Bill Text: NJ S898 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Makes annual compensation paid to surviving spouses of certain blind or disabled veterans payable from date of veteran's death.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 4-2)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-10-18 - Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee [S898 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S898-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 898

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 16, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  CHRISTOPHER J. CONNORS

District 9 (Atlantic, Burlington and Ocean)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Makes annual compensation paid to surviving spouses of certain blind or disabled veterans payable from date of veteran's death.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning annual compensation for surviving spouses of certain blind and disabled veterans and amending R.S.38:18-2 and P.L.1947, c.263.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    R.S.38:18-2 is amended to read  as follows:

     38:18-2.  A soldier, who has sustained a total loss of sight as a result of his service during any of the wars mentioned in section 1 of this chapter, shall be paid for the term of his life, and upon his death his surviving spouse shall be paid, provided that the soldier or surviving spouse shall continue as a resident of this State, the sum of $750.00 annually, in monthly payments. Such payments shall be due and payable from the date of discharge or release of the soldier if application therefor shall be made within one year from the date of such discharge or release.  If the application shall be made one year from the date of discharge or release of the soldier such payments shall be due and payable from the date of such application. Accrued payments to the date of certification shall be paid in one lump sum.

     Payments pursuant to this section shall be due and payable to an eligible surviving spouse from (1) April 9, 1985 in the event the veteran's death occurred prior to that date, or (2) the date of the veteran's death if the death occurred on or after April 9, 1985, regardless of the date of the surviving spouse's application.  Accrued payments to the date of certification shall be paid in one lump sum. The Division of Veterans Programs in the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs shall notify all surviving spouses who are certified and receiving annual compensation pursuant to this section on the effective date of this act, P.L.    , c.     (pending before the Legislature as this bill), of the provisions of this act, and shall ensure that the accrued payments are paid in one lump sum within 90 days of the effective date.

(cf:  P.L.1985, c.116, s.1)

 

     2.    Section 2 of P.L.1947, c.263 (C.38:18A-2) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    A veteran who served in the active military or naval forces of the United States and who has paraplegia and permanent paralysis of both legs and lower parts of the body, or who has osteochondritis and permanent loss of the use of both legs, or who has hemiplegia and permanent paralysis of one leg and one arm or either side of the body, resulting from injury to the spinal cord, skeletal structure, or brain, or who has had both hands, both feet, or one hand and one foot amputated, or who has lost the use of both feet or both legs, due to multiple sclerosis, sustained through enemy action, or accident, or resulting from disease contracted while in active military or naval service, shall be paid for the term of the veteran's life, and upon the veteran's death the surviving spouse, domestic partner, or partner in civil union shall be paid, the sum of $750 annually in monthly payments.  Such payments shall be due and payable from the date of discharge or release of the veteran if application therefor shall be made within one year from the date of such discharge or release.  If the application shall be made after one year from the date of discharge or release of the veteran, such payment shall be due and payable from the date of such application. Accrued payments to the date of certification shall be paid in one lump sum.

     Payments pursuant to this section shall be due and payable to an eligible surviving spouse from (1) April 9, 1985 in the event the veteran's death occurred prior to that date, or (2) the date of the veteran's death if the death occurred on or after April 9, 1985, regardless of the date of the surviving spouse's application.  Accrued payments to the date of certification shall be paid in one lump sum.  The Division of Veterans Programs in the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs shall notify all surviving spouses who are certified and receiving annual compensation pursuant to this section on the effective date of this act, P.L.    , c.    (pending before the Legislature as this bill), of the provisions of this act, and shall ensure that the accrued payments are paid in one lump sum within 90 days of the effective date.

     Nothing in P.L.1947, c.263 (C.38:18A-1 et seq.) shall be intended to include paraplegia or hemiplegia resulting from locomotor ataxia or other forms of syphilis of the central nervous system or from chronic alcohol use disorder, or to include other forms of disease resulting from the veteran's own misconduct which may produce signs and symptoms similar to those resulting from paraplegia, osteochondritis, hemiplegia, or multiple sclerosis.

(cf:  P.L.2017, c.131, s.146)

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately and shall be applicable to surviving spouses receiving payments pursuant to R.S.38:18-1 et seq. and P.L.1947, c.263 on the effective date and thereafter.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires the payment of the $750 annual compensation payable to a surviving spouse of a blind or severely disabled wartime veteran to begin from April 9, 1985 for veterans who died before that date and from the date of the veteran's death, regardless of when the surviving spouse files the application for this benefit, for veterans who died on or after that date. Surviving spouses were first made eligible for this benefit on April 9, 1985 by P.L.1985, c.116. Under current regulations of the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs, a surviving spouse is eligible for this benefit from the date of application.

     This lifetime benefit is statutorily available to a veteran who was

blinded in service during any war including specifically World War II and the Korean Conflict, or who was severely disabled as a result of service during any war including specifically World War II, the

Korean conflict, or Vietnam, although the department has made this

benefit available to veterans who served in other wars or military emergencies. A veteran who applied for this benefit within one year

of military discharge received payments beginning with that year. A

veteran who applied after one year received payments from the date of application. The sponsor states that this same requirement that payments begin from the date of application should not apply to surviving spouses because at the time of the veteran's death it is known that he or she was blind or severely disabled as a result of wartime service. 

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