Franklin D. Roosevelt photo

White House Statement on Cuts in Veterans' Benefits.

June 06, 1933

Important changes were made today by the President in regulations having to do with compensation allowances for veterans of the World War and the Spanish-American War. These changes were approved by the President by an Executive Order which he signed.

The object of the changes made was to reduce the severity of cuts originally proposed under the so-called Economy Bill passed by the Congress to maintain the credit of the United States.

The new regulations set forth in the Executive Order were made possible by the President's original direction that the tentative regulations be carefully reviewed and amended specifically to prevent cuts in compensation of service-connected veterans which would be deeper than was intended and to effect more equitable levels of payment.

Under the new regulations, no directly service-connected veteran will be reduced in payment by more than 25 percent and the average reduction will approximate 18 percent. This regulation applies not only to World War veterans but to Spanish-American War veterans with directly connected disabilities and to peace-time veterans who have incurred a disability while with an Expeditionary Force engaged in a campaign or expedition such as Nicaragua, China, Russia or Haiti, and who have incurred injuries or disease in line of duty.

Under this regulation, the service-connected Spanish-American War veterans and some of the peace-time veterans will receive payments substantially in excess of those which they were receiving prior to the passage of the Economy Act.

With respect to World War veterans, this regulation increases the payments to those suffering from specific injuries, such as $150 a month for those who have lost both hands or both feet or one hand and one foot or in any case where the person is so helpless as to be in need of regular aid or attendant and, in addition, in the case of the more severely injured, the President's new regulations increase the allowance from $150 per month to $ 175 per month.

In the case of the Spanish-American War veterans over 62 years of age and who have served 90 days or more, even though they may be suffering from non-service-connected disabilities, rates are increased from $6 to $15 a month and in the case of either Spanish-American War or World War veterans who are permanently and totally disabled the rate is increased from $20 to $30 a month.

The new regulations also liberalize allowances pertaining to burial and funeral expenses to veterans. They provide that pensions shall continue to be payable to children of deceased veterans up to the age of 18 years and that, in the event of a child being in an approved school or college, the pension may continue for an additional period until the completion of the course, but not beyond the age of 21 years.

The original regulations only authorized payment of pensions up to 16 years in such cases. These regulations also include a provision exempting from the prohibition against payment of pensions to Federal employees, the widows of deceased veterans, and those veterans whose pay is $50 per month or less.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, White House Statement on Cuts in Veterans' Benefits. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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