Four months remaining to file Filipino WWII veterans equity compensation (FVEC) claims

Filipino World War II (WWII) veterans have until February 16, 2010 to file their claims for the FVEC benefit that was included among the many provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law February 17, 2009 by U.S. President Barack Obama.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 formally recognizes the service of qualified Filipino WWII veterans as active military service in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes of this law. It authorizes a one-time lump-sum payment of US $15,000 to eligible Filipino WW II veterans with U.S. citizenship and US $9,000 to non-U.S. citizen veterans. The United States has approved US $198 million for the benefit of all eligible Filipino WWII veterans. This additional payment will not change or affect other benefits an individual may be currently receiving.

The United States Embassy, through its United States Department of Veterans Affairs Manila Regional Office (USDVA), has already processed more than 11,000 FVEC claims and has paid out almost $100 million for this benefit. For those claimants who have not yet filed an application, instructions are posted on the U.S. Embassy website at http://manila.usembassy.gov. We ask claimants not to file duplicate applications if they have already received acknowledgement of receipt of their claim. New applications may be mailed to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Manila Regional Office located at the U.S. Embassy, 1131 Roxas Boulevard 0930, Manila, Philippines. U.S. citizens are asked to submit a copy of their U.S. passport.

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 conduct targeted outreach throughout the Philippines to increase awareness about the February 16 deadline among Filipino WW II veterans who may be entitled receive the benefits. An announcement of the dates and times of these outreach events will be released in the near future.

The USDVA pays approximately $17 million per month to veterans residing in the Philippines. Some $8 million of this goes to Filipino WWII veterans or their survivors.#