38 U.S. Code § -

(a) Limitation on Authority.— The Secretary may not collect all or any part of an amount owed to the United States by a member of the Armed Forces or veteran described in subsection (b) under any program under the laws administered by the Secretary, other than a program referred to in subsection (c), if the Secretary determines that termination of collection is in the best interest of the United States.
(b) Covered Individuals.— A member of the Armed Forces or veteran described in this subsection is any member or veteran who dies as a result of an injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while serving in a theater of combat operations (as determined by the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of Defense) in a war or in combat against a hostile force during a period of hostilities (as that term is defined in section 1712A (a)(2)(B)  [2] of this title) after September 11, 2001.
(c) Inapplicability to Housing and Small Business Benefit Programs.— The limitation on authority in subsection (a) shall not apply to any amounts owed the United States under any program carried out under chapter 37 of this title.

[1]  So in original. Probably should be followed by a period.

[2]  See References in Text note below.


(Added Pub. L. 110–252, title I, § 1303(a)(1),June 30, 2008, 122 Stat. 2327.)
References in Text

Section 1712A (a)(2)(B) of this title, referred to in subsec. (b), was struck out by Pub. L. 112–239, div. A, title VII, § 727(1)(B),Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 1811.
Effective Date

Pub. L. 110–252, title I, § 1303(c),June 30, 2008, 122 Stat. 2328, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [enacting this section] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [June 30, 2008], and shall apply with respect to collections of indebtedness of members of the Armed Forces and veterans who die on or after September 11, 2001.”
Equitable Refund

Pub. L. 110–389, title VIII, § 801(b),Oct. 10, 2008, 122 Stat. 4185, provided that: “The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may refund to the estate of such person any amount collected by the Secretary (whether before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 10, 2008]) from a person who died while serving on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces if the Secretary determines that, under the circumstances applicable with respect to the deceased person, it is appropriate to do so.”
Pub. L. 110–252, title I, § 1303(b),June 30, 2008, 122 Stat. 2327, provided that: “In any case where all or any part of an indebtedness of a covered individual, as described in section 5302A (a) of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a)(1), was collected after September 11, 2001, and before the date of the enactment of this Act [June 30, 2008], and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs determines that such indebtedness would have been terminated had such section been in effect at such time, the Secretary may refund the amount so collected if the Secretary determines that the individual is equitably entitled to such refund.”

The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.

The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013

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38 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large


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