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The Bayonet, 10 May 1918

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EIGHT THE BAYONET: CAMP LEE, VA., FRIDAY, MAY 10, 1918 cause the insurance is payable to him if he should become totally and permanently disabled through wound, sickness or accident, so that he would receive $5.75 monthly for every $1,000 of insurance purchases as long as he lived. The third reason is that while he may come through the war alive, he may not be in such physical condition to make him acceptable to the ordinary insurance companies, and may thus be unable to obtain any insurance whatever during the remainder of his life. In general, considering the very hazardous nature of the soldier's duties and occupation during war times, there is every reason why he should protect himself and any present or future dependents against misfortune or death or disablement while the opportunity is offered and open, and while he can do so at considerably less cost with the government as the "insurer" than would be possible with the ordinary life insurance company. If the solider will consider that in addition to these reasons he must avail himself of the government insurance within 120 days after his entry into the service, he will appreciate that the question of availing himself of this insurance now is one intimately connected with his own and the welfare of those dependent upon him, and that he cannot at any time advance any good reason for failure on his part to do so. Section VI. COMPENSATION. The Future Financial Obligations of the Government Toward the Solider and His Dependents. BY CAPT. C. M. JONES, A. G. D., N. A. 1. Compensation - a gratuity from the government . . . . . . 1 2. Relation to government insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 3. Pensions versus compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3- 7 4. Disability benefits after discharge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 5. Death benefits to dependents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6. Unassignable and unattachable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 7. Discontinuance of six months' gratuity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 8. Restoration of earning power - Re-education and rehabilitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 9/ Benefits paid only while actually dependent . . . . . . . 10 10. Qualification of soldier's widow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 11. Qualification of soldier's children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 12. Filing claims for benefits . . . 13-15 13. The soldier's duties and privileges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 1-Q. What are the soldier's financial duties and obligations with reference to the compensation features of this law, which provides for monthly payments in the event of disability or death in line of duty? A. The soldier has no financial duties or obligations to discharge to become entitled to receive compensation. Compensation is given in every case and to all soldiers when injured in line of duty, or to the soldier's dependents, within a restricted class, when he is killed in line of duty. All that the solider must do to insure that his dependents or himself in the case of death or discharge will receive the proper compensation payments is to perform properly and at all times his military duties. His right to compensation does not depend or require any money payment by the soldier to the government. 2-Q. What connection is there between this compensation and the government insurance? A. None. The compensation is absolutely independent and apart from any sums the soldier or his dependents may receive from the government insurance purchased. It is in addition to such insurance benefits, and is never in any case or at any time withheld or diminished by reason of such insurance. 3-Q. Will you give a brief outline of the compensation feature of the law and what protection it is intended to afford soldiers? A. Compensation is very much like the present pensions, except in the fundamental underlying thought. The pension, especially the service pension, has been regarded by many as a gratuity on the part of the government. The compensation paid under this law, is, however, very similar to the compensation paid under the many workman's compensation acts of a number of the States. The soldier is considered under this law as the military employee of the government, and if, in the course of his employment, or in other words, during the war and in battle, or otherwise in line of his military duties as a solider he becomes injured while discharging these duties, his employer, the United States government, pays compensation to him or his family. The government felt that under the draft act in drafting the breadwinner of the family, it in reality drafted the whole family. The family in giving up its head in serving the country, and the family in addition to the soldier, should be considered in fixing the amounts of money payable as compensation in the event of injury or death of the solider arising through wounds, disease or otherwise, and received in line of duty. Naturally the amount of compensation which will be different from the amount received by a soldier who is a bachelor, or single, will be different from the amount received by a soldier who has a family. The compensation will also vary from time to time as the family or dependents of the solider become larger or smaller, and as his disability becomes greater or less. If a soldier who at the time or first becoming entitled to compensation was married and had a wife and children entitled to receive compensation, if his wife afterwards died, and his children grew up and lost their right to the compensation, the soldier, if his disability still continued, would then get the same amount of compensations as a single soldier in like condition. The amount of compensation under the law ranges from $30 for bachelors to a maximum of $75 for a solider with a large family. If a solider, whether single or married, has a mother dependent upon him, he will receive monthly $10 in addition to his own compensation. If his disability is of such nature that he needs the constant aid of a nurse, the government will add up to $20 monthly for that purpose. The following chart will indicate generally the amounts of monthly compensation payable to soldiers and their dependents. There are so many, many conditions, attached to the compensation feature that it is not practicable to explain all of them in this primer. COMPENSATION. Amounts Are Those Received Each Month. In Case of Death. To Class "A" Only. W . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25.00 W & C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35.00 W & 2C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47.50 W & 3C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52.50 W & 4C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57.50 No W, but C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20.00 No W, but 2C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30.00 No W, but 3C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40.00 No W, but 4C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45.00 No W, but 5C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50.00 M Widowed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20.00 In Case of Total Disability to Yourself as Below. No W or C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $30.00 W . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45.00 W & C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55.00 W & 2C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65.00 W & 3C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75.00 No W, but C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40.00 M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.00 Loss of both feet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100.00 Loss of both hands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100.00 Loss of both eyes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100.000 Helplessly bedridden . . . . . . . . . . . . 100.00 In addition you receive nurse fees up to $20.00 if needed and also medical and surgical supplies, artificial limbs, etc. 4-Q. Can a soldier receive compensation under this law until the solider has been discharged from the service. At the time of his discharge he will be examined, and if he has received injuries in line of duty which at that time disabled him he will be given a surgeon's certificate, which will entitle him to his proper compensation immediately for as long as that disability continues. If at the time of his examination prior to discharge from the service, he has received wounds or other injuries in line of his military duties during the war, which, while at the time of his discharge do not disable him, but which might in later years disable him, or be the cause of his being disabled or killed, he will receive a certificate showing just what the nature of his injury was. If he is later disabled by reason of that injury he will be entitled to compensation. If he is killed after discharge, his dependents entitled to receive compensation will receive it. As stated above, there are too many different restrictions and regulations surrounding the hundreds of possible cases in which a soldier or his dependents can receive compensation that it is impossible to explain them here. The soldier will have to realize at all times that he will never be permitted to become a public charge or suffer from actual want or lack of proper medical care and attention, and the same applies to his dependents. 5-Q. What dependents of a soldier are entitled to receive compensation in the event of his death? A. All those already mentioned as Class "A" dependents in the allotments and allowance and insurance features of the law, with the addition of a dependent windowed mother. (See chart above.) 6-Q. Can the compensation of a soldier or his dependents be taken from him or them by creditors? A. No, the government compensation is not assignable, and is exempt from attachment and taxation. 7-Q. What effect has this compensation feature upon the soldier's right to receive a pension? A. The soldiers of this war are not entitled to receive pensions under the present pension law. The existing pension laws shall not be applied to persons now or hereafter in the service. 8-Q. Does this compensation feature interfere with any other financial gratuities formerly given the soldier upon his discharge from the service? A. Yes, it does away and cancels the six months' pay gratuity formerly paid to officers and soldiers upon their discharge from the service. 9-Q. What arrangement has the government made under the compensation feature of this law for the rehabilitation and medical treatment of injured soldiers? A. Every soldier or person in receipt of compensation must submit to reasonable medical treatment. Courses of rehabilitation and re-education will be provided by the government. This is for the purpose of restoring a man's lost earning power, or any portion thereof. However, no matter whether the man's earning power is increased or decreased after such re-education, he will receive his compensation for partial disability. The object of these courses is to make better men out of those returning when their previous earning powers have either been totally or partially removed by injuries which prevent them from following their previous previous occupations. During the time a soldier is taking such vocational or re-educational course he may be enlisted in the service, in which case, irrespective of rank held upon his discharge, he will receive the full pay due that rank, and his family will receive an allowance and allotment just as they did during the war instead of compensation. 10-Q. If a soldier dies as a result of injuries or sickness in line of duty, how long will the compensation be paid to his widow? How long to his children? A. The compensation will be paid to his widow as long as she lives, provided she does not remarry. The compensation will be paid to his minor children until they reach the age of eighteen years, provided they do not marry before reaching that age. This compensation will, however, be paid to such children over eighteen years of age if by reason of physical or mental disabilities they are incapable of providing for themselves. 11-Q. Is there any limitation on the right of a soldier's widow to receive compensation? A. Yes, she must have been married to the solider either before or within ten years after the time he received the injury which entitled him and her to compensation. In the case of the death of the soldier in battle, she must have been, of course, married to him before he died. 12-Q. Are there any limitations of this sort surrounding a soldier's childrens' right to receive compensation? A. No. They are entitled to receive it, no matter when they were born or where. His illegitimate children must have been born and have been properly acknowledged by the solider prior to December 31, 1917, or, if born after that date within the United States. 13-Q. When does the right to receive compensation accrue to the solider or his dependents, as the case may be? A. The claim for compensation arises at the time the disability begins, or at death of soldier. A soldier, or his family, must file a claim for compensation if he or they ever wish to get anything under this provision within five years after the time the claim arises. The soldier, however, as already explained, must have received a certificate from a properly qualified surgeon either upon his discharge from the service or within one years thereafter, stating the nature of his injury and his present or probable future disability by reason thereof, before either his dependents or himself will be in a position to make claim for compensation. 14-Q. What action is necessary on the part of a beneficiary named by a soldier in his insurance policy to secure the benefits thereunder? - A. When a soldier dies his insurance becomes payable to his last-named beneficiary or beneficiaries. Upon his death the soldier's commander notifies the Adjutant-General of the army, and the adjutant-general notifies the dependents and also the bureau. Upon receipt of notification from the Adjutant-General, the bureau of war risk insurance will send proper blanks to the beneficiaries last named by the solider to receive the benefits of his insurance. When the dependents, or beneficiaries, receive these blanks they should fill in the information requested, and attach the proper affidavits to such blank and turn them to the bureau. When such blanks are properly filled in and returned, the bureau will commence making the monthly payments of benefits under the policy. 15-Q. What action is necessary on the part of a soldier's dependent to receive compensation in the case of the death of the soldier? A. It is very similar to above procedure in the case of insurance. They will be sent the proper forms and instructions with reference to filling them out, affidavits, etc. When the form has been properly filled, affidavits attached, and all returned to the bureau of war risk insurance at Washington, the payment of compensation benefits will start. 16-Q. What attitude should the soldier display towards the government's efforts to enable him to provide against the future for himself and his dependents? A. Even though the soldier does not fully realize or understand every feature of this war risk compensation and insurance law, he should have confidence in the good faith of his government and, under proper and competent advice from his commanding officer, should take advantage to the fullest degree or every provision of that law. The soldier should realize at all times that the support of himself and his dependents is primarily his. He should further realize that he must, whenever necessary, defend his country. This is a duty, and the performance of that duty does not shift the burden of his own and the responsibility for his dependents' support or welfare upon the government. The government realizes as well as the soldier that if he is wounded or disabled in line of duty he may be returned to civil life not as well able as formerly to provide for himself and his dependents, and that when such is the case, he is entitled to the assistance and bounty of his government. He is never entitled, however, to absolutely lie down on his responsibilities and endeavor to shoulder them all on the government. It is his duty at all times, irrespective of the extent or his disabilities, to put forth ever effort to support and provide for himself and his dependents as well as he can. When the soldier has done this, and is still unable to support himself and his dependents, then, and not before, is he entitled to expect or receive additional assistance from his government. The government, under this law, has already anticipated that disabled soldiers will require assistance, and has taken it for granted that they will also do their best to supplement its efforts. Therefore, in arranging for compensation in such cases, it has tried to fix the amounts of compensation to be paid so that, in addition to the soldier's earning power after the war, it will at least equal what he was formerly able to earn before his entry into the service. With exception of some few cases where a soldier is disabled through loss of both legs, both arms, or is totally blind, the amount of monthly compensation received will not support the soldier or his dependents in comfort. It will usually only insure him his absolute necessities. It will prevent him from becoming a public charge and burden on future generations, and that is about all. If, therefore, a soldier expects the government to do everything without any effort upon his part, that is what he can expect. On the other hand, where the soldier has fully realized that it is strictly up to him to make every possible provision he can both for his dependents and himself before calling upon the government, he will find that the way has been made easy for him to do this by means of government insurance. As has already been explained, the full amount of government insurance, $10,000, ought to be taken by every soldier, and the cost of this insurance has been placed by the government within the reach of every private soldier in the army. The small premium which he pays for this insurance protection is not nearly what it costs to provide it. The government has arranged to carry the remaining and major portion of the cost of providing for it, not because it had to do so, but because of its readiness to assist ever soldier who fully realizes his duties and make a proper effort to do his part. It has been explained that payments by the government to a soldier or