38 CFR § 3.802 - Medal of Honor.

§ 3.802 Medal of Honor.

(a) The Secretary of the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, the Department of the Air Force, or the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating will determine the eligibility of applicants to be entered on the Medal of Honor Roll and will deliver to the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs a copy of each certificate issued in which the right of the person named in the certificate to the special pension is set forth. The special pension will be authorized on the basis of such certification. A surviving spouse may be eligible for special pension in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.

(b) An award of special pension at the monthly rate specified in 38 U.S.C. 1562 will be made beginning as of the date on which the person's name is entered on the Army, Navy, Air Force, and/or Coast Guard Medal of Honor Roll. The special pension will be paid in addition to all other payments under laws of the United States. However, a person awarded more than one Medal of Honor, or a person married to more than one person who has been awarded a Medal of Honor, may not receive more than one special pension. A person who is entitled to special pension under paragraph (a) of this section may elect not to receive special pension by notifying the Secretary of such election in writing.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1562)

(c) Except as provided in paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this section, the Secretary shall pay special pension under this section to the surviving spouse (as defined in § 3.50(b)) of a person whose name has been entered on the Army, Navy, Air Force, and/or Coast Guard Medal of Honor Roll and a copy of whose certificate has been delivered to the Secretary under 10 U.S.C. 1134a(d).

(1) No special pension shall be paid to a surviving spouse of a person under this section unless such surviving spouse was married to such person -

(i) For one year or more prior to the veteran's death; or

(ii) For any period of time if a child was born of the marriage, or was born to them before the marriage.

(2) No special pension shall be paid to a surviving spouse of a person under this section if such surviving spouse is receiving dependency and indemnity compensation under 38 U.S.C. 1311 or 1318.

(3) A surviving spouse who qualifies for Medal of Honor pension may, by notifying the Secretary in writing, elect to receive instead dependency and indemnity compensation under 38 U.S.C. 1311 or 1318, if entitled to such compensation. See also § 3.702(g).

(4) Special pension, including any lump sum payment under paragraph (d) of this section, may only be paid to a surviving spouse for months beginning after January 5, 2021.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1562 and note)

(d)

(1) VA will pay to each veteran or service member who is receiving or who in the future receives Medal of Honor pension a retroactive lump sum special pension payment equal to the total amount of Medal of Honor pension that person would have received during the period beginning the first day of the month after the date of the event for which the veteran earned the Medal of Honor and ending on the last day of the month preceding the month in which pension was awarded under paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section.

(2) VA will calculate the veteran's or service member's lump sum payment using the monthly Medal of Honor pension rates in effect from the first day of the month after the date of the event for which the veteran or service member earned the Medal of Honor, to the last day of the month preceding the month in which the individual was initially awarded the Medal of Honor pension under paragraph (b) of this section. VA will not make a retroactive lump sum payment under this paragraph (d)(2) before October 1, 2003.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1562(f))

(e) In the case of a posthumous entry on a qualifying Medal of Honor Roll, VA will pay to each surviving spouse who is receiving or who in the future receives Medal of Honor pension under paragraph (c) of this section a retroactive lump sum payment using the monthly Medal of Honor pension rates in effect from the first day of the month after the date of the event for which the veteran or service-member earned the Medal of Honor, to the last day of the month preceding the month in which the surviving spouse was initially awarded the Medal of Honor pension. VA will not make a retroactive posthumous lump sum payment under this paragraph (e) for periods before February 1, 2021.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 1562(f) and 1562 note)
[87 FR 68363, Nov. 15, 2022]