37 U.S. Code § 481h - Travel and transportation allowances: transportation of designated individuals incident to hospitalization of members for treatment of wounds, illness, or injury

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(a) Travel and Transportation Authorized.—
(1) Under uniform regulations prescribed by the Secretaries concerned, travel and transportation described in subsection (c) may be provided for not more than three individuals who, with respect to a member described in paragraph (2), are designated individuals for that member if the attending physician or surgeon and the commander or head of the military medical facility exercising control over the member determine, with respect to any such individual, that the presence of such individual may contribute to the member’s health and welfare. In circumstances determined to be appropriate by the Secretary concerned, the Secretary may waive the limitation on the number of designated individuals provided travel and transportation under this section.
(2) A member referred to in paragraph (1) is a member of the uniformed services who—
(A) is serving on active duty, is entitled to pay and allowances under section 204 (g) of this title (or would be so entitled were it not for offsetting earned income described in that section), or is retired for the illness or injury referred to in subparagraph (B); and
(B) either—
(i) is seriously wounded, seriously ill, seriously injured (including having a serious mental disorder), or in a situation of imminent death (whether or not electrical brain activity still exists or brain death is declared), and is hospitalized in a medical facility; or
(ii) is not described in clause (i), but has a wound or an injury incurred in an operation or area designated as a combat operation or combat zone, respectively, by the Secretary of Defense and is hospitalized in a medical facility for treatment of that wound or injury.
(3) Not more than a total of three roundtrips may be provided under paragraph (1) in any 60-day period at Government expense to the individuals who, with respect to a member, are the designated individuals of that member in effect during that period. However, if the Secretary concerned has granted a waiver under the second sentence of paragraph (1) with respect to a member, then for any 60-day period in which the waiver is in effect the limitation in the preceding sentence shall be adjusted accordingly. In addition, during any period during which there is in effect a non-medical attendant designation for a member under section 481k of this title, not more than a total of two roundtrips may be provided under paragraph (1) in any 60-day period at Government expense until there no longer is a designation of a non-medical attendant or that designation transfers to another individual, in which case during the transfer period three roundtrips may be provided.
(4) In the case of a designated individual who is also a member of the uniformed services, that member may be provided travel and transportation under this section in the same manner as a designated individual who is not a member.
(b) Definitions.—
(1) In this section, the term “designated individual”, with respect to a member, means—
(A) an individual designated by the member for the purposes of this section; or
(B) in the case of a member who has not made a designation under subparagraph (A) and, as determined by the attending physician or surgeon, is not able to make such a designation, an individual who, as designated by the attending physician or surgeon and the commander or head of the military medical facility exercising control over the member, is someone with a personal relationship to the member whose presence may aid and support the health and welfare of the member during the duration of the member’s inpatient treatment.
(2) The designation of an individual as a designated individual for purposes of this section may be changed at any time.
(3)
(A) In this section, the term “health and welfare”, with respect to a member, includes a situation in which a decision must be made by family members regarding the termination of artificial life support being provided to the member.
(B) In this paragraph, the term “family member”, with respect to a member, means the following:
(i) The member’s spouse.
(ii) Children of the member (including stepchildren, adopted children, and illegitimate children).
(iii) Parents of the member or persons in loco parentis to the member, including fathers and mothers through adoption and persons who stood in loco parentis to the member for a period not less than one year immediately before the member entered the uniformed service, except that only one father and one mother or their counterparts in loco parentis may be recognized in any one case.
(iv) Siblings of the member.
(v) A person related to the member as described in clause (i), (ii), (iii), or (iv) who is also a member of the uniformed services.
(4)
(A) In this section, the term “serious mental disorder”, in the case of a member, means that the member has been diagnosed with a mental disorder that requires intensive mental health treatment or hospitalization.
(B) The circumstances in which a member shall be considered to have a serious mental disorder for purposes of this section shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(i) The member is considered to be a potential danger to self or others as a result of a diagnosed mental disorder that requires intensive mental health treatment or hospitalization.
(ii) The member is diagnosed with a mental disorder and has psychotic symptoms that require intensive mental health treatment or hospitalization.
(iii) The member is diagnosed with a mental disorder and has severe symptoms or severe impairment in functioning that require intensive mental health treatment or hospitalization.
(c) Round Trip Transportation and Per Diem Allowance.—
(1) The transportation authorized by subsection (a) is round-trip transportation between the home of the designated individual and the location of the medical facility in which the member is hospitalized.
(2) In addition to the transportation authorized by subsection (a), the Secretary concerned may provide a per diem allowance or reimbursement for the actual and necessary expenses of the travel, or a combination thereof, but not to exceed the rates established under section 474 (d) of this title.
(d) Method of Transportation Authorized.—
(1) The transportation authorized by subsection (a) may be provided by any of the following means:
(A) Transportation in-kind.
(B) A monetary allowance in place of transportation in-kind at a rate to be prescribed by the Secretaries concerned.
(C) Reimbursement for the commercial cost of transportation.
(2) An allowance payable under this subsection may be paid in advance.
(3) Reimbursement payable under this subsection may not exceed the cost of government-procured commercial round-trip air travel.
(e) Termination.— No transportation, allowance, reimbursement, or per diem may be provided under this section for travel that begins after the travel authorities transition expiration date.

Source

(Added Pub. L. 100–180, div. A, title VI, § 615(a)(1),Dec. 4, 1987, 101 Stat. 1095, § 411h; amended Pub. L. 100–456, div. A, title VI, § 632(a),Sept. 29, 1988, 102 Stat. 1985; Pub. L. 103–337, div. A, title VI, § 624,Oct. 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 2785; Pub. L. 108–136, div. A, title VI, § 632,Nov. 24, 2003, 117 Stat. 1508; Pub. L. 108–375, div. A, title VI, § 632(a), (b),Oct. 28, 2004, 118 Stat. 1956; Pub. L. 109–13, div. A, title I, § 1026(a), (b)(1),May 11, 2005, 119 Stat. 254; Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title VI, § 655(b),Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3314; Pub. L. 109–364, div. A, title VI, § 631,Oct. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 2258; Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title VI, § 632(a)–(g)(1), Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2359–2362; renumbered § 481h and amended Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title VI, § 631(d)(2), (e)(21), (f)(4)(A),Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1460, 1463, 1465; Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title X, § 1076(a)(9),Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 1948.)
Amendments

2013—Pub. L. 112–239, § 1076(a)(9), made technical amendment to directory language of Pub. L. 112–81, § 631(f)(4)(A). See 2011 Amendment note below.
2011—Pub. L. 112–81, § 631(f)(4)(A), as amended by Pub. L. 112–239, § 1076(a)(9), substituted “481k” for “411k” in subsec. (a)(3) and “474” for “404” in subsec. (c)(2).
Pub. L. 112–81, § 631(d)(2), renumbered section 411h of this title as this section.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 112–81, § 631(e)(21), added subsec. (e).
2009—Pub. L. 111–84, § 632(g)(1), substituted “designated individuals incident to hospitalization of members for treatment of wounds, illness, or injury” for “family members incident to illness or injury of members” in section catchline.
Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 111–84, § 632(f)(1), inserted heading.
Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 111–84, § 632(a)(1), substituted “individuals who, with respect to a member described in paragraph (2), are designated individuals for that member” for “family members of a member described in paragraph (2)”, “, with respect to any such individual, that the presence of such individual” for “that the presence of the family member”, and “of designated individuals” for “of family members”.
Subsec. (a)(2)(B)(i). Pub. L. 111–84, § 632(c)(1)(A), (2)(A), (d)(1), inserted “seriously wounded,” after “(i) is” and “(including having a serious mental disorder)” after “seriously injured” and struck out “in or outside the United States” after “medical facility”.
Subsec. (a)(2)(B)(ii). Pub. L. 111–84, § 632(c)(1)(B), (2)(B), substituted “a wound or an injury” for “an injury” and “that wound or injury” for “that injury” and struck out “in the United States” after “facility”.
Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 111–84, § 632(e), amended par. (3) generally. Prior to amendment par. (3) read as follows: “Not more than one roundtrip may be provided to a family member under paragraph (1) on the basis of clause (ii) of paragraph (2)(B).”
Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 111–84, § 632(a)(2), added par. (4).
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 111–84, § 632(f)(2)(A), inserted heading.
Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 111–84, § 632(b)(1), substituted “ ‘designated individual’ ” for “ ‘family member’ ” in introductory provisions, added subpars. (A) and (B), and struck out former subpars. (A) to (E) which defined “family member.”
Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 111–84, § 632(b)(2), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: “Parents of a member or persons in loco parentis to a member include fathers and mothers through adoption and persons who stood in loco parentis to the member for a period not less than one year immediately before the member entered the uniformed service. However, only one father and one mother or their counterparts in loco parentis may be recognized in any one case.”
Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 111–84, § 632(f)(2)(B), designated existing provisions as subpar. (A) and added subpar. (B).
Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 111–84, § 632(d)(2), added par. (4).
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 111–84, § 632(f)(3)(A), inserted heading.
Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 111–84, § 632(f)(3)(B), substituted “designated individual” for “family member”.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 111–84, § 632(f)(4), inserted heading.
2006—Subsec. (a)(2)(B)(ii). Pub. L. 109–163struck out “under section 1967 (e)(1)(A) of title 38” after “Secretary of Defense”.
Subsec. (b)(1)(E). Pub. L. 109–364added subpar. (E).
2005—Pub. L. 109–13, § 1026(b)(1), amended section catchline generally. Prior to amendment, catchline read as follows: “Travel and transportation allowances: transportation of family members incident to the serious illness or injury of members”.
Subsec. (a)(2)(B), (C). Pub. L. 109–13, § 1026(a)(1)(B), added subpar. (B) and struck out former subpars. (B) and (C) which read as follows:
“(B) is seriously ill, seriously injured, or in a situation of imminent death, whether or not electrical brain activity still exists or brain death is declared; and
“(C) is hospitalized in a medical facility in or outside the United States.”
Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 109–13, § 1026(a)(2), added par. (3).
2004—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 108–375, § 632(a), (b)(1), inserted “travel and” before “transportation”, substituted “three family members” for “two family members”, and inserted second sentence.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 108–375, § 632(b)(2), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).
2003—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 108–136, § 632(1), substituted “control” for “military control”.
Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 108–136, § 632(2), substituted “, is entitled” for “or is entitled” and inserted before semicolon at end “, or is retired for the illness or injury referred to in subparagraph (B)”.
1994—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 103–337, § 624(a)(1), substituted “may contribute to” for “is necessary for”.
Subsec. (a)(2)(B). Pub. L. 103–337, § 624(a)(2), added subpar. (B) and struck out former subpar. (B) which read as follows: “is seriously ill or seriously injured; and”.
Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 103–337, § 624(b), added par. (3).
1988—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 100–456amended par. (2) generally, inserting “or is entitled to pay and allowances under section 204 (g) of this title (or would be so entitled were it not for offsetting earned income described in that section)” in subpar. (A).
Effective Date of 2013 Amendment

Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title X, § 1076(a),Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 1947, provided that the amendment made by section 1076(a)(9) is effective Dec. 31, 2011, and as if included in Pub. L. 112–81as enacted.
Effective Date of 2009 Amendment

Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title VI, § 632(i),Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2362, as amended by Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title VI, § 631(f)(4)(B),Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1465; Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title X, § 1076(a)(9),Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 1948, provided that: “No reimbursement may be provided under section 481h of title 37, United States Code, by reason of the amendments made by this section [amending this section and provisions set out as a note under section 1071 of Title 10, Armed Forces] for travel and transportation costs incurred before the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 28, 2009].”
Effective Date of 2006 Amendment

Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title VI, § 655(c),Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3314, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending this section and repealing provisions set out as notes under this section] shall take effect on the earlier of the following:
“(1) The date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 6, 2006].
“(2) The date specified in section 106(3) ofPublic Law 109–77 (119 Stat. 2039) [Dec. 31, 2005].”
Effective and Termination Dates of 2005 Amendments

Pub. L. 109–77, § 115,Sept. 30, 2005, 119 Stat. 2040, provided that: “The provisions of, and amendments made by, sections 1011, 1012, 1013, 1023, and 1026 ofPublic Law 109–13 [amending this section, section 1478 of Title 10, Armed Forces, and sections 1967, 1969, 1970, and 1977 of Title 38, Veterans’ Benefits, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section, section 1478 of Title 10, and section 1967 of Title 38] shall continue in effect, notwithstanding the fiscal year limitation in section 1011 [119 Stat. 244] and the provisions of sections 1012(i), 1013(e), 1023(c), and 1026(e) of that Public Law [enacting provisions set out as notes under this section, section 1478 of Title 10, and section 1967 of Title 38], through the earlier of: (1) the date specified in section 106(3) of this joint resolution [Dec. 31, 2005]; or (2) with respect to any such section of Public Law 109–13, the date of the enactment into law of legislation that supersedes the provisions of, or the amendments made by, that section.”
Pub. L. 109–13, div. A, title I, § 1026(e),May 11, 2005, 119 Stat. 255, which provided that the amendments made by section 1026 ofPub. L. 109–13(amending this section) were to terminate Sept. 30, 2005, and that effective Oct. 1, 2005, the provisions of section 411h of title 37 as in effect on the date before the date of the enactment of this Act (May 11, 2005) were to be revived, was repealed by Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title VI, § 655(a),Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3314. See Effective Date of 2006 Amendment note and section 115 ofPub. L. 109–77set out above.
Effective Date of 2004 Amendment

Pub. L. 108–375, div. A, title VI, § 632(c),Oct. 28, 2004, 118 Stat. 1956, as amended by Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title VI, § 631(f)(4)(B),Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1465; Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title X, § 1076(a)(9),Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 1948, provided that: “Section 481h of title 37, United States Code, as amended by this section, shall apply to travel and transportation authorized under such section that is provided on or after October 1, 2004, to family members of a member of the Armed Forces who is ill or injured as described in such section.”
Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–456effective Oct. 1, 1988, see section 632(c) ofPub. L. 100–456, set out as a note under section 481f of this title.
Effective Date

Pub. L. 100–180, div. A, title VI, § 615(b),Dec. 4, 1987, 101 Stat. 1096, as amended by Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title VI, § 631(f)(4)(B),Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1465; Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title X, § 1076(a)(9),Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 1948, provided that: “The authority to provide transportation or to pay transportation expenses under section 481h of title 37, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall be effective only with respect to travel that occurs on or after the effective date of regulations prescribed under such section.”
Report on Travel in Excess of Certain Limit

Pub. L. 109–13, div. A, title I, § 1026(d),May 11, 2005, 119 Stat. 255, which provided that if in any fiscal year the amount of travel provided in such fiscal year under this section by reason of the amendments made by section 1026 ofPub. L. 109–13exceeded $20,000,000, the Secretary of Defense was to submit to the congressional defense committees a report on that fact, was repealed by Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title VI, § 655(a),Jan. 6, 2006, 119 Stat. 3314.

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37 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large
§ 481hnts2012112-239 [Sec.] 1076(a)(9)126 Stat. 1948
§ 481h2012112-239 [Sec.] 1076(a)(9)126 Stat. 1948

 

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