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Home Sections Filipino-Veterans' Lobby Filvets’ Claimants Reach 31,876 as They Get $77-M
Filvets’ Claimants Reach 31,876 as They Get $77-M PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Filipino-Veterans' Lobby
Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Thursday, 10 September 2009 07:35

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(Journal Group Link International)

 

C HICAGO, Illinois (JGLi) – The number of claimants to the lump sum benefits for the Filipino veterans under The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has now exceeded the original 18,000 benchmark.


Out of the 31,876 claimants, 2,438 of these were denied, according to statistics released by the Center for Minority Veterans of the United States Veterans Affair’s Office.

 

This information was posted in a mass email by R. Sonny S. Sampayan, a retired U.S. serviceman, quoting Ronald Sagudan, program analyst of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Minority Veterans, retired Gen. Tony Taguba, chair of the advisory committee on Minority Veterans of the U.S. DVA and Lyn Johnson, New York City MVPC, who has reached out to the Filipino community to help find every veteran, who maybe qualified for VA benefits before the February, 2010 deadline.

 

As of August 19, Jim Benson of the media relations office of the USDVA told this reporter that as far as he knew, no claims have denied by claimants, who died, after filing the claims.

 

He said the total claims approved were 5,890 for a total of $69,363,287.00. Of these claimants approved for $15,000, 2,732 were U.S. Citizens with a total disbursement amounting to $40,958,846.

 

There were 3,153 claimants were approved for $9,000 for non-U.S. Citizens for a total of $28,374,441 and “Approved for 5 others for $30,000.” Of these approved claimants, 4,783 were residing in the Philippines while 890 others were residing in the U.S.

 

As of September 1, 2009, 31,876 claims have been received. In addition to these claims, the Manila Regional Office (RO) has received more than 4,400 duplicate or incomplete applications.

 

About 8,990 applications have been processed through the first four-and-a-half months since processing began: 3,414 approved for non-United States citizens, 3,138 approved for Filipino Veterans with U.S. Citizenship, and 2,438 applications disapproved. There are 22,886 pending claims.

 

Outreach Programs for Veterans and their Kin

 

T he VA conducting numerous successful outreach programs to inform veterans and their families about this benefit.

 

Claimants have until February 16, 2010, to file their claims. The VA is unable to predict the volume of additional claims and is unable to predict a future processing completion date. The Manila RO has established a dedicated team of employees who solely process FVEC claims. To date, over $77 million has been awarded to eligible Filipino veterans. A budget of $198-M has been allocated for these benefits under the new law.

 

The Philippines is home to the only VA Regional Office located outside the United States or its territories. This is evidence of the strong commitment VA has to Filipino veterans and their dependents.


There are two options available to claimants who do not agree with a VA decision. The first option is to provide VA with evidence that may lead VA to change the decision. The notification letter will clearly identify any potential missing evidence the claimant should provide in order to substantiate their claim.

 

The second option is to file a notice of disagreement (NOD), in writing, explaining the reasons for disagreement. The time frame to file a notice of disagreement is one year from the date of the notification letter explaining the reasons and basis VA used to make their decision.  The VA encloses a VA Form 4107, "Your Rights to Appeal Our Decision," with Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC) Fund notification letters to help explain appeal rights to claimants.

 

Once an appeal is received, the claimant will be provided hearing options to include a video hearing or a face-to face hearing at the nearest regional office.

 

Due to Privacy-Act provisions the list of applicants and claimants are not subject to public disclosure. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net) # # #

 

 



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Last Updated on Thursday, 10 September 2009 07:46
 

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