Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Veto of Bill for Relief of Mrs. Virginia Bond.

April 11, 1960

To the House of Representatives:

I am returning herewith, without my approval, H.R. 7933, "For the relief of Mrs. Virginia Bond."

The $1,589.89 of death pension benefits authorized by this bill are for the period between Mrs. Bond's husband's death on June 29, 1957 and May 13, 1959, the effective date of the pension Mrs. Bond currently receives. The benefits provided by H.R. 7933 are retroactive and may not be paid under existing legislation. Such an exception to general law should be made only to correct a serious inequity or in other unusually meritorious circumstances. I find no such basis for approving this bill.

Mrs. Bond on July 11, 1957 filed a claim for death pension benefits with the Veterans' Administration. Had this claim been allowed Mrs. Bond's pension, because applied for within a year of her husband's death, would have been retroactive to the date of her husband's death. Her claim was denied, however, because it was determined that her husband's death was not due to his service--nor was the evidence in support of the claim sufficient to entitle Mrs. Bond to a non-service-connected death pension. This denial was affirmed on appeal.

On May 13, 1959, Mrs. Bond filed a second claim with new evidence and on the basis thereof she was awarded the death pension she is now receiving. The law, however, specifically requires that such a second claim be treated as a new claim. The effective date of the award, therefore, was the date of the second claim because it had been filed more than one year after the death of Mr. Bond.

This history affords no valid justification for the special relief the bill would accord. The language of the law requiring that second claims be treated as new claims is clear and unmistakable. Furthermore, the insufficiency of the evidence in support of the first claim is attributable to Mrs. Bond, not to the Government.

Because the bill would discriminate against others similarly situated and would create an undesirable precedent, I am constrained to withhold my approval.


Dwight D. Eisenhower, Veto of Bill for Relief of Mrs. Virginia Bond. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234156

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