Veterans' Benefits:

Information on Noncitizen Veterans Receiving VA Disability Compensation

HRD-90-163FS: Published: Sep 12, 1990. Publicly Released: Sep 12, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO investigated the: (1) number of noncitizen veterans who served less than 3 years in the military and are receiving disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); and (2) nature of disabilities for which such veterans are being compensated.

GAO found that: (1) there were 6,277 disabled veterans with foreign addresses and less than 3 years military service; (2) of 11 degrees of disability ranging from 0 to 100 percent, 30.4 percent of the cases had a 10-percent disability rating, 15.3 percent had a 20-percent rating, and 15.4 percent had a 30-percent rating; (3) of the 14 disability categories, the top four disabilities for noncitizen veterans with less than 3 years service included musculoskeletal, skin, respiratory, and mental disorders; and (4) about 7,500 noncitizen veterans entered the military in fiscal year 1989. GAO also found that: (1) VA could not always determine within 6 months if a veteran's disability was service-connected, a requirement for citizenship under proposed legislation; (2) veterans who separated from the military before enactment of the proposed legislation would not be eligible for citizenship if they failed to petition for citizenship within 6 months of separation; and (3) many Filipino veterans may not be eligible for citizenship without living in the U.S. for 5 years, since they served in the Philippines forces.

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