38 CFR 3.814 - Monetary allowance under 38 U.S.C. chapter 18 for an individual suffering from spina bifida whose biological father or mother is or was a Vietnam veteran or a veteran with covered service in Korea.
(a)Monthly monetary allowance. VA will pay a monthly monetary allowance under subchapter I of 38 U.S.C. chapter 18, based upon the level of disability determined under the provisions of paragraph (d) of this section, to or for a person who VA has determined is an individual suffering from spina bifida whose biological mother or father is or was a Vietnam veteran or a veteran with covered service in Korea. Receipt of this allowance will not affect the right of the individual or any related person to receive any other benefit to which he or she may be entitled under any law administered by VA. An individual suffering from spina bifida is entitled to only one monthly allowance under this section, even if the individual's biological father and mother are or were both Vietnam veterans or veterans with covered service in Korea.
(1)Vietnam veteran. For the purposes of this section, the term “Vietnam veteran” means a person who performed active military, naval, or air service in the Republic of Vietnam during the period beginning on January 9, 1962, and ending on May 7, 1975, without regard to the characterization of the person's service. Service in the Republic of Vietnam includes service in the waters offshore and service in other locations if the conditions of service involved duty or visitation in the Republic of Vietnam.
(2)Covered service in Korea. For the purposes of this section, the term “veteran with covered service in Korea” means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service in or near the Korean DMZ between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971, and who is determined by VA, in consultation with the Department of Defense, to have been exposed to an herbicide agent during such service. Exposure to an herbicide agent will be conceded if the veteran served between April 1, 1968, and August 31, 1971, in a unit that, as determined by the Department of Defense, operated in or near the Korean DMZ in an area in which herbicides are known to have been applied during that period, unless there is affirmative evidence to establish that the veteran was not exposed to any such agent during that service.
(3)Individual. For the purposes of this section, the term “individual” means a person, regardless of age or marital status, whose biological father or mother is or was a Vietnam veteran and who was conceived after the date on which the veteran first served in the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam era, or whose biological father or mother is or was a veteran with covered service in Korea and who was conceived after the date on which the veteran first had covered service in Korea as defined in this section. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 3.204(a)(1), VA will require the types of evidence specified in §§ 3.209 and 3.210 sufficient to establish in the judgment of the Secretary that a person is the biological son or daughter of a Vietnam veteran or a veteran with covered service in Korea.
(4)Spina bifida. For the purposes of this section, the term “spina bifida” means any form and manifestation of spina bifida except spina bifida occulta.
(1) Except as otherwise specified in this paragraph, VA will determine the level of payment as follows:
(i)Level I. The individual walks without braces or other external support as his or her primary means of mobility in the community, has no sensory or motor impairment of the upper extremities, has an IQ of 90 or higher, and is continent of urine and feces without the use of medication or other means to control incontinence.
(ii)Level II. Provided that none of the disabilities is severe enough to warrant payment at Level III, and the individual: walks with braces or other external support as his or her primary means of mobility in the community; or, has sensory or motor impairment of the upper extremities, but is able to grasp pen, feed self, and perform self care; or, has an IQ of at least 70 but less than 90; or, requires medication or other means to control the effects of urinary bladder impairment and no more than two times per week is unable to remain dry for at least three hours at a time during waking hours; or, requires bowel management techniques or other treatment to control the effects of bowel impairment but does not have fecal leakage severe or frequent enough to require wearing of absorbent materials at least four days a week; or, has a colostomy that does not require wearing a bag.
(iii)Level III. The individual uses a wheelchair as his or her primary means of mobility in the community; or, has sensory or motor impairment of the upper extremities severe enough to prevent grasping a pen, feeding self, and performing self care; or, has an IQ of 69 or less; or, despite the use of medication or other means to control the effects of urinary bladder impairment, at least three times per week is unable to remain dry for three hours at a time during waking hours; or, despite bowel management techniques or other treatment to control the effects of bowel impairment, has fecal leakage severe or frequent enough to require wearing of absorbent materials at least four days a week; or, regularly requires manual evacuation or digital stimulation to empty the bowel; or, has a colostomy that requires wearing a bag.
(2) If an individual who would otherwise be paid at Level I or II has one or more disabilities, such as blindness, uncontrolled seizures, or renal failure that result either from spina bifida, or from treatment procedures for spina bifida, the Director of the Compensation Service may increase the monthly payment to the level that, in his or her judgment, best represents the extent to which the disabilities resulting from spina bifida limit the individual's ability to engage in ordinary day-to-day activities, including activities outside the home. A Level II or Level III payment will be awarded depending on whether the effects of a disability are of equivalent severity to the effects specified under Level II or Level III.
(3) VA may accept statements from private physicians, or examination reports from government or private institutions, for the purpose of rating spina bifida claims without further examination, provided the statements or reports are adequate for assessing the level of disability due to spina bifida under the provisions of paragraph (d)(1) of this section. In the absence of adequate medical information, VA will schedule an examination for the purpose of assessing the level of disability.
(4) VA will pay an individual eligible for a monetary allowance due to spina bifida at Level I unless or until it receives medical evidence supporting a higher payment. When required to reassess the level of disability under paragraph (d)(5) or (d)(6) of this section, VA will pay an individual eligible for this monetary allowance at Level I in the absence of evidence adequate to support a higher level of disability or if the individual fails to report, without good cause, for a scheduled examination. Examples of good cause include, but are not limited to, the illness or hospitalization of the claimant, death of an immediate family member, etc.
(5) VA will pay individuals under the age of one year at Level I unless a pediatric neurologist or a pediatric neurosurgeon certifies that, in his or her medical judgment, there is a neurological deficit that will prevent the individual from ambulating, grasping a pen, feeding himself or herself, performing self care, or from achieving urinary or fecal continence. If any of those deficits are present, VA will pay the individual at Level III. In either case, VA will reassess the level of disability when the individual reaches the age of one year.
(6) VA will reassess the level of payment whenever it receives medical evidence indicating that a change is warranted. For individuals between the ages of one and twenty-one, however, it must reassess the level of payment at least every five years.
(e)Effective dates. Except as otherwise provided, VA will award the monetary allowance for an individual suffering from spina bifida based on an original claim, a claim reopened after final disallowance, or a claim for increase as of the date VA received the claim (or the date of birth if the claim is received within 1 year of that date) or the date entitlement arose, whichever is later.
(1) VA will increase benefits as of the earliest date the evidence establishes that the level of severity increased, but only if the beneficiary applies for an increase within one year of that date.
(2) If a claimant reopens a previously disallowed claim based on corrected military records, VA will award the benefit from the latest of the following dates: the date the veteran or beneficiary applied for a correction of the military records; the date the disallowed claim was filed; or, the date one year before the date of receipt of the reopened claim.
(f)Reductions and discontinuances. VA will generally reduce or discontinue awards according to the facts found except as provided in §§ 3.105 and 3.114(b).
(1) If benefits were paid erroneously because of beneficiary error, VA will reduce or discontinue benefits as of the effective date of the erroneous award.
(2) If benefits were paid erroneously because of administrative error, VA will reduce or discontinue benefits as of the date of last payment.
- 38 CFR 21.8010 — Definitions and Abbreviations.
- 38 CFR 17.900 — Definitions.
- 38 CFR 3.815 — Monetary Allowance Under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 18 for an Individual With Disability From Covered Birth Defects Whose Biological Mother Is or Was a Vietnam Veteran; Identification of Covered Birth Defects.
- 38 CFR 17.901 — Provision of Health Care.
- 38 CFR 17.903 — Payment.
- 38 CFR 3.403 — Children.