WWII vet claims must be received at USDVA-Manila by 2/16/10 deadline, says embassy

January 5, 2010 11:06 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 5 — February 16, the deadline for applying for one-time veterans benefits claims under the 2009 Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation, is only six weeks away. “All veterans who feel they may be eligible are encouraged to apply immediately.”

The U.S. Embassy’s Department of Veterans Affairs office (USDVA) reiterates anew this deadline to ensure that claims by Filipino WWII veterans-beneficiaries are received at the USDVA on Roxas Boulevard in Manila by that date.

”If application is sent by mail, veterans are encouraged to send the application early enough to ensure its receipt by USDVA by the February 16, 2010 deadline. Simply mailing the application by the deadline is not sufficient. It must be received by USDVA by the deadline,” the embassy emphasized.

As of December 29, USDVA has approved the applications of more than 11,300 eligible Filipino WWII veterans or their widows, the USDVA said. These qualified veterans and widows have been paid a total of nearly P6.4 billion. About half of the nearly P6.4 billion in one-time benefits paid out so far has gone to Filipino WWII veterans with American citizenship, and the other half to non-U.S. citizen Filipino WW II veterans.

The new, one-time benefits are available to eligible veterans and widows of eligible veterans who applied before their death.

Any change in the law to provide these additional benefits to other survivors would require new legislation in the U.S. Congress, the USDVA reiterates, emphasizing the importance of having applications in by February 16, 2010. “Every application is handled expeditiously so that qualified veterans receive their payments as quickly as possible,” the embassy added.

There is no “master list” of eligible veterans for this new, one-time benefit. Each claim is unique and decided on its own merits. The application process is free and simple, and there is no need to pay anyone to assist in completing the form, which can be mailed to the U.S. Embassy.

Veterans can also submit their application in person to the USDVA offices at the US Embassy. Veterans can call USDVA at (632) 528-2500 or toll free outside Metro Manila at 1-800-1888-5252 for more information about this option. No appointments are necessary to file an initial application for this new benefit. (PNA)

DCT/GJB

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