Wednesday, October 7, 2009

USVA grants initial US$94M to WWII veterans

At least, 7,985 claim applications amounting to US$94 million were granted to eligible veterans since the United States government announced as early as April this year the granting of equity compensation benefits to Filipinos who fought side by side with American forces against the Japanese imperial army during the Second World War in the Philippines.

Of the 10,761 applications received for processing, 4,149 claims were approved for non-U.S. citizens with each getting US$9,000; and 3,836 for Filipino veterans with U.S. citizenship getting US$15,000 each. While some 2,776 claim applications were disapproved, says a faxed copy report obtained by the American Coalition of Filipino Veterans in Arlington, Virginia from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs office.

Ironically, some 32,795 applicants applied for the equity compensation claim with the DVA Center for Minority Veterans, which overshot the number of eligible applicants totaling 18,000 Filipino WWII veterans registered in Missouri. However, the DVA Manila Office is still in the process of determining, based on the requirements submitted, those who are qualified to receive the equity compensation or not. In fact, a total of 22,034 applications are still pending.

According to the DVA, each application is coursed through the Manila VA Regional Office via a VA Form 21-4138 and this is examined based on the criteria established in the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" under Section 1002 called the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund.

As of this writing, the DVA Center for Minority Affairs continues to conduct successful outreach program to inform the veterans and their families about their equity benefits. As the information drive continues, the DVA had advised eligible Filipino WWII claimants to submit their claims until Feb. 16, 2010.

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