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Congress Recognizes World War II Service"WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced a new benefit for Filipino Veterans who aided American troops in World War II -- a cash payment authorized through the newly enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Claims are now being accepted from Filipino Veterans eligible for one-time payments of $9,000 for non-U.S. citizens and $15,000 for Filipino Veterans with U.S. citizenship. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is working to begin making payments as soon as possible.
VA and the Embassy of the United States in Manila have announced locations in the Philippines where Veterans can apply immediately. The list has been posted at http://manila.usembassy.gov.
To receive information by mail, United States residents may call 1-800-827-1000. Philippine residents may call 632-528-2500 (within Metro Manila) or from outside Manila at 1-800-1888-5252. In addition, Filipino Veterans may request information via email at https://iris.va.gov.
The VA Regional Office in Manila will process all claims for this benefit. Therefore, U.S. residents should mail the application to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Regional Office, PSC 501, FPO AP 96515-100.
Extensive outreach is planned to alert World War II Veterans throughout the Philippines. Claims must be submitted by Feb. 16, 2010, a year after the bill’s signing. (emphasis added)
The payments do not affect other benefits Veterans may be receiving. The VA regional office in Manila currently provides approximately $15 million monthly in monetary benefits to Veterans residing in the Philippines. About $8 million of this goes to Filipino World War II Veterans or their survivors each month.
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COMMENT: better late than never, but let's try not to be late in the future.