile fire pay or other recognition to members of the armed forces who were involved in the action.
(5) The cause of casualties among members of the military or naval forces of the United States.
(6) Whether the casualties were the result of an accident instead of hostile fire or terrorist attack, whether or not the accident is directly related to operational activities incident to an engagement with foreign armed forces or terrorists.
(b) The Department will identify terrorist attacks against members of the United States military or naval forces or officially-connected womens organizations by considering the following criteria:
(1) The nature and purpose of the attack.
(2) The objective of the attack.
(3) The identity of the attackers and the victims.
(4) Whether or not the attack was self-identified as such by the perpetrators.
(5) Whether or not the United States government has investigated the attack and identified it as a terrorist act.
(c) The Department, through the Bureau, will maintain a log of verified peacetime combat-related actions or situations. If the information submitted by an applicant does not indicate participation in a verified peacetime combat-related action, the Department, through the Bureau, will make a determination of whether the action or situation needs the definition of a peacetime combat-related situation or action. The Bureau, through the Adjutant General, may seek the advice of the State Veterans Commission in making the determination.
§ 5.45. Review of applications.
(a) The Bureau will review an application. The Bureau may request an applicant to supply additional information to support the application.
(b) The Bureau will notify the applicant in writing of its determination. If the application is approved, the pension shall be paid from the effective date established in § 5.47 (relating to effective date of pension). If the application is disapproved, the written notice will state the reasons for the disapproval and inform the applicant of the appeal procedures specified in § 5.46 (relating to appeals).
§ 5.46. Appeals.
(a) An applicant aggrieved by a determination of the Bureau may appeal to the Adjutant General within 30 days after notification of the Bureau determination. An appeal shall be in writing and state the reasons for the appeal.
(b) The Adjutant General will adjudicate an appeal as provided in 1 Pa. Code Part II (relating to general rules of administrative practice and procedure). When an appeal is docketed, the Adjutant General will appoint a presiding officer to hear the appeal and prepare and file a proposed report in the manner provided by 1 Pa. Code Chapter 35 Subchapter G (relating to proposed reports). The Adjutant General will issue the final administrative adjudication of the Department on an appeal.
(c) Subsection (a) supersedes 1 Pa. Code § 35.20 (relating to appeals from the actions of the staff).
§ 5.47. Effective date of pension.
(a) Pension payment schedule. A pension will be paid based upon the date when the completed application is received by the Bureau. A pension will be paid from the first day of the month in which the application is received if it is received on or before the 20th day of the month. If the application is received after the 20th day of the month, the pension will be paid from the first day of the next month.
(b) Transition rule. Under the act, no pension may be paid for a month before July 1, 1986.
This section cited in 43 Pa. Code § 5.45 (relating to review of applications).
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