US okays 11,000 vets’ claims, pays $105-M

MANILA – The United States embassy here says the government has already processed more than 11,000 claims filed by Filipino World War II veterans under the Equity Compensation (FVEC), and has paid out $105 million to the eligible veterans.

The embassy said in a statement that the processing and payments were made by the US Department of Veterans Affairs in the Manila regional office.

The embassy also reminded the qualified veterans that they have only until February 16, 2010 to file their claims for the FVEC benefit which was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009.

That Act recognized the services of Filipinos in the US armed services during World War II and authorized the onetime lump sum payment of $15,000 to Filipino veterans who are now US citizens and $9,000 to Filipino veterans. Congress appropriated $198 million for the benefit.

The embassy said the lump sum payment will not affect other benefits a veteran is currently receiving.
The embassy advised claimants who have not yet filed an application that instructions are posted on the US embassy website http://manila.usembassy.gov.

“We ask claimants not to file duplicate applications if they have already received acknowledgement of receipt of their claim,” the statement said.

New applications may be mailed to the US Department of Veterans Affairs Manila Regional Office located at the US embassy, 1131 Roxas Boulevard 0930, Manila, Philippines.

“US citizens are asked to submit a copy of their US passport,” it said.
The US embassy said those seeking assistance completing their application can make an appointment with a USDVA representative by calling (632) 528-2500 or 1-800-1888-5252 outside of Metro Manila.

The USDVA will have representatives available to accept claims at the following locations from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the dates listed below:
PVAO USAFIPNL Camp Henry T. Allen, Baguio City, Benguet, 5 November 2009; PVAO Cleofer’s Building, General Hizon Extension, San Fernando City, Pampanga, 19 November 2009; PVAO CENTCOM, Camp Lapu-Lapu Lahug, Cebu City, Cebu, 14 January 2010; and PVAO Door 4, Gutierrez Compound, Abad Santos Ave., Davao City, Davao Del Sur, 11 February 2010.

All Filipino WWII veterans are requested to bring the following information and documentation (if applicable) when filing their claims:
Two forms of Identification (such as passport, driver’s license, Senior Citizen ID, Bureau of Post ID, Voter ID, etc. )
VA Claim number
Service Number
Proof of military service (AGO Form 23)
US Passport (if a US Citizen)
The embassy said the USDVA pays about $17 million per month to veterans residing in the Philippines; some $8 million of this goes to Filipino WWII veterans or their survivors.

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