VETERANS RESOURCES NETWORK
A letter was posted at the VBA site with information about 3 changes to
A final rule to amend adjudication regulations to implement The Veterans
Millennium Health Care and Benefits Act, which was signed into law on
November 30, 1999, was published in the Federal Register on July 14, 2000.
This rule amends 38 C.F.R. §3.22, §3.55, and §3.309.
1. Prisoner of War/DIC provision. DIC is payable under 38 U.S.C.
survivors of veterans whose service-connected conditions were rated totally
disabling for 10 years or more immediately preceding the veteran’s death.
Section 501 of Pub. L. 106-117 authorizes payment of DIC to the survivors of
former Prisoners of War who died after September 30, 1999, and who were
rated totally disabled continuously for a period of not less than one year
immediately preceding death for a service-connected disability.
2. Restored entitlement to DIC. Pub. L. 105-178 restored
DIC to a surviving spouse of a veteran if that person’s subsequent
remarriage had been terminated by death or divorce, or if a subsequent
relationship had been terminated. This law restored entitlement only to DIC.
Entitlement to ancillary benefits—including loan guaranty, CHAMPVA,
Chapter 35 education benefits—was not restored. Section 502 of Pub. L.
106-117 restores entitlement to health care benefits under 38 U.S.C. Chapter
17 (CHAMPVA), Chapter 35 education benefits, and housing loans under 38
U.S.C. Chapter 37 if the remarriage has been terminated by death or divorce.
This also applies to a surviving spouse who has ceased living with
person and holding himself or herself out openly to the public as that
3. Diseases Presumptive to Ionizing Radiation Exposure. Section
Pub. L. 106-117 adds bronchio-alveolar carcinoma to the list of diseases
that are presumed to result from exposure to ionizing radiation during
active military service. This condition is a rare type of lung cancer, one
of several types of adenocarcinoma of the lung. A diagnosis in the
veteran’s records may list it as carcinoma of the lung, bronchiogenic
carcinoma, adenocarcinoma of the lung, etc., rather than as bronchioalveolar
carcinoma. In a radiation claim where lung cancer is present, you will
to determine whether the actual specific type of cancer is bronchioalveolar