TITLE 38 - US CODE - PART I - GENERAL PROVISIONS

TITLE 38 - US CODE - CHAPTER 1 - GENERAL

38 USC 101 - Definitions

For the purposes of this title
(1) The terms Secretary and Department mean the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Veterans Affairs, respectively.
(2) The term veteran means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.
(3) The term surviving spouse means (except for purposes of chapter 19 of this title) a person of the opposite sex who was the spouse of a veteran at the time of the veterans death, and who lived with the veteran continuously from the date of marriage to the date of the veterans death (except where there was a separation which was due to the misconduct of, or procured by, the veteran without the fault of the spouse) and who has not remarried or (in cases not involving remarriage) has not since the death of the veteran, and after September 19, 1962, lived with another person and held himself or herself out openly to the public to be the spouse of such other person.
(4) 

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(A) The term child means (except for purposes of chapter 19 of this title (other than with respect to a child who is an insurable dependent under section 1965(10)(B) of such chapter) and section 8502 (b) of this title) a person who is unmarried and
(i) who is under the age of eighteen years;
(ii) who, before attaining the age of eighteen years, became permanently incapable of self-support; or
(iii) who, after attaining the age of eighteen years and until completion of education or training (but not after attaining the age of twenty-three years), is pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution;

and who is a legitimate child, a legally adopted child, a stepchild who is a member of a veterans household or was a member at the time of the veterans death, or an illegitimate child but, as to the alleged father, only if acknowledged in writing signed by him, or if he has been judicially ordered to contribute to the childs support or has been, before his death, judicially decreed to be the father of such child, or if he is otherwise shown by evidence satisfactory to the Secretary to be the father of such child. A person shall be deemed, as of the date of death of a veteran, to be the legally adopted child of such veteran if such person was at the time of the veterans death living in the veterans household and was legally adopted by the veterans surviving spouse before August 26, 1961, or within two years after the veterans death; however, this sentence shall not apply if at the time of the veterans death, such person was receiving regular contributions toward the persons support from some individual other than the veteran or the veterans spouse, or from any public or private welfare organization which furnishes services or assistance for children. A person with respect to whom an interlocutory decree of adoption has been issued by an appropriate adoption authority shall be recognized thereafter as a legally adopted child, unless and until that decree is rescinded, if the child remains in the custody of the adopting parent or parents during the interlocutory period. A person who has been placed for adoption under an agreement entered into by the adopting parent or parents with any agency authorized under law to so act shall be recognized thereafter as a legally adopted child, unless and until such agreement is terminated, if the child remains in the custody of the adopting parent or parents during the period of placement for adoption under such agreement. A person described in clause (ii) of the first sentence of this subparagraph who was a member of a veterans household at the time the person became 18 years of age and who is adopted by the veteran shall be recognized as a legally adopted child of the veteran regardless of the age of such person at the time of adoption.

(B) For the purposes of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, in the case of an adoption under the laws of any jurisdiction other than a State (as defined in section 101 (20) of this title and including the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands)
(i) a person residing outside any of the States shall not be considered to be a legally adopted child of a veteran during the lifetime of such veteran (including for purposes of this subparagraph a Commonwealth Army veteran or new Philippine Scout, as defined in section 3566 of this title) unless such person
(I) was less than eighteen years of age at the time of adoption;
(II) is receiving one-half or more of such persons annual support from such veteran;
(III) is not in the custody of such persons natural parent, unless such natural parent is such veterans spouse; and
(IV) is residing with such veteran (or in the case of divorce following adoption, with the divorced spouse who is also an adoptive or natural parent) except for periods during which such person is residing apart from such veteran (or such divorced spouse) for purposes of full-time attendance at an educational institution or during which such person or such veteran (or such divorced spouse) is confined in a hospital, nursing home, other health-care facility, or other institution; and

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(ii) a person shall not be considered to have been a legally adopted child of a veteran as of the date of such veterans death and thereafter unless
(I) at any time within the one-year period immediately preceding such veterans death, such veteran was entitled to and was receiving a dependents allowance or similar monetary benefit under this title for such person; or
(II) for a period of at least one year prior to such veterans death, such person met the requirements of clause (i) of this subparagraph.
(5) The term parent means (except for purposes of chapter 19 of this title) a father, a mother, a father through adoption, a mother through adoption, or an individual who for a period of not less than one year stood in the relationship of a parent to a veteran at any time before the veterans entry into active military, naval, or air service or if two persons stood in the relationship of a father or a mother for one year or more, the person who last stood in the relationship of father or mother before the veterans last entry into active military, naval, or air service.
(6) The term Spanish-American War
(A)  means the period beginning on April 21, 1898, and ending on July 4, 1902,
(B)  includes the Philippine Insurrection and the Boxer Rebellion, and
(C)  in the case of a veteran who served with the United States military forces engaged in hostilities in the Moro Province, means the period beginning on April 21, 1898, and ending on July 15, 1903.
(7) The term World War I
(A)  means the period beginning on April 6, 1917, and ending on November 11, 1918, and
(B)  in the case of a veteran who served with the United States military forces in Russia, means the period beginning on April 6, 1917, and ending on April 1, 1920.
(8) The term World War II means (except for purposes of chapters 31 and 37 of this title) the period beginning on December 7, 1941, and ending on December 31, 1946.
(9) The term Korean conflict means the period beginning on June 27, 1950, and ending on January 31, 1955.
(10) The term Armed Forces means the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard, including the reserve components thereof.
(11) The term period of war means the Spanish-American War, the Mexican border period, World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict, the Vietnam era, the Persian Gulf War, and the period beginning on the date of any future declaration of war by the Congress and ending on the date prescribed by Presidential proclamation or concurrent resolution of the Congress.
(12) The term veteran of any war means any veteran who served in the active military, naval, or air service during a period of war.
(13) The term compensation means a monthly payment made by the Secretary to a veteran because of service-connected disability, or to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of a veteran because of the service-connected death of the veteran occurring before January 1, 1957.
(14) The term dependency and indemnity compensation means a monthly payment made by the Secretary to a surviving spouse, child, or parent
(A)  because of a service-connected death occurring after December 31, 1956, or
(B)  pursuant to the election of a surviving spouse, child, or parent, in the case of such a death occurring before January 1, 1957.
(15) The term pension means a monthly or other periodic payment made by the Secretary to a veteran because of service, age, or non-service-connected disability, or to a surviving spouse or child of a veteran because of the non-service-connected death of the veteran.
(16) The term service-connected means, with respect to disability or death, that such disability was incurred or aggravated, or that the death resulted from a disability incurred or aggravated, in line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service.
(17) The term non-service-connected means, with respect to disability or death, that such disability was not incurred or aggravated, or that the death did not result from a disability incurred or aggravated, in line of duty in the active military, naval, or air service.
(18) The term discharge or release includes
(A)  retirement from the active military, naval, or air service, and
(B)  the satisfactory completion of the period of active military, naval, or air service for which a person was obligated at the time of entry into such service in the case of a person who, due to enlistment or reenlistment, was not awarded a discharge or release from such period of service at the time of such completion thereof and who, at such time, would otherwise have been eligible for the award of a discharge or release under conditions other than dishonorable.
(19) The term State home means a home established by a State (other than a possession) for veterans disabled by age, disease, or otherwise who by reason of such disability are incapable of earning a living. Such term also includes such a home which furnishes nursing home care for veterans.
(20) The term State means each of the several States, Territories, and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. For the purpose of section 2303 and chapters 34 and 35 of this title, such term also includes the Canal Zone.
(21) The term active duty means
(A) full-time duty in the Armed Forces, other than active duty for training;
(B) full-time duty (other than for training purposes) as a commissioned officer of the Regular or Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service
(i)  on or after July 29, 1945, or
(ii)  before that date under circumstances affording entitlement to full military benefits or
(iii)  at any time, for the purposes of chapter 13 of this title;
(C) full-time duty as a commissioned officer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or its predecessor organization the Coast and Geodetic Survey
(i)  on or after July 29, 1945, or
(ii)  before that date
(I)  while on transfer to one of the Armed Forces, or
(II)  while, in time of war or national emergency declared by the President, assigned to duty on a project for one of the Armed Forces in an area determined by the Secretary of Defense to be of immediate military hazard, or
(III)  in the Philippine Islands on December 7, 1941, and continuously in such islands thereafter, or
(iii)  at any time, for the purposes of chapter 13 of this title;
(D) service as a cadet at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy, or as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy; and
(E) authorized travel to or from such duty or service.
(22) The term active duty for training means
(A) full-time duty in the Armed Forces performed by Reserves for training purposes;
(B) full-time duty for training purposes performed as a commissioned officer of the Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service
(i)  on or after July 29, 1945, or
(ii)  before that date under circumstances affording entitlement to full military benefits, or
(iii)  at any time, for the purposes of chapter 13 of this title;
(C) in the case of members of the Army National Guard or Air National Guard of any State, full-time duty under section 316, 502, 503, 504, or 505 of title 32, or the prior corresponding provisions of law;
(D) duty performed by a member of a Senior Reserve Officers Training Corps program when ordered to such duty for the purpose of training or a practice cruise under chapter 103 of title 10 for a period of not less than four weeks and which must be completed by the member before the member is commissioned; and
(E) authorized travel to or from such duty.

The term does not include duty performed as a temporary member of the Coast Guard Reserve.

(23) The term inactive duty training means
(A) duty (other than full-time duty) prescribed for Reserves (including commissioned officers of the Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service) by the Secretary concerned under section 206 of title 37 or any other provision of law;
(B) special additional duties authorized for Reserves (including commissioned officers of the Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service) by an authority designated by the Secretary concerned and performed by them on a voluntary basis in connection with the prescribed training or maintenance activities of the units to which they are assigned; and
(C) training (other than active duty for training) by a member of, or applicant for membership (as defined in section 8140 (g) of title 5) in, the Senior Reserve Officers Training Corps prescribed under chapter 103 of title 10.

In the case of a member of the Army National Guard or Air National Guard of any State, such term means duty (other than full-time duty) under sections 316, 502, 503, 504, or 505 of title 32, or the prior corresponding provisions of law. Such term does not include

(i)  work or study performed in connection with correspondence courses,
(ii)  attendance at an educational institution in an inactive status, or
(iii)  duty performed as a temporary member of the Coast Guard Reserve.
(24) The term active military, naval, or air service includes
(A) active duty;
(B) any period of active duty for training during which the individual concerned was disabled or died from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated in line of duty; and
(C) any period of inactive duty training during which the individual concerned was disabled or died
(i) from an injury incurred or aggravated in line of duty; or
(ii) from an acute myocardial infarction, a cardiac arrest, or a cerebrovascular accident occurring during such training.
(25) The term Secretary concerned means
(A) the Secretary of the Army, with respect to matters concerning the Army;
(B) the Secretary of the Navy, with respect to matters concerning the Navy or the Marine Corps;
(C) the Secretary of the Air Force, with respect to matters concerning the Air Force;
(D) the Secretary of Homeland Security, with respect to matters concerning the Coast Guard;
(E) the Secretary of Health and Human Services, with respect to matters concerning the Public Health Service; and
(F) the Secretary of Commerce, with respect to matters concerning the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or its predecessor organization the Coast and Geodetic Survey.
(26) The term Reserve means a member of a reserve component of one of the Armed Forces.
(27) The term reserve component means, with respect to the Armed Forces
(A) the Army Reserve;
(B) the Navy Reserve;
(C) the Marine Corps Reserve;
(D) the Air Force Reserve;
(E) the Coast Guard Reserve;
(F) the Army National Guard of the United States; and
(G) the Air National Guard of the United States.
(28) The term nursing home care means the accommodation of convalescents or other persons who are not acutely ill and not in need of hospital care, but who require nursing care and related medical services, if such nursing care and medical services are prescribed by, or are performed under the general direction of, persons duly licensed to provide such care. Such term includes services furnished in skilled nursing care facilities, in intermediate care facilities, and in combined facilities. It does not include domiciliary care.
(29) The term Vietnam era means the following:
(A) The period beginning on February 28, 1961, and ending on May 7, 1975, in the case of a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period.
(B) The period beginning on August 5, 1964, and ending on May 7, 1975, in all other cases.
(30) The term Mexican border period means the period beginning on May 9, 1916, and ending on April 5, 1917, in the case of a veteran who during such period served in Mexico, on the borders thereof, or in the waters adjacent thereto.
(31) The term spouse means a person of the opposite sex who is a wife or husband.
(32) The term former prisoner of war means a person who, while serving in the active military, naval or air service, was forcibly detained or interned in line of duty
(A) by an enemy government or its agents, or a hostile force, during a period of war; or
(B) by a foreign government or its agents, or a hostile force, under circumstances which the Secretary finds to have been comparable to the circumstances under which persons have generally been forcibly detained or interned by enemy governments during periods of war.
(33) The term Persian Gulf War means the period beginning on August 2, 1990, and ending on the date thereafter prescribed by Presidential proclamation or by law.

38 USC 102 - Dependent parents

(a) Dependency of a parent, which may arise before or after the death of a veteran, shall be determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary.
(b) Dependency of a parent shall not be denied
(1)  solely because of remarriage, or
(2)  in any case in any State where the monthly income for a mother or father does not exceed minimum levels which the Secretary shall prescribe by regulation, giving due regard to the marital status of the mother or father and additional members of the family whom the mother or father is under a moral or legal obligation to support.
(c) For the purposes of this section, in determining monthly income the Secretary shall not consider any payments under laws administered by the Secretary because of disability or death or payments of bonus or similar cash gratuity by any State based upon service in the Armed Forces.

38 USC 103 - Special provisions relating to marriages

(a) Whenever, in the consideration of any claim filed by a person as the widow or widower of a veteran for gratuitous death benefits under laws administered by the Secretary, it is established by evidence satisfactory to the Secretary that such person, without knowledge of any legal impediment, entered into a marriage with such veteran which, but for a legal impediment, would have been valid, and thereafter cohabited with the veteran for one year or more immediately before the veterans death, or for any period of time if a child was born of the purported marriage or was born to them before such marriage, the purported marriage shall be deemed to be a valid marriage, but only if no claim has been filed by a legal widow or widower of such veteran who is found to be entitled to such benefits. No duplicate payments shall be made by virtue of this subsection.
(b) Where a surviving spouse has been legally married to a veteran more than once, the date of original marriage will be used in determining whether the statutory requirement as to date of marriage has been met.
(c) In determining whether or not a person is or was the spouse of a veteran, their marriage shall be proven as valid for the purposes of all laws administered by the Secretary according to the law of the place where the parties resided at the time of the marriage or the law of the place where the parties resided when the right to benefits accrued.
(d) 
(1) The remarriage of the surviving spouse of a veteran shall not bar the furnishing of benefits to such person as the surviving spouse of the veteran if the remarriage is void, or has been annulled by a court with basic authority to render annulment decrees unless the Secretary determines that the annulment was secured through fraud by either party or collusion.
(2) 
(A) The remarriage of the surviving spouse of a veteran shall not bar the furnishing of benefits specified in paragraph (5) to such person as the surviving spouse of the veteran if the remarriage has been terminated by death or divorce unless the Secretary determines that the divorce was secured through fraud or collusion.
(B) The remarriage after age 57 of the surviving spouse of a veteran shall not bar the furnishing of benefits specified in paragraph (5) to such person as the surviving spouse of the veteran. Notwithstanding the previous sentence, the remarriage after age 55 of the surviving spouse of a veteran shall not bar the furnishing of benefits under section 1781 of this title to such person as the surviving spouse of the veteran.
(3) If the surviving spouse of a veteran ceases living with another person and holding himself or herself out openly to the public as that persons spouse, the bar to granting that person benefits as the surviving spouse of the veteran shall not apply in the case of the benefits specified in paragraph (5).
(4) The first month of eligibility for benefits for a surviving spouse by reason of paragraph (2)(A) or (3) shall be the month after
(A) the month of the termination of such remarriage, in the case of a surviving spouse described in paragraph (2)(A); or
(B) the month of the cessation described in paragraph (3), in the case of a surviving spouse described in that paragraph.
(5) Paragraphs (2)(A) and (3) apply with respect to benefits under the following provisions of this title:
(A) Section 1311, relating to dependency and indemnity compensation.
(B) Section 1781, relating to medical care for survivors and dependents of certain veterans.
(C) Chapter 35, relating to educational assistance.
(D) Chapter 37, relating to housing loans.
(e) The marriage of a child of a veteran shall not bar recognition of such child as the child of the veteran for benefit purposes if the marriage is void, or has been annulled by a court with basic authority to render annulment decrees unless the Secretary determines that the annulment was secured through fraud by either party or collusion.

38 USC 104 - Approval of educational institutions

(a) For the purpose of determining whether or not benefits are payable under this title (except chapter 35 of this title) for a child over the age of eighteen years and under the age of twenty-three years who is attending a school, college, academy, seminary, technical institute, university, or other educational institution, the Secretary may approve or disapprove such educational institutions.
(b) The Secretary may not approve an educational institution under this section unless such institution has agreed to report to the Secretary the termination of attendance of any child. If any educational institution fails to report any such termination promptly, the approval of the Secretary shall be withdrawn.

38 USC 105 - Line of duty and misconduct

(a) An injury or disease incurred during active military, naval, or air service will be deemed to have been incurred in line of duty and not the result of the veterans own misconduct when the person on whose account benefits are claimed was, at the time the injury was suffered or disease contracted, in active military, naval, or air service, whether on active duty or on authorized leave, unless such injury or disease was a result of the persons own willful misconduct or abuse of alcohol or drugs. Venereal disease shall not be presumed to be due to willful misconduct if the person in service complies with the regulations of the appropriate service department requiring the person to report and receive treatment for such disease.
(b) The requirement for line of duty will not be met if it appears that at the time the injury was suffered or disease contracted the person on whose account benefits are claimed
(1)  was avoiding duty by deserting the service or by absenting himself or herself without leave materially interfering with the performance of military duties;
(2)  was confined under sentence of court-martial involving an unremitted dishonorable discharge; or
(3)  was confined under sentence of a civil court for a felony (as determined under the laws of the jurisdiction where the person was convicted by such court).
(c) For the purposes of any provision relating to the extension of a delimiting period under any education-benefit or rehabilitation program administered by the Secretary, the disabling effects of chronic alcoholism shall not be considered to be the result of willful misconduct.

38 USC 106 - Certain service deemed to be active service

(a) 
(1) Service as a member of the Womens Army Auxiliary Corps for ninety days or more by any woman who before October 1, 1943, was honorably discharged for disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty which rendered her physically unfit to perform further service in the Womens Army Auxiliary Corps or the Womens Army Corps shall be considered active duty for the purposes of all laws administered by the Secretary.
(2) Any person entitled to compensation or pension by reason of this subsection and to employees compensation based upon the same service under subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 5 must elect which benefit she will receive.
(b) Any person
(1) who has applied for enlistment or enrollment in the active military, naval, or air service and has been provisionally accepted and directed or ordered to report to a place for final acceptance into such service; or
(2) who has been selected or drafted for service in the Armed Forces and has reported pursuant to the call of the persons local draft board and before rejection; or
(3) who has been called into the Federal service as a member of the National Guard, but has not been enrolled for the Federal service; and

who has suffered an injury or contracted a disease in line of duty while en route to or from, or at, a place for final acceptance or entry upon active duty, will, for the purposes of chapters 11, 13, 19, 21, 31, and 39 of this title, and for purposes of determining service-connection of a disability under chapter 17 of this title, be considered to have been on active duty and to have incurred such disability in the active military, naval, or air service.

(c) For the purposes of this title, an individual discharged or released from a period of active duty shall be deemed to have continued on active duty during the period of time immediately following the date of such discharge or release from such duty determined by the Secretary concerned to have been required for that individual to proceed to that individuals home by the most direct route, and in any event that individual shall be deemed to have continued on active duty until midnight of the date of such discharge or release.
(d) 
(1) For the purposes of this title, any individual
(A) who, when authorized or required by competent authority, assumes an obligation to perform active duty for training or inactive duty training; and
(B) who is disabled or dies from an injury or covered disease incurred while proceeding directly to or returning directly from such active duty for training or inactive duty training, as the case may be;

shall be deemed to have been on active duty for training or inactive duty training, as the case may be, at the time such injury or covered disease was incurred.

(2) In determining whether or not such individual was so authorized or required to perform such duty, and whether or not such individual was disabled or died from injury or covered disease so incurred, the Secretary shall take into account the hour on which such individual began so to proceed or to return; the hour on which such individual was scheduled to arrive for, or on which such individual ceased to perform, such duty; the method of travel employed; the itinerary; the manner in which the travel was performed; and the immediate cause of disability or death.
(3) Whenever any claim is filed alleging that the claimant is entitled to benefits by reason of this subsection, the burden of proof shall be on the claimant.
(4) For purposes of this subsection, the term covered disease means any of the following:
(A) Acute myocardial infarction.
(B) A cardiac arrest.
(C) A cerebrovascular accident.
(e) Each person who has incurred a disability as a result of an injury or disease described in subsection (b) shall be entitled to the same rights, privileges, and benefits under title 5 as a preference eligible described in section 2108 (3)(C) of title 5.
(f) Service as a member of the Alaska Territorial Guard during World War II of any individual who was honorably discharged therefrom under section 8147 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2001, shall be considered active duty for purposes of all laws administered by the Secretary.

38 USC 107 - Certain service deemed not to be active service

(a) Service before July 1, 1946, in the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, while such forces were in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States pursuant to the military order of the President dated July 26, 1941, including among such military forces organized guerrilla forces under commanders appointed, designated, or subsequently recognized by the Commander in Chief, Southwest Pacific Area, or other competent authority in the Army of the United States, shall not be deemed to have been active military, naval, or air service for the purposes of any law of the United States conferring rights, privileges, or benefits upon any person by reason of the service of such person or the service of any other person in the Armed Forces, except benefits under
(1) contracts of National Service Life Insurance entered into before February 18, 1946;
(2) chapter 10 of title 37; and
(3) chapters 11, 13 (except section 1312 (a)), 23, and 24 (to the extent provided for in section 2402 (8)) of this title.

Except as provided in subsection (c) or (d), payments under such chapters shall be made at a rate of $0.50 for each dollar authorized, and where annual income is a factor in entitlement to benefits, the dollar limitations in the law specifying such annual income shall apply at a rate of $0.50 for each dollar. Any payments made before February 18, 1946, to any such member under such laws conferring rights, benefits, or privileges shall not be deemed to have been invalid by reason of the circumstance that such members service was not service in the Armed Forces or any component thereof within the meaning of any such law.

(b) Service in the Philippine Scouts under section 14 of the Armed Forces Voluntary Recruitment Act of 1945 shall not be deemed to have been active military, naval, or air service for the purposes of any of the laws administered by the Secretary except
(1) with respect to contracts of National Service Life Insurance entered into
(A)  before May 27, 1946,
(B)  under section 620 or 621 of the National Service Life Insurance Act of 1940, or
(C)  under section 1922 of this title; and
(2) chapters 11, 13 (except section 1312 (a)), 23, and 24 (to the extent provided for in section 2402 (8)) of this title.

Except as provided in subsection (c) or (d), payments under such chapters shall be made at a rate of $0.50 for each dollar authorized, and where annual income is a factor in entitlement to benefits, the dollar limitations in the law specifying such annual income shall apply at a rate of $0.50 for each dollar.

(c) In the case of benefits under subchapters II and IV of chapter 11 of this title and subchapter II of chapter 13 (except section 1312 (a)) of this title paid by reason of service described in subsection (a) or (b) to an individual residing in the United States who is a citizen of, or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in, the United States, the second sentence of the applicable subsection shall not apply.
(d) 
(1) With respect to benefits under chapter 23 of this title, in the case of an individual described in paragraph (2), the second sentence of subsection (a) or (b), as otherwise applicable, shall not apply.
(2) Paragraph (1) applies to any individual whose service is described in subsection (a) and who dies after November 1, 2000, or whose service is described in subsection (b) and who dies after the date of the enactment of the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003, if the individual, on the individuals date of death
(A) is a citizen of, or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in, the United States;
(B) is residing in the United States; and
(C) either
(i) is receiving compensation under chapter 11 of this title; or
(ii) if the individuals service had been deemed to be active military, naval, or air service, would have been paid pension under section 1521 of this title without denial or discontinuance by reason of section 1522 of this title.

38 USC 108 - Seven-year absence presumption of death

(a) No State law providing for presumption of death shall be applicable to claims for benefits under laws administered by the Secretary.
(b) If evidence satisfactory to the Secretary is submitted establishing the continued and unexplained absence of any individual from that individuals home and family for seven or more years, and establishing that after diligent search no evidence of that individuals existence after the date of disappearance has been found or received, the death of such individual as of the date of the expiration of such period shall be considered as sufficiently proved.
(c) Except in a suit brought pursuant to section 1984 of this title, the finding of death made by the Secretary shall be final and conclusive.

38 USC 109 - Benefits for discharged members of allied forces

(a) 
(1) In consideration of reciprocal services extended to the United States, the Secretary, upon request of the proper officials of the government of any nation allied or associated with the United States in World War I (except any nation which was an enemy of the United States during World War II), or in World War II, may furnish to discharged members of the armed forces of such government, under agreements requiring reimbursement in cash of expenses so incurred, at such rates and under such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, medical, surgical, and dental treatment, hospital care, transportation and traveling expenses, prosthetic appliances, education, training, or similar benefits authorized by the laws of such nation for its veterans, and services required in extending such benefits. Hospitalization in a Department facility shall not be afforded under this section, except in emergencies, unless there are available beds surplus to the needs of veterans of this country. The Secretary may also pay the court costs and other expenses incident to the proceedings taken for the commitment of such discharged members who are mentally incompetent to institutions for the care or treatment of the insane.
(2) The Secretary, in carrying out the provisions of this subsection, may contract for necessary services in private, State, and other Government hospitals.
(3) All amounts received by the Department as reimbursement for such services shall be credited to the current appropriation of the Department from which expenditures were made under this subsection.
(b) Persons who served in the active service in the armed forces of any government allied with the United States in World War II and who at time of entrance into such active service were citizens of the United States shall, by virtue of such service, and if otherwise qualified, be entitled to the benefits of chapters 31 and 37 of this title in the same manner and to the same extent as veterans of World War II are entitled. No such benefit shall be extended to any person who is not a resident of the United States at the time of filing claim, or to any person who has applied for and received the same or any similar benefit from the government in whose armed forces such person served.
(c) 
(1) Any person who served during World War I or World War II as a member of any armed force of the Government of Czechoslovakia or Poland and participated while so serving in armed conflict with an enemy of the United States and has been a citizen of the United States for at least ten years shall, by virtue of such service, and upon satisfactory evidence thereof, be entitled to hospital and domiciliary care and medical services within the United States under chapter 17 of this title to the same extent as if such service had been performed in the Armed Forces of the United States unless such person is entitled to, or would, upon application thereof, be entitled to, payment for equivalent care and services under a program established by the foreign government concerned for persons who served in its armed forces in World War I or World War II.
(2) In order to assist the Secretary in making a determination of proper service eligibility under this subsection, each applicant for the benefits thereof shall furnish an authenticated certification from the French Ministry of Defense or the British War Office as to records in either such Office which clearly indicate military service of the applicant in the Czechoslovakian or Polish armed forces and subsequent service in or with the armed forces of France or Great Britain during the period of World War I or World War II.

38 USC 110 - Preservation of disability ratings

A rating of total disability or permanent total disability which has been made for compensation, pension, or insurance purposes under laws administered by the Secretary, and which has been continuously in force for twenty or more years, shall not be reduced thereafter, except upon a showing that such rating was based on fraud. A disability which has been continuously rated at or above evaluation for twenty or more years for compensation purposes under laws administered by the Secretary shall not thereafter be rated at less than such evaluation, except upon a showing that such rating was based on fraud. The mentioned period shall be computed from the date determined by the Secretary as the date on which the status commenced for rating purposes.

38 USC 111 - Payments or allowances for beneficiary travel

(a) Under regulations prescribed by the President pursuant to the provisions of this section, the Secretary may pay the actual necessary expense of travel (including lodging and subsistence), or in lieu thereof an allowance based upon mileage traveled, of any person to or from a Department facility or other place in connection with vocational rehabilitation, counseling required by the Secretary pursuant to chapter 34 or 35 of this title, or for the purpose of examination, treatment, or care. In addition to the mileage allowance authorized by this section, there may be allowed reimbursement for the actual cost of ferry fares, and bridge, road, and tunnel tolls.
(b) 
(1) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section and notwithstanding subsection (g)(2)(A) of this section or any other provision of law, if, with respect to any fiscal year, the Secretary exercises the authority under this section to make any payments, the Secretary shall make the payments provided for in this section to or for the following persons for travel during such fiscal year for examination, treatment, or care for which the person is eligible:
(A) A veteran or other person whose travel is in connection with treatment or care for a service-connected disability.
(B) A veteran with a service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more.
(C) A veteran receiving pension under section 1521 of this title.
(D) A veteran
(i)  whose annual income (as determined under section 1503 of this title) does not exceed the maximum annual rate of pension which would be payable to such veteran if such veteran were eligible for pension under section 1521 of this title, or
(ii)  who is determined, under regulations prescribed by the Secretary, to be unable to defray the expenses of the travel for which payment under this section is claimed.
(E) Subject to paragraph (3) of this subsection, a veteran or other person whose travel to or from a Department facility is medically required to be performed by a special mode of travel and who is determined under such regulations to be unable to defray the expenses of the travel for which payment under this section is claimed.
(F) A veteran whose travel to a Department facility is incident to a scheduled compensation and pension examination.
(2) The Secretary may make payments provided for in this section to or for any person not covered by paragraph (1) of this subsection for travel by such person for examination, treatment, or care. Such payments shall be made in accordance with regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe.
(3) 
(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, the Secretary shall not make payments under this section for travel performed by a special mode of travel unless
(i)  the travel by such mode is medically required and is authorized by the Secretary before the travel begins, or
(ii)  the travel by such mode is in connection with a medical emergency of such a nature that the delay incident to obtaining authorization from the Secretary to use that mode of travel would have been hazardous to the persons life or health.
(B) In the case of travel by a person to or from a Department facility by special mode of travel, the Secretary may provide payment under this section to the provider of the transportation by special mode before determining the eligibility of such person for such payment if the Secretary determines that providing such payment is in the best interest of furnishing care and services. Such a payment shall be made subject to subsequently recovering from such person the amount of the payment if such person is determined to have been ineligible for payment for such travel.
(c) 
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the Secretary, in making a payment under this section to or for a person described in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (D) of subsection (b)(1) of this section for travel for examination, treatment, or care, shall deduct from the amount otherwise payable an amount equal to $3 for each one-way trip.
(2) In the case of a person who is determined by the Secretary to be a person who is required to make six or more one-way trips for needed examination, treatment, or care during the remainder of the calendar month in which the determination is made or during any subsequent calendar month during the one-year period following the last day of the month in which the determination is made, the amount deducted by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection from payments for trips made to or from such facility during any such month shall not, except as provided in paragraph (5) of this subsection, exceed $18.
(3) No deduction shall be made pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection in the case of a person whose travel to or from a Department facility is performed by a special mode of travel for which payment under this section is authorized under subsection (b)(3) of this section.
(4) The Secretary may waive the deduction requirement of paragraph (1) of this subsection in the case of the travel of any veteran for whom the imposition of the deduction would cause severe financial hardship. The Secretary shall prescribe in regulations the conditions under which a finding of severe financial hardship is warranted for purposes of this paragraph.
(5) Whenever the Secretary increases or decreases the rates of allowances or reimbursement to be paid under this section, the Secretary shall, effective on the date on which such increase or decrease takes effect, adjust proportionately the dollar amounts specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection as such amounts may have been increased or decreased pursuant to this paragraph before such date.
(d) Payment of the following expenses or allowances in connection with vocational rehabilitation, counseling, or upon termination of examination, treatment, or care, may be made before the completion of travel:
(1) The mileage allowance authorized by subsection (a) of this section.
(2) Actual local travel expenses.
(3) The expense of hiring an automobile or ambulance, or the fee authorized for the services of a nonemployee attendant.
(e) When any person entitled to mileage under this section requires an attendant (other than an employee of the Department) in order to perform such travel, the attendant may be allowed expenses of travel upon the same basis as such person.
(f) The Secretary may provide for the purchase of printed reduced-fare requests for use by veterans and their authorized attendants when traveling at their own expense to or from any Department facility.
(g) 
(1) In carrying out the purposes of this section, the Secretary, in consultation with the Administrator of General Services, the Secretary of Transportation, the Comptroller General of the United States, and representatives of organizations of veterans, shall conduct periodic investigations of the actual cost of travel (including lodging and subsistence) to beneficiaries while traveling to or from a Department facility or other place pursuant to the provisions of this section, and the estimated cost of alternative modes of travel, including public transportation and the operation of privately owned vehicles. The Secretary shall conduct such investigations immediately following any alteration in the rates described in paragraph (3)(C) of this subsection, and, in any event, immediately following the enactment of this subsection and not less often than annually thereafter, and based thereon, shall determine rates of allowances or reimbursement to be paid under this section.
(2) In no event shall payment be provided under this section
(A) unless the person claiming reimbursement has been determined, pursuant to regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, to be unable to defray the expenses of such travel (except with respect to a person receiving benefits for or in connection with a service-connected disability under this title, a veteran receiving or eligible to receive pension under section 1521 of this title, or a person whose annual income, determined in accordance with section 1503 of this title, does not exceed the maximum annual rate of pension which would be payable to such person if such person were eligible for pension under section 1521 of this title);
(B) to reimburse for the cost of travel by privately owned vehicle in any amount in excess of the cost of such travel by public transportation unless
(i)  public transportation is not reasonably accessible or would be medically inadvisable, or
(ii)  the cost of such travel is not greater than the cost of public transportation; and
(C) in excess of the actual expense incurred by such person as certified in writing by such person.
(3) In conducting investigations and determining rates under this section, the Secretary shall review and analyze, among other factors, the following factors:
(A) 
(i) Depreciation of original vehicle costs;
(ii) gasoline and oil costs;
(iii) maintenance, accessories, parts, and tire costs;
(iv) insurance costs; and
(v) State and Federal taxes.
(B) The availability of and time required for public transportation.
(C) The per diem rates, mileage allowances, and expenses of travel authorized under sections 5702 and 5704 of title 5 for employees of the United States.
(4) Before determining rates or adjusting amounts under this section and not later than sixty days after any alteration in the rates described in paragraph (3)(C) of this subsection, the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Veterans Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Senate a report containing the rates and amounts the Secretary proposes to establish or continue with a full justification therefor in terms of each of the limitations and factors set forth in this section.
(h) The Secretary, in consultation and coordination with the Secretary of Transportation and appropriate representatives of veterans service organizations, shall take all appropriate steps to facilitate the establishment and maintenance of a program under which such organizations, or individuals who are volunteering their services to the Department, would take responsibility for the transportation, without reimbursement from the Department, to Department facilities of veterans (primarily those residing in areas which are geographically accessible to such facilities) who seek services or benefits from the Department under chapter 17 or other provisions of this title.

38 USC 112 - Presidential memorial certificate program

(a) At the request of the President the Secretary may conduct a program for honoring the memory of deceased veterans, discharged under honorable conditions, by preparing and sending to eligible recipients a certificate bearing the signature of the President and expressing the countrys grateful recognition of the veterans service in the Armed Forces. The award of a certificate to one eligible recipient will not preclude authorization of another certificate if a request is received from some other eligible recipient.
(b) For the purpose of this section an eligible recipient means the next of kin, a relative or friend upon request, or an authorized service representative acting on behalf of such relative or friend.
(c) A certificate may not be furnished under the program under subsection (a) on behalf of a deceased person described in section 2411 (b) of this title.

38 USC 113 - Treatment of certain programs under sequestration procedures

(a) The following programs shall be exempt from sequestration or reduction under part C of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 901 et seq.) or any other sequestration law and shall not be included in any report specifying reductions in Federal spending:
(1) Benefits under chapter 21 of this title, relating to specially adapted housing and mortgage-protection life insurance for certain veterans with service-connected disabilities.
(2) Benefits under section 2307 of this title, relating to burial benefits for veterans who die as the result of a service-connected disability.
(3) Benefits under chapter 39 of this title, relating to automobiles and adaptive equipment for certain disabled veterans and members of the Armed Forces.
(4) Assistance and services under chapter 31 of this title, relating to training and rehabilitation for certain veterans with service-connected disabilities.
(5) Benefits under chapter 35 of this title, relating to educational assistance for survivors and dependents of certain veterans with service-connected disabilities.
(6) Benefits under subchapters I, II, and III of chapter 37 of this title, relating to housing loans for certain veterans and for the spouses and surviving spouses of certain veterans.
(b) The following accounts of the Department shall be exempt from sequestration or reduction under part C of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 901 et seq.) or any other sequestration law and shall not be included in any report specifying reductions in Federal spending:
(1) The following life insurance accounts:
(A) The National Service Life Insurance Fund authorized by section 1920 of this title.
(B) The Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance Fund authorized by section 1922 of this title.
(C) The Veterans Special Life Insurance Fund authorized by section 1923 of this title.
(D) The Veterans Reopened Insurance Fund authorized by section 1925 of this title.
(E) The United States Government Life Insurance Fund authorized by section 1955 of this title.
(F) The Veterans Insurance and Indemnity appropriation authorized by section 1919 of this title.
(2) The following revolving fund accounts:
(A) The Department of Veterans Affairs Special Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Activities Fund established by section 1718 (c) of this title.
(B) The Veterans Canteen Service revolving fund authorized by section 7804 of this title.
(c) 
(1) A benefit under section 2301, 2302, 2303, 2306, or 2308 of this title that is subject to reduction under a sequestration order or sequestration law shall be paid in accordance with the rates determined under the sequestration order or law (if any) in effect on the date of the death of the veteran concerned.
(2) A benefit paid to, or on behalf of, an eligible veteran for pursuit of a program of education or training under chapter 30, 31, 34, 35, or 36 of this title that is subject to a sequestration order or a sequestration law shall be paid in accordance with the rates determined under the sequestration order or law (if any) in effect during the period of education or training for which the benefit is paid.
(3) In implementation of a sequestration order or law with respect to each account from which a benefit described in paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection is paid (including the making of determinations of the amounts by which such benefits are to be reduced), the total of the amounts (as estimated by the Secretary after consultation with the Director of the Congressional Budget Office) by which payments of such benefit will be reduced by reason of such paragraph after the last day of the period during which such order or law is in effect shall be deemed to be additional reductions in the payments of such benefit made, and in new budget authority for such payments, during such period.
(d) In computing the amount of new budget authority by which a budget account of the Department is to be reduced for a fiscal year under a report of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, or under an order of the President under part C of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, the base from which the amount of the reduction for such account is determined shall be established without regard to any amount of new budget authority in such account (determined under section 251(a)(6)1 of such Act) for any of the programs listed in subsection (a) of this section.
(e) This section applies without regard to any other provision of law (whether enacted before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this section) unless such Act expressly provides that it is enacted as a limitation to this section.
(f) For the purposes of this section:
(1) The term sequestration means a reduction in spending authority and loan guarantee commitments generally throughout the Government under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 901 et seq.) or any other law.
(2) The term sequestration law means a law enacted with respect to a sequestration under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 901 et seq.) or any other law (under the procedures specified in that Act or otherwise).
(3) The term sequestration order means an order of the President issued under part C of such Act.
[1] See References in Text note below.

38 USC 114 - Multiyear procurement

(a) The Secretary may enter into a multiyear contract for the procurement of supplies or services if the Secretary makes each of the following determinations:
(1) Appropriations are available for obligations that are necessary for total payments that would be required during the fiscal year in which the contract is entered into, plus the estimated amount of any cancellation charge payable under the contract.
(2) The contract is in the best interest of the United States by reason of the effect that use of a multiyear, rather than one-year, contract would have in
(A) reducing costs;
(B) achieving economies in contract administration or in any other Department activities;
(C) increasing quality of performance by or service from the contractors; or
(D) encouraging effective competition.
(3) During the proposed contract period
(A) there will be a continuing or recurring need for the supplies or services being procured;
(B) there is not a substantial likelihood of substantial changes in the need for such supplies or services in terms of the total quantity of such supplies or services or of the rate of delivery of such supplies or services; and
(C) the specifications for the supplies or services are expected to be reasonably stable.
(4) The risks relating to the prospective contractors ability to perform in accordance with the specifications and other terms of the contract are not excessive.
(5) The use of a multiyear contract will not inhibit small business concerns in competing for the contract.
(6) In the case of the procurement of a pharmaceutical item for which a patent has expired less than four years before the date on which the solicitation of offers is issued, there is no substantial likelihood that increased competition among potential contractors would occur during the term of the contract as the result of the availability of generic equivalents increasing during the term of the contract.
(b) 
(1) A multiyear contract authorized by this section shall contain
(A) a provision that the obligation of the United States under the contract during any fiscal year which is included in the contract period and is subsequent to the fiscal year during which the contract is entered into is contingent on the availability of sufficient appropriations (as determined by the Secretary pursuant to paragraph (2)(A) of this subsection) if, at the time the contract is entered into, appropriations are not available to cover the total estimated payments that will be required during the full term of the contract; and
(B) notwithstanding section 1502 (a) of title 31, a provision for the payment of reasonable cancellation charges to compensate the contractor for nonrecurring, unrecovered costs, if any, if the performance is cancelled pursuant to the provision required by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.
(2) 
(A) If, during a fiscal year after the fiscal year during which a multiyear contract is entered into under this section, the Secretary determines that, in light of other funding needs involved in the operation of Department programs, the amount of funds appropriated for such subsequent fiscal year is not sufficient for such contract, the Secretary shall cancel such contract pursuant to the provisions required by paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection.
(B) Cancellation charges under a multiyear contract shall be paid from the appropriated funds which were originally available for performance of the contract or the payment of cancellation costs unless such funds are not available in an amount sufficient to pay the entire amount of the cancellation charges payable under the contract. In a case in which such funds are not available in such amount, funds available for the procurement of supplies and services for use for the same purposes as the supplies or services procured through such contract shall be used to the extent necessary to pay such cost.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to restrict the Secretarys exercise of the right to terminate for convenience a contract under any other provision of law which authorizes multiyear contracting.
(d) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations for the implementation of this section.
(e) For the purposes of this section:
(1) The term appropriations has the meaning given that term in section 1511 of title 31.
(2) The term multiyear contract means a contract which by its terms is to remain in effect for a period which extends beyond the end of the fiscal year during which the contract is entered into but not beyond the end of the fourth fiscal year following such fiscal year. Such term does not include a contract for construction or for a lease of real property.
(3) The term nonrecurring, unrecovered costs means those costs reasonably incurred by the contractor in performing a multiyear contract which (as determined under regulations prescribed under subsection (d) of this section) are generally incurred on a one-time basis.

38 USC 115 - Acquisition of real property

For the purposes of sections 314, 315, 316, and 2406 of this title and subchapter I of chapter 81 of this title, the Secretary may acquire and use real property
(1) before title to the property is approved under section 3111 of title 40; and
(2) even though the property will be held in other than a fee simple interest in a case in which the Secretary determines that the interest to be acquired is sufficient for the purposes of the intended use.

38 USC 116 - Reports to Congress: cost information

Whenever the Secretary submits to Congress, or any committee of Congress, a report that is required by law or by a joint explanatory statement of a committee of conference of the Congress, the Secretary shall include with the report
(1) a statement of the cost of preparing the report; and
(2) a brief explanation of the methodology used in preparing that cost statement.

TITLE 38 - US CODE - CHAPTER 3 - DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 USC 301 - Department

(a) The Department of Veterans Affairs is an executive department of the United States.
(b) The purpose of the Department is to administer the laws providing benefits and other services to veterans and the dependents and the beneficiaries of veterans.
(c) The Department is composed of the following:
(1) The Office of the Secretary.
(2) The Veterans Health Administration.
(3) The Veterans Benefits Administration.
(4) The National Cemetery Administration.
(5) The Board of Veterans Appeals.
(6) The Veterans Canteen Service.
(7) The Board of Contract Appeals.
(8) Such other offices and agencies as are established or designated by law or by the President or the Secretary.
(9) Any office, agency, or activity under the control or supervision of any element named in paragraphs (1) through (8).

38 USC 302 - Seal

(a) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall cause a seal of office to be made for the Department of such device as the President shall approve. Judicial notice shall be taken of the seal.
(b) Copies of any public document, record, or paper belonging to or in the files of the Department, when authenticated by the seal and certified by the Secretary (or by an officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has been delegated in writing by the Secretary), shall be evidence equal with the original thereof.

38 USC 303 - Secretary of Veterans Affairs

There is a Secretary of Veterans Affairs, who is the head of the Department and is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Secretary is responsible for the proper execution and administration of all laws administered by the Department and for the control, direction, and management of the Department.

38 USC 304 - Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs

There is in the Department a Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, who is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Deputy Secretary shall perform such functions as the Secretary shall prescribe. Unless the President designates another officer of the Government, the Deputy Secretary shall be Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs during the absence or disability of the Secretary or in the event of a vacancy in the office of Secretary.

38 USC 305 - Under Secretary for Health

(a) 
(1) There is in the Department an Under Secretary for Health, who is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
(2) The Under Secretary for Health shall be appointed without regard to political affiliation or activity and solely
(A) on the basis of demonstrated ability in the medical profession, in health-care administration and policy formulation, or in health-care fiscal management; and
(B) on the basis of substantial experience in connection with the programs of the Veterans Health Administration or programs of similar content and scope.
(b) The Under Secretary for Health is the head of, and is directly responsible to the Secretary for the operation of, the Veterans Health Administration.
(c) 
(1) Whenever a vacancy in the position of Under Secretary for Health occurs or is anticipated, the Secretary shall establish a commission to recommend individuals to the President for appointment to the position.
(2) A commission established under this subsection shall be composed of the following members appointed by the Secretary:
(A) Three persons representing clinical care and medical research and education activities affected by the Veterans Health Administration.
(B) Two persons representing veterans served by the Veterans Health Administration.
(C) Two persons who have experience in the management of veterans health services and research programs, or programs of similar content and scope.
(D) The Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
(E) The Chairman of the Special Medical Advisory Group established under section 7312 of this title.
(F) One person who has held the position of Under Secretary for Health (including service as Chief Medical Director of the Veterans Administration), if the Secretary determines that it is desirable for such person to be a member of the commission.
(3) A commission established under this subsection shall recommend at least three individuals for appointment to the position of Under Secretary for Health. The commission shall submit all recommendations to the Secretary. The Secretary shall forward the recommendations to the President with any comments the Secretary considers appropriate. Thereafter, the President may request the commission to recommend additional individuals for appointment.
(4) The Assistant Secretary or Deputy Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs who performs personnel management and labor relations functions shall serve as the executive secretary of a commission established under this subsection.

38 USC 306 - Under Secretary for Benefits

(a) There is in the Department an Under Secretary for Benefits, who is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Under Secretary for Benefits shall be appointed without regard to political affiliation or activity and solely on the basis of demonstrated ability in
(1) fiscal management; and
(2) the administration of programs within the Veterans Benefits Administration or programs of similar content and scope.
(b) The Under Secretary for Benefits is the head of, and is directly responsible to the Secretary for the operations of, the Veterans Benefits Administration.
(c) 
(1) Whenever a vacancy in the position of Under Secretary for Benefits occurs or is anticipated, the Secretary shall establish a commission to recommend individuals to the President for appointment to the position.
(2) A commission established under this subsection shall be composed of the following members appointed by the Secretary:
(A) Three persons representing education and training, real estate, mortgage finance, and related industries, and survivor benefits activities affected by the Veterans Benefits Administration.
(B) Two persons representing veterans served by the Veterans Benefits Administration.
(C) Two persons who have experience in the management of veterans benefits programs or programs of similar content and scope.
(D) The Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
(E) The chairman of the Veterans Advisory Committee on Education formed under section 3692 of this title.
(F) One person who has held the position of Under Secretary for Benefits (including service as Chief Benefits Director of the Veterans Administration), if the Secretary determines that it is desirable for such person to be a member of the commission.
(3) A commission established under this subsection shall recommend at least three individuals for appointment to the position of Under Secretary for Benefits. The commission shall submit all recommendations to the Secretary. The Secretary shall forward the recommendations to the President with any comments the Secretary considers appropriate. Thereafter, the President may request the commission to recommend additional individuals for appointment.
(4) The Assistant Secretary or Deputy Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs who performs personnel management and labor relations functions shall serve as the executive secretary of a commission established under this subsection.

38 USC 307 - Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs

There is in the Department an Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs, who is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Under Secretary is the head of the National Cemetery Administration as established in section 2400 of this title and shall perform such functions as may be assigned by the Secretary.

38 USC 308 - Assistant Secretaries; Deputy Assistant Secretaries

(a) There shall be in the Department not more than seven Assistant Secretaries. Each Assistant Secretary shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
(b) The Secretary shall assign to the Assistant Secretaries responsibility for the administration of such functions and duties as the Secretary considers appropriate, including the following functions:
(1) Budgetary and financial functions.
(2) Personnel management and labor relations functions.
(3) Planning, studies, and evaluations.
(4) Management, productivity, and logistic support functions.
(5) Information management functions as required by section 3506 of title 44.
(6) Capital facilities and real property program functions.
(7) Equal opportunity functions.
(8) Functions regarding the investigation of complaints of employment discrimination within the Department.
(9) Functions regarding intergovernmental, public, and consumer information and affairs.
(10) Procurement functions.
(11) Operations, preparedness, security, and law enforcement functions.
(c) Whenever the President nominates an individual for appointment as an Assistant Secretary, the President shall include in the communication to the Senate of the nomination a statement of the particular functions of the Department specified in subsection (b), and any other functions of the Department, the individual will exercise upon taking office.
(d) 
(1) There shall be in the Department such number of Deputy Assistant Secretaries, not exceeding 19, as the Secretary may determine. Each Deputy Assistant Secretary shall be appointed by the Secretary and shall perform such functions as the Secretary prescribes.
(2) At least two-thirds of the number of positions established and filled under paragraph (1) shall be filled by individuals who have at least five years of continuous service in the Federal civil service in the executive branch immediately preceding their appointment as a Deputy Assistant Secretary. For purposes of determining such continuous service of an individual, there shall be excluded any service by such individual in a position
(A) of a confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character;
(B) in which such individual served as a noncareer appointee in the Senior Executive Service, as such term is defined in section 3132 (a)(7) of title 5; or
(C) to which such individual was appointed by the President.

38 USC 309 - Chief Financial Officer

The Secretary shall designate the Assistant Secretary whose functions include budgetary and financial functions as the Chief Financial Officer of the Department. The Chief Financial Officer shall advise the Secretary on financial management of the Department and shall exercise the authority and carry out the functions specified in section 902 of title 31.

38 USC 310 - Chief Information Officer

(a) The Chief Information Officer for the Department is designated pursuant to section 3506 (a)(2) of title 44.
(b) The Chief Information Officer performs the duties provided for chief information officers of executive agencies under chapter 35 of title 44 and subtitle III of title 40.

38 USC 311 - General Counsel

There is in the Department the Office of the General Counsel. There is at the head of the office a General Counsel, who is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The General Counsel is the chief legal officer of the Department and provides legal assistance to the Secretary concerning the programs and policies of the Department.

38 USC 312 - Inspector General

(a) There is in the Department an Inspector General, who is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, as provided in the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.). The Inspector General performs the functions, has the responsibilities, and exercises the powers specified in that Act.
(b) 
(1) The Secretary shall provide for not less than 40 full-time positions in the Office of Inspector General in addition to the number of such positions in that office on March 15, 1989.
(2) The President shall include in the budget transmitted to the Congress for each fiscal year pursuant to section 1105 of title 31 an estimate of the amount for the Office of Inspector General that is sufficient to provide for a number of full-time positions in that office that is not less than the number of full-time positions in that office on March 15, 1989, plus 40.

38 USC 312A - Director of Construction and Facilities Management

(a) In General.— 

(1) There is in the Department a Director of Construction and Facilities Management, who shall be appointed by the Secretary.
(2) The position of Director of Construction and Facilities Management is a career reserved position, as such term is defined in section 3132 (a)(8) of title 5.
(3) The Director shall provide direct support to the Secretary in matters covered by the responsibilities of the Director under subsection (c).
(4) The Director shall report to the Deputy Secretary in the discharge of the responsibilities of the Director under subsection (c).
(b) Qualifications.— 
Each individual appointed as Director of Construction and Facilities Management shall be an individual who
(1) holds an undergraduate or masters degree in architectural design or engineering; and
(2) has substantive professional experience in the area of construction project management.
(c) Responsibilities.— 

(1) The Director of Construction and Facilities Management shall
(A) be responsible for overseeing and managing the planning, design, construction, and operation of facilities and infrastructure of the Department, including major and minor construction projects; and
(B) perform such other functions as the Secretary shall prescribe.
(2) In carrying out the oversight and management of construction and operation of facilities and infrastructure under this section, the Director shall be responsible for the following:
(A) Development and updating of short-range and long-range strategic capital investment strategies and plans of the Department.
(B) Planning, design, and construction of facilities for the Department, including determining architectural and engineering requirements and ensuring compliance of the Department with applicable laws relating to the construction program of the Department.
(C) Management of the short-term and long-term leasing of real property by the Department.
(D) Repair and maintenance of facilities of the Department, including custodial services, building management and administration, and maintenance of roads, grounds, and infrastructure.
(E) Management of procurement and acquisition processes relating to the construction and operation of facilities of the Department, including the award of contracts related to design, construction, furnishing, and supplies and equipment.

38 USC 313 - Availability of appropriations

(a) Funds appropriated to the Department may remain available until expended.
(b) Funds appropriated to the Department may not be used for a settlement of more than $1,000,000 on a construction contract unless
(1) the settlement is audited by an entity outside the Department for reasonableness and appropriateness of expenditures; and
(2) the settlement is provided for specifically in an appropriation law.

38 USC 314 - Central Office

The Central Office of the Department shall be in the District of Columbia.

38 USC 315 - Regional offices

(a) The Secretary may establish such regional offices and such other field offices within the United States, its Territories, Commonwealths, and possessions, as the Secretary considers necessary.
(b) The Secretary may maintain a regional office in the Republic of the Philippines until December 31, 2009.

38 USC 316 - Colocation of regional offices and medical centers

(a) To provide for a more economical, efficient, and effective operation of such regional offices, the Secretary shall provide for the colocation of at least three regional offices with medical centers of the Department
(1) on real property under the jurisdiction of the Department of Veterans Affairs at such medical centers; or
(2) on real property that is adjacent to such a medical center and is under the jurisdiction of the Department as a result of being conveyed to the United States for the purpose of such colocation.
(b) 
(1) In carrying out this section and notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may lease, with or without compensation and for a period of not to exceed 35 years, to another party at not more than seven locations any of the real property described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a).
(2) Such real property shall be used as the site of a facility
(A) constructed and owned by the lessee of such real property; and
(B) leased under subsection (c)(1) to the Department for such use and such other activities as the Secretary determines are appropriate.
(c) 
(1) The Secretary may enter into a lease for the use of any facility described in subsection (b)(2) for not more than 35 years under such terms and conditions as may be in the best interests of the Department.
(2) Each agreement for such a lease shall provide
(A) that the obligation of the United States to make payments under the agreement is subject to the availability of appropriations for that purpose; and
(B) that the ownership of the facility shall vest in the United States at the end of such lease.
(d) 
(1) The Secretary may sublease any space in such a facility to another party at a rate not less than
(A) the rental rate paid by the Secretary for such space under subsection (c); plus
(B) the amount the Secretary pays for the costs of administering such facility (including operation, maintenance, utility, and rehabilitation costs) which are attributable to such space.
(2) In any such sublease, the Secretary shall include such terms relating to default and nonperformance as the Secretary considers appropriate to protect the interests of the United States.
(e) The Secretary shall use the receipts of any payment for the lease of real property under subsection (b) for the payment of the lease of a facility under subsection (c).
(f) 
(1) Subject to paragraph (3)(A), the Secretary shall, not later than April 18, 1990, issue an invitation for offers with respect to three colocations to be carried out under this section. The invitation shall include, with respect to each such colocation, at least the following:
(A) Identification of the site to be developed.
(B) Minimum office space requirements for regional office activities.
(C) Design criteria of the facility to be constructed.
(D) A plan for meeting the security and parking needs for the facility and its occupants and visitors.
(E) A statement of current and projected rents and other costs for regional office activities.
(F) The estimated cost of construction of the facility concerned, the estimated annual cost of leasing space for regional office activities in the facility, and the estimated total annual cost of leasing all space in such facility.
(G) A plan for securing appropriate licenses, easements, and rights-of-way.
(H) A list of terms and conditions the Secretary has approved for inclusion in the lease agreement for the facility concerned.
(2) Subject to paragraph (3)(B), the Secretary shall
(A) not later than one year after the date on which the invitation is issued under paragraph (1), enter into an agreement to carry out one colocation under this subsection; and
(B) within 180 days after entering into the agreement referred to in subparagraph (A), enter into agreements to carry out two additional colocations,

unless the Secretary determines that it is not economically feasible for the Department to undertake them, taking into consideration all of the tangible and intangible benefits associated with such colocations.

(3) The Secretary shall
(A) at least 10 days before the issuance or other publication of the invitation referred to in paragraph (1), submit a copy of the invitation to the Committees on Veterans Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives; and
(B) at least 30 days before entering into an agreement under paragraph (2), submit a copy to the Committees on Veterans Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives of the proposals selected by the Secretary from those received in response to the invitation issued under paragraph (1).
(g) The authority to enter into an agreement under this section shall expire on September 30, 1992.

38 USC 317 - Center for Minority Veterans

(a) There is in the Department a Center for Minority Veterans. There is at the head of the Center a Director.
(b) The Director shall be a career or noncareer appointee in the Senior Executive Service. The Director shall be appointed for a term of six years.
(c) The Director reports directly to the Secretary or the Deputy Secretary concerning the activities of the Center.
(d) The Director shall perform the following functions with respect to veterans who are minorities:
(1) Serve as principal adviser to the Secretary on the adoption and implementation of policies and programs affecting veterans who are minorities.
(2) Make recommendations to the Secretary, the Under Secretary for Health, the Under Secretary for Benefits, and other Department officials for the establishment or improvement of programs in the Department for which veterans who are minorities are eligible.
(3) Promote the use of benefits authorized by this title by veterans who are minorities and the conduct of outreach activities to veterans who are minorities, in conjunction with outreach activities carried out under chapter 77 of this title.
(4) Disseminate information and serve as a resource center for the exchange of information regarding innovative and successful programs which improve the services available to veterans who are minorities.
(5) Conduct and sponsor appropriate social and demographic research on the needs of veterans who are minorities and the extent to which programs authorized under this title meet the needs of those veterans, without regard to any law concerning the collection of information from the public.
(6) Analyze and evaluate complaints made by or on behalf of veterans who are minorities about the adequacy and timeliness of services provided by the Department and advise the appropriate official of the Department of the results of such analysis or evaluation.
(7) Consult with, and provide assistance and information to, officials responsible for administering Federal, State, local, and private programs that assist veterans, to encourage those officials to adopt policies which promote the use of those programs by veterans who are minorities.
(8) Advise the Secretary when laws or policies have the effect of discouraging the use of benefits by veterans who are minorities.
(9) Publicize the results of medical research which are of particular significance to veterans who are minorities.
(10) Advise the Secretary and other appropriate officials on the effectiveness of the Departments efforts to accomplish the goals of section 492B of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 289a–2) with respect to the inclusion of minorities in clinical research and on particular health conditions affecting the health of members of minority groups which should be studied as part of the Departments medical research program and promote cooperation between the Department and other sponsors of medical research of potential benefit to veterans who are minorities.
(11) Provide support and administrative services to the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans provided for under section 544 of this title.
(12) Perform such other duties consistent with this section as the Secretary shall prescribe.
(e) The Secretary shall ensure that the Director is furnished sufficient resources to enable the Director to carry out the functions of the Center in a timely manner.
(f) The Secretary shall include in documents submitted to Congress by the Secretary in support of the Presidents budget for each fiscal year
(1) detailed information on the budget for the Center;
(2) the Secretarys opinion as to whether the resources (including the number of employees) proposed in the budget for that fiscal year are adequate to enable the Center to comply with its statutory and regulatory duties; and
(3) a report on the activities and significant accomplishments of the Center during the preceding fiscal year.
(g) In this section
(1) The term veterans who are minorities means veterans who are minority group members.
(2) The term minority group member has the meaning given such term in section 544 (d) of this title.

38 USC 318 - Center for Women Veterans

(a) There is in the Department a Center for Women Veterans. There is at the head of the Center a Director.
(b) The Director shall be a career or noncareer appointee in the Senior Executive Service. The Director shall be appointed for a term of six years.
(c) The Director reports directly to the Secretary or the Deputy Secretary concerning the activities of the Center.
(d) The Director shall perform the following functions with respect to veterans who are women:
(1) Serve as principal adviser to the Secretary on the adoption and implementation of policies and programs affecting veterans who are women.
(2) Make recommendations to the Secretary, the Under Secretary for Health, the Under Secretary for Benefits, and other Department officials for the establishment or improvement of programs in the Department for which veterans who are women are eligible.
(3) Promote the use of benefits authorized by this title by veterans who are women and the conduct of outreach activities to veterans who are women, in conjunction with outreach activities carried out under chapter 77 of this title.
(4) Disseminate information and serve as a resource center for the exchange of information regarding innovative and successful programs which improve the services available to veterans who are women.
(5) Conduct and sponsor appropriate social and demographic research on the needs of veterans who are women and the extent to which programs authorized under this title meet the needs of those veterans, without regard to any law concerning the collection of information from the public.
(6) Analyze and evaluate complaints made by or on behalf of veterans who are women about the adequacy and timeliness of services provided by the Department and advise the appropriate official of the Department of the results of such analysis or evaluation.
(7) Consult with, and provide assistance and information to, officials responsible for administering Federal, State, local, and private programs that assist veterans, to encourage those officials to adopt policies which promote the use of those programs by veterans who are women.
(8) Advise the Secretary when laws or policies have the effect of discouraging the use of benefits by veterans who are women.
(9) Publicize the results of medical research which are of particular significance to veterans who are women.
(10) Advise the Secretary and other appropriate officials on the effectiveness of the Departments efforts to accomplish the goals of section 492B of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 289a–2) with respect to the inclusion of women in clinical research and on particular health conditions affecting womens health which should be studied as part of the Departments medical research program and promote cooperation between the Department and other sponsors of medical research of potential benefit to veterans who are women.
(11) Provide support and administrative services to the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans established under section 542 of this title.
(12) Perform such other duties consistent with this section as the Secretary shall prescribe.
(e) The Secretary shall ensure that the Director is furnished sufficient resources to enable the Director to carry out the functions of the Center in a timely manner.
(f) The Secretary shall include in documents submitted to Congress by the Secretary in support of the Presidents budget for each fiscal year
(1) detailed information on the budget for the Center;
(2) the Secretarys opinion as to whether the resources (including the number of employees) proposed in the budget for that fiscal year are adequate to enable the Center to comply with its statutory and regulatory duties; and
(3) a report on the activities and significant accomplishments of the Center during the preceding fiscal year.

38 USC 319 - Office of Employment Discrimination Complaint Adjudication

(a) 
(1) There is in the Department an Office of Employment Discrimination Complaint Adjudication. There is at the head of the Office a Director.
(2) The Director shall be a career appointee in the Senior Executive Service.
(3) The Director reports directly to the Secretary or the Deputy Secretary concerning matters within the responsibility of the Office.
(b) 
(1) The Director is responsible for making the final agency decision within the Department on the merits of any employment discrimination complaint filed by an employee, or an applicant for employment, with the Department. The Director shall make such decisions in an impartial and objective manner.
(2) No person may make any ex parte communication to the Director or to any employee of the Office with respect to a matter on which the Director has responsibility for making a final agency decision.
(c) Whenever the Director has reason to believe that there has been retaliation against an employee by reason of the employee asserting rights under an equal employment opportunity law, the Director shall report the suspected retaliatory action directly to the Secretary or Deputy Secretary, who shall take appropriate action thereon.
(d) 
(1) The Office shall employ a sufficient number of attorneys and other personnel as are necessary to carry out the functions of the Office. Attorneys shall be compensated at a level commensurate with attorneys employed by the Office of the General Counsel.
(2) The Secretary shall ensure that the Director is furnished sufficient resources in addition to personnel under paragraph (1) to enable the Director to carry out the functions of the Office in a timely manner.
(3) The Secretary shall ensure that any performance appraisal of the Director of the Office of Employment Discrimination Complaint Adjudication or of any employee of the Office does not take into consideration the record of the Director or employee in deciding cases for or against the Department.

38 USC 320 - Department of Veterans Affairs-Department of Defense Joint Executive Committee

(a) Joint Executive Committee.— 

(1) There is established an interagency committee to be known as the Department of Veterans Affairs-Department of Defense Joint Executive Committee (hereinafter in this section referred to as the Committee).
(2) The Committee is composed of
(A) the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs and such other officers and employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs may designate; and
(B) the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and such other officers and employees of the Department of Defense as the Secretary of Defense may designate.
(b) Administrative Matters.— 

(1) The Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Under Secretary of Defense shall determine the size and structure of the Committee, as well as the administrative and procedural guidelines for the operation of the Committee.
(2) The two Departments shall supply appropriate staff and resources to provide administrative support and services. Support for such purposes shall be provided at a level sufficient for the efficient operation of the Committee, including a subordinate Health Executive Committee, a subordinate Benefits Executive Committee, and such other committees or working groups as considered necessary by the Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary.
(c) Recommendations.— 

(1) The Committee shall recommend to the Secretaries strategic direction for the joint coordination and sharing efforts between and within the two Departments under section 8111 of this title and shall oversee implementation of those efforts.
(2) The Committee shall submit to the two Secretaries and to Congress an annual report containing such recommendations as the Committee considers appropriate.
(d) Functions.— 
In order to enable the Committee to make recommendations in its annual report under subsection (c)(2), the Committee shall do the following:
(1) Review existing policies, procedures, and practices relating to the coordination and sharing of resources between the two Departments.
(2) Identify changes in policies, procedures, and practices that, in the judgment of the Committee, would promote mutually beneficial coordination, use, or exchange of use of services and resources of the two Departments, with the goal of improving the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of benefits and services to veterans, service members, military retirees, and their families through an enhanced Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense partnership.
(3) Identify and assess further opportunities for the coordination and collaboration between the Departments that, in the judgment of the Committee, would not adversely affect the range of services, the quality of care, or the established priorities for benefits provided by either Department.
(4) Review the plans of both Departments for the acquisition of additional resources, especially new facilities and major equipment and technology, in order to assess the potential effect of such plans on further opportunities for the coordination and sharing of resources.
(5) Review the implementation of activities designed to promote the coordination and sharing of resources between the Departments.

TITLE 38 - US CODE - CHAPTER 5 - AUTHORITY AND DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY

TITLE 38 - US CODE - SUBCHAPTER I - GENERAL AUTHORITIES

38 USC 501 - Rules and regulations

(a) The Secretary has authority to prescribe all rules and regulations which are necessary or appropriate to carry out the laws administered by the Department and are consistent with those laws, including
(1) regulations with respect to the nature and extent of proof and evidence and the method of taking and furnishing them in order to establish the right to benefits under such laws;
(2) the forms of application by claimants under such laws;
(3) the methods of making investigations and medical examinations; and
(4) the manner and form of adjudications and awards.
(b) Any rule, regulation, guideline, or other published interpretation or order (and any amendment thereto) issued pursuant to the authority granted by this section or any other provision of this title shall contain citations to the particular section or sections of statutory law or other legal authority upon which such issuance is based. The citation to the authority shall appear immediately following each substantive provision of the issuance.
(c) In applying section 552 (a)(1) of title 5 to the Department, the Secretary shall ensure that subparagraphs (C), (D), and (E) of that section are complied with, particularly with respect to opinions and interpretations of the General Counsel.
(d) The provisions of section 553 of title 5 shall apply, without regard to subsection (a)(2) of that section, to matters relating to loans, grants, or benefits under a law administered by the Secretary.

38 USC 502 - Judicial review of rules and regulations

An action of the Secretary to which section 552 (a)(1) or 553 of title 5 (or both) refers (other than an action relating to the adoption or revision of the schedule of ratings for disabilities adopted under section 1155 of this title) is subject to judicial review. Such review shall be in accordance with chapter 7 of title 5 and may be sought only in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. However, if such review is sought in connection with an appeal brought under the provisions of chapter 72 of this title, the provisions of that chapter shall apply rather than the provisions of chapter 7 of title 5.

38 USC 503 - Administrative error; equitable relief

(a) If the Secretary determines that benefits administered by the Department have not been provided by reason of administrative error on the part of the Federal Government or any of its employees, the Secretary may provide such relief on account of such error as the Secretary determines equitable, including the payment of moneys to any person whom the Secretary determines is equitably entitled to such moneys.
(b) If the Secretary determines that a veteran, surviving spouse, child of a veteran, or other person has suffered loss as a consequence of reliance upon a determination by the Department of eligibility or entitlement to benefits, without knowledge that it was erroneously made, the Secretary may provide such relief on account of such error as the Secretary determines is equitable, including the payment of moneys to any person whom the Secretary determines is equitably entitled to such moneys.
(c) Not later than April 1 of each year, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report containing a statement as to the disposition of each case recommended to the Secretary for equitable relief under this section during the preceding calendar year. No report shall be required under this subsection after December 31, 2009.

38 USC 505 - Opinions of Attorney General

The Secretary may require the opinion of the Attorney General on any question of law arising in the administration of the Department.

38 USC 510 - Authority to reorganize offices

(a) Except to the extent inconsistent with law, the Secretary may
(1) consolidate, eliminate, abolish, or redistribute the functions of the Administrations, offices, facilities, or activities in the Department;
(2) create new Administrations, offices, facilities, or activities in the Department; and
(3) fix the functions of any such Administration, office, facility, or activity and the duties and powers of their respective executive heads.
(b) The Secretary may not in any fiscal year implement an administrative reorganization described in subsection (c) unless the Secretary first submits to the appropriate committees of the Congress a report containing a detailed plan and justification for the administrative reorganization. No action to carry out such reorganization may be taken after the submission of such report until the end of a 45-day period following the date of the submission of the report, not less than 30 days of which shall be days during which Congress shall have been in continuous session. For purposes of the preceding sentence, continuity of a session of Congress is broken only by adjournment sine die, and there shall be excluded from the computation of any period of continuity of session any day during which either House of Congress is not in session during an adjournment of more than three days to a day certain.
(c) An administrative reorganization described in this subsection is an administrative reorganization of a covered field office or facility that involves a reduction during any fiscal year in the number of full-time equivalent employees with permanent duty stations at such office or facility
(1) by 15 percent or more; or
(2) by a percent which, when added to the percent reduction made in the number of such employees with permanent duty stations at such office or facility during the preceding fiscal year, is 25 percent or more.
(d) 
(1) Not less than 30 days before the date on which the implementation of any administrative reorganization described in paragraph (2) of a unit in the Central Office is to begin, the Secretary shall transmit to the Committees on Veterans Affairs of the Senate and the House of Representatives a notification regarding the reorganization.
(2) Paragraph (1) applies to an administrative reorganization of any unit of the Central Office that is the duty station for 30 or more employees if the reorganization involves a reduction in any fiscal year in the number of full-time equivalent employees with permanent duty station in such unit by 50 percent or more.
(e) For purposes of this section, the term administrative reorganization does not include a consolidation or redistribution of functions at a covered field office or facility, or between components of the Veterans Benefits Administration and the Veterans Health Administration at a Department medical and regional office center, if after the consolidation or redistribution the same number of full-time equivalent employees continues to perform the affected functions at that field office, facility, or center.
(f) For purposes of this section:
(1) The term covered field office or facility means a Department office or facility outside the Central Office that is the permanent duty station for 25 or more employees or that is a free-standing outpatient clinic.
(2) The term detailed plan and justification means, with respect to an administrative reorganization, a written report that, at a minimum, includes the following:
(A) Specification of the number of employees by which each covered office or facility affected is to be reduced, the responsibilities of those employees, and the means by which the reduction is to be accomplished.
(B) Identification of any existing or planned office or facility at which the number of employees is to be increased and specification of the number and responsibilities of the additional employees at each such office or facility.
(C) A description of the changes in the functions carried out at any existing office or facility and the functions to be assigned to an office or facility not in existence on the date that the plan and justification are submitted pursuant to subsection (b).
(D) An explanation of the reasons for the determination that the reorganization is appropriate and advisable in terms of the statutory missions and long-term goals of the Department.
(E) A description of the effects that the reorganization may have on the provision of benefits and services to veterans and dependents of veterans (including the provision of benefits and services through offices and facilities of the Department not directly affected by the reorganization).
(F) Estimates of the costs of the reorganization and of the cost impact of the reorganization, together with analyses supporting those estimates.

38 USC 511 - Decisions of the Secretary; finality

(a) The Secretary shall decide all questions of law and fact necessary to a decision by the Secretary under a law that affects the provision of benefits by the Secretary to veterans or the dependents or survivors of veterans. Subject to subsection (b), the decision of the Secretary as to any such question shall be final and conclusive and may not be reviewed by any other official or by any court, whether by an action in the nature of mandamus or otherwise.
(b) The second sentence of subsection (a) does not apply to
(1) matters subject to section 502 of this title;
(2) matters covered by sections 1975 and 1984 of this title;
(3) matters arising under chapter 37 of this title; and
(4) matters covered by chapter 72 of this title.

38 USC 512 - Delegation of authority; assignment of functions and duties

(a) Except as otherwise provided by law, the Secretary may assign functions and duties, and delegate, or authorize successive redelegation of, authority to act and to render decisions, with respect to all laws administered by the Department, to such officers and employees as the Secretary may find necessary. Within the limitations of such delegations, redelegations, or assignments, all official acts and decisions of such officers and employees shall have the same force and effect as though performed or rendered by the Secretary.
(b) There shall be included on the technical and administrative staff of the Secretary such staff officers, experts, inspectors, and assistants (including legal assistants) as the Secretary may prescribe.

38 USC 513 - Contracts and personal services

The Secretary may, for purposes of all laws administered by the Department, accept uncompensated services, and enter into contracts or agreements with private or public agencies or persons (including contracts for services of translators without regard to any other law), for such necessary services (including personal services) as the Secretary may consider practicable. The Secretary may also enter into contracts or agreements with private concerns or public agencies for the hiring of passenger motor vehicles or aircraft for official travel whenever, in the Secretarys judgment, such arrangements are in the interest of efficiency or economy.

38 USC 515 - Administrative settlement of tort claims

(a) 
(1) Notwithstanding the limitations contained in section 2672 of title 28, the Secretary may settle a claim for money damages against the United States cognizable under section 1346 (b) or 2672 of title 28 or section 7316 of this title to the extent the authority to do so is delegated to the Secretary by the Attorney General. Such delegation may not exceed the authority delegated by the Attorney General to United States attorneys to settle claims for money damages against the United States.
(2) For purposes of this subsection, the term settle, with respect to a claim, means consider, ascertain, adjust, determine, and dispose of the claim, whether by full or partial allowance or by disallowance.
(b) The Secretary may pay tort claims, in the manner authorized in the first paragraph of section 2672 of title 28, when such claims arise in foreign countries in connection with Department operations abroad. A claim may not be allowed under this subsection unless it is presented in writing to the Secretary within two years after the claim accrues.

38 USC 516 - Equal employment responsibilities

(a) The Secretary shall provide that the employment discrimination complaint resolution system within the Department be established and administered so as to encourage timely and fair resolution of concerns and complaints. The Secretary shall take steps to ensure that the system is administered in an objective, fair, and effective manner and in a manner that is perceived by employees and other interested parties as being objective, fair, and effective.
(b) The Secretary shall provide
(1) that employees responsible for counseling functions associated with employment discrimination and for receiving, investigating, and processing complaints of employment discrimination shall be supervised in those functions by, and report to, an Assistant Secretary or a Deputy Assistant Secretary for complaint resolution management; and
(2) that employees performing employment discrimination complaint resolution functions at a facility of the Department shall not be subject to the authority, direction, and control of the Director of the facility with respect to those functions.
(c) The Secretary shall ensure that all employees of the Department receive adequate education and training for the purposes of this section and section 319 of this title.
(d) The Secretary shall, when appropriate, impose disciplinary measures, as authorized by law, in the case of employees of the Department who engage in unlawful employment discrimination, including retaliation against an employee asserting rights under an equal employment opportunity law.
(e) 
(1) 
(A) Not later than 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter, the Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration shall submit to the Committees on Veterans Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report summarizing the employment discrimination complaints filed against the individuals referred to in paragraph (2) during such quarter.
(B) Subparagraph (A) shall apply in the case of complaints filed against individuals on the basis of such individuals personal conduct and shall not apply in the case of complaints filed solely on the basis of such individuals positions as officials of the Department.
(2) Paragraph (1) applies to the following officers and employees of the Department:
(A) The Secretary.
(B) The Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
(C) The Under Secretary for Health and the Under Secretary for Benefits.
(D) Each Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs and each Deputy Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
(E) The Under Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Memorial Affairs.
(F) The General Counsel of the Department.
(G) The Chairman of the Board of Veterans Appeals.
(H) The Chairman of the Board of Contract Appeals of the Department.
(I) The director and the chief of staff of each medical center of the Department.
(J) The director of each Veterans Integrated Services Network.
(K) The director of each regional office of the Department.
(L) Each program director of the Central Office of the Department.
(3) Each report under this subsection
(A) may not disclose information which identifies the individuals filing, or the individuals who are the subject of, the complaints concerned or the facilities at which the discrimination identified in such complaints is alleged to have occurred;
(B) shall summarize such complaints by type and by equal employment opportunity field office area in which filed; and
(C) shall include copies of such complaints, with the information described in subparagraph (A) redacted.
(4) Not later than April 1 each year, the Assistant Secretary shall submit to the committees referred to in paragraph (1)(A) a report on the complaints covered by paragraph (1) during the preceding year, including the number of such complaints filed during that year and the status and resolution of the investigation of such complaints.
(f) The Secretary shall ensure that an employee of the Department who seeks counseling relating to employment discrimination may elect to receive such counseling from an employee of the Department who carries out equal employment opportunity counseling functions on a full-time basis rather than from an employee of the Department who carries out such functions on a part-time basis.
(g) The number of employees of the Department whose duties include equal employment opportunity counseling functions as well as other, unrelated functions may not exceed 40 full-time equivalent employees. Any such employee may be assigned equal employment opportunity counseling functions only at Department facilities in remote geographic locations (as determined by the Secretary). The Secretary may waive the limitation in the preceding sentence in specific cases.
(h) The provisions of this section shall be implemented in a manner consistent with procedures applicable under regulations prescribed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

TITLE 38 - US CODE - SUBCHAPTER II - SPECIFIED FUNCTIONS

38 USC 521 - Assistance to certain rehabilitation activities

(a) The Secretary may assist any organization named in or approved under section 5902 of this title in providing recreational activities which would further the rehabilitation of disabled veterans. Such assistance may be provided only if
(1) the activities are available to disabled veterans on a national basis; and
(2) a significant percentage of the individuals participating in the activities are eligible for rehabilitative services under chapter 17 of this title.
(b) The Secretary may accept from any appropriate source contributions of funds and of other assistance to support the Secretarys provision of assistance for such activities.
(c) 
(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may authorize the use, for purposes approved by the Secretary in connection with the activity involved, of the seal and other official symbols of the Department and the name Department of Veterans Affairs by
(A) any organization which provides an activity described in subsection (a) with assistance from the Secretary; and
(B) any individual or entity from which the Secretary accepts a significant contribution under subsection (b) or an offer of such a contribution.
(2) The use of such seal or name of any official symbol of the Department in an advertisement may be authorized by the Secretary under this subsection only if
(A) the Secretary has approved the advertisement; and
(B) the advertisement contains a clear statement that no product, project, or commercial line of endeavor referred to in the advertisement is endorsed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

38 USC 522 - Studies of rehabilitation of disabled persons

(a) The Secretary may conduct studies and investigations, and prepare reports, relative to the rehabilitation of disabled persons, the relative abilities, aptitudes, and capacities of the several groups of the variously handicapped, and how their potentialities can best be developed and their services best used in gainful and suitable employment including the rehabilitation programs of foreign nations.
(b) In carrying out this section, the Secretary
(1)  may cooperate with such public and private agencies as the Secretary considers advisable; and
(2)  may employ consultants who shall receive a reasonable per diem, as prescribed by the Secretary, for each day actually employed, plus necessary travel and other expenses.

38 USC 523 - Coordination and promotion of other programs affecting veterans and their dependents

(a) The Secretary shall seek to achieve
(1)  the maximum feasible effectiveness, coordination, and interrelationship of services among all programs and activities affecting veterans and their dependents carried out by and under all other departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the executive branch, and
(2)  the maximum feasible coordination of such programs with programs carried out under this title. The Secretary shall actively promote the effective implementation, enforcement, and application of all provisions of law and regulations providing for special consideration, emphasis, or preference for veterans.
(b) The Secretary shall seek to achieve the effective coordination of the provision, under laws administered by the Department, of benefits and services (and information about such benefits and services) with appropriate programs (and information about such programs) conducted by State and local governmental agencies and by private entities at the State and local level. In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary shall place special emphasis on veterans who are 65 years of age or older.

38 USC 525 - Publication of laws relating to veterans

(a) The Secretary may compile and publish all Federal laws relating to veterans relief, including laws administered by the Department as well as by other agencies of the Government. Such compilation and publication shall be in such form as the Secretary considers advisable for the purpose of making currently available in convenient form for the use of the Department and full-time representatives of the several service organizations an annotated, indexed, and cross-referenced statement of the laws providing veterans relief.
(b) The Secretary may maintain such compilation on a current basis either by the publication, from time to time, of supplementary documents or by complete revision of the compilation.
(c) The distribution of the compilation to the representatives of the several service organizations shall be as determined by the Secretary.

38 USC 527 - Evaluation and data collection

(a) The Secretary, pursuant to general standards which the Secretary shall prescribe in regulations, shall measure and evaluate on a continuing basis the effect of all programs authorized under this title, in order to determine their effectiveness in achieving stated goals in general, and in achieving such goals in relation to their cost, their effect on related programs, and their structure and mechanisms for delivery of services. Such information as the Secretary may consider necessary for purposes of such evaluations shall be made available to the Secretary, upon request, by all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the executive branch.
(b) In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall collect, collate, and analyze on a continuing basis full statistical data regarding participation (including the duration thereof), provision of services, categories of beneficiaries, planning and construction of facilities, acquisition of real property, proposed excessing of land, accretion and attrition of personnel, and categorized expenditures attributable thereto, under all programs carried out under this title.
(c) The Secretary shall make available to the public, and on a regular basis provide to the appropriate committees of the Congress, copies of all completed evaluative research studies and summaries of evaluations of program impact and effectiveness carried out, and tabulations and analyses of all data collected, under this section.

38 USC 529 - Annual report to Congress

The Secretary shall submit annually, at the close of each fiscal year, a report in writing to Congress. Each such report shall
(1) give an account of all moneys received and disbursed by the Department for such fiscal year;
(2) describe the work done during such fiscal year; and
(3) state the activities of the Department for such fiscal year.

38 USC 530 - Annual report on program and expenditures for domestic response to weapons of mass destruction

(a) The Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Veterans Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives an annual report, to be submitted each year at the time that the President submits the budget for the next fiscal year under section 1105 of title 31, on the activities of the Department relating to preparation for, and participation in, a domestic medical response to an attack involving weapons of mass destruction.
(b) Each report under subsection (a) shall include the following:
(1) A statement of the amounts of funds and the level of personnel resources (stated in terms of full-time equivalent employees) expected to be used by the Department during the next fiscal year in preparation for a domestic medical response to an attack involving weapons of mass destruction, including the anticipated source of those funds and any anticipated shortfalls in funds or personnel resources to achieve the tasks assigned the Department by the President in connection with preparation for such a response.
(2) A detailed statement of the funds expended and personnel resources (stated in terms of full-time equivalent employees) used during the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year during which the report is submitted in preparation for a domestic medical response to an attack involving weapons of mass destruction or in response to such an attack, including identification of the source of those funds and a description of how those funds were expended.
(3) A detailed statement of the funds expended and expected to be expended, and the personnel resources (stated in terms of full-time equivalent employees) used and expected to be used, during the fiscal year during which the report is submitted in preparation for a domestic medical response to an attack involving weapons of mass destruction or in response to such an attack, including identification of the source of funds expended and a description of how those funds were expended.
(c) This section shall expire on January 1, 2009.

38 USC 531 - Requirement relating to naming of Department property

Except as expressly provided by law, a facility, structure, or real property of the Department, and a major portion (such as a wing or floor) of any such facility, structure, or real property, may be named only for the geographic area in which the facility, structure, or real property is located.

TITLE 38 - US CODE - SUBCHAPTER III - ADVISORY COMMITTEES

38 USC 541 - Advisory Committee on Former Prisoners of War

(a) 
(1) The Secretary shall establish an advisory committee to be known as the Advisory Committee on Former Prisoners of War (hereinafter in this section referred to as the Committee).
(2) 
(A) The members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Secretary from the general public and shall include
(i) appropriate representatives of veterans who are former prisoners of war;
(ii) individuals who are recognized authorities in fields pertinent to disabilities prevalent among former prisoners of war, including authorities in epidemiology, mental health, nutrition, geriatrics, and internal medicine; and
(iii) appropriate representatives of disabled veterans.
(B) The Committee shall also include, as ex officio members, the Under Secretary for Health and the Under Secretary for Benefits, or their designees.
(3) The Secretary shall determine the number, terms of service, and pay and allowances of members of the Committee appointed by the Secretary, except that the term of service of any such member may not exceed three years.
(b) The Secretary shall, on a regular basis, consult with and seek the advice of the Committee with respect to the administration of benefits under this title for veterans who are former prisoners of war and the needs of such veterans with respect to compensation, health care, and rehabilitation.
(c) 
(1) Not later than July 1 of each odd-numbered year through 2009, the Committee shall submit to the Secretary a report on the programs and activities of the Department that pertain to veterans who are former prisoners of war. Each such report shall include
(A) an assessment of the needs of such veterans with respect to compensation, health care, and rehabilitation;
(B) a review of the programs and activities of the Department designed to meet such needs; and
(C) such recommendations (including recommendations for administrative and legislative action) as the Committee considers to be appropriate.
(2) The Secretary shall, within 60 days after receiving each report under paragraph (1), submit to the Congress a copy of the report, together with any comments concerning the report that the Secretary considers appropriate.
(3) The Committee may also submit to the Secretary such other reports and recommendations as the Committee considers appropriate.
(4) The Secretary shall submit with each annual report submitted to the Congress pursuant to section 529 of this title a summary of all reports and recommendations of the Committee submitted to the Secretary since the previous annual report of the Secretary submitted to the Congress pursuant to that section.

38 USC 542 - Advisory Committee on Women Veterans

(a) 
(1) The Secretary shall establish an advisory committee to be known as the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans (hereinafter in this section referred to as the Committee).
(2) 
(A) The Committee shall consist of members appointed by the Secretary from the general public, including
(i) representatives of women veterans;
(ii) individuals who are recognized authorities in fields pertinent to the needs of women veterans, including the gender-specific health-care needs of women; and
(iii) representatives of both female and male veterans with service-connected disabilities, including at least one female veteran with a service-connected disability and at least one male veteran with a service-connected disability.
(B) The Committee shall include, as ex officio members
(i) the Secretary of Labor (or a representative of the Secretary of Labor designated by the Secretary after consultation with the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans Employment);
(ii) the Secretary of Defense (or a representative of the Secretary of Defense designated by the Secretary of Defense after consultation with the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services); and
(iii) the Under Secretary for Health and the Under Secretary for Benefits, or their designees.
(C) The Secretary may invite representatives of other departments and agencies of the United States to participate in the meetings and other activities of the Committee.
(3) The Secretary shall determine the number, terms of service, and pay and allowances of members of the Committee appointed by the Secretary, except that a term of service of any such member may not exceed three years. The Secretary may reappoint any such member for additional terms of service.
(b) The Secretary shall, on a regular basis, consult with and seek the advice of the Committee with respect to the administration of benefits by the Department for women veterans, reports and studies pertaining to women veterans and the needs of women veterans with respect to compensation, health care, rehabilitation, outreach, and other benefits and programs administered by the Department, including the Center for Women Veterans.
(c) 
(1) Not later than July 1 of each even-numbered year through 2008, the Committee shall submit to the Secretary a report on the programs and activities of the Department that pertain to women veterans. Each such report shall include
(A) an assessment of the needs of women veterans with respect to compensation, health care, rehabilitation, outreach, and other benefits and programs administered by the Department;
(B) a review of the programs and activities of the Department designed to meet such needs; and
(C) such recommendations (including recommendations for administrative and legislative action) as the Committee considers appropriate.
(2) The Secretary shall, within 60 days after receiving each report under paragraph (1), submit to the Congress a copy of the report, together with any comments concerning the report that the Secretary considers appropriate.
(3) The Committee may also submit to the Secretary such other reports and recommendations as the Committee considers appropriate.
(4) The Secretary shall submit with each annual report submitted to the Congress pursuant to section 529 of this title a summary of all reports and recommendations of the Committee submitted to the Secretary since the previous annual report of the Secretary submitted pursuant to such section.

38 USC 543 - Advisory Committee on Prosthetics and Special-Disabilities Programs

(a) There is in the Department an advisory committee known as the Advisory Committee on Prosthetics and Special-Disabilities Programs (hereinafter in this section referred to as the Committee).
(b) The objectives and scope of activities of the Committee shall relate to
(1) prosthetics and special-disabilities programs administered by the Secretary;
(2) the coordination of programs of the Department for the development and testing of, and for information exchange regarding, prosthetic devices;
(3) the coordination of Department and non-Department programs that involve the development and testing of prosthetic devices; and
(4) the adequacy of funding for the prosthetics and special-disabilities programs of the Department.
(c) The Secretary shall, on a regular basis, consult with and seek the advice of the Committee on the matters described in subsection (b).
(d) Not later than January 15 of 1993, 1994, and 1995, the Committee shall submit to the Secretary and the Committees on Veterans Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report on the effectiveness of the prosthetics and special-disabilities programs administered by the Secretary during the preceding fiscal year. Not more than 60 days after the date on which any such report is received by the Secretary, the Secretary shall submit a report to such committees commenting on the report of the Committee.
(e) As used in this section, the term special-disabilities programs includes all programs administered by the Secretary for
(1) spinal-cord-injured veterans;
(2) blind veterans;
(3) veterans who have lost or lost the use of extremities;
(4) hearing-impaired veterans; and
(5) other veterans with serious incapacities in terms of daily life functions.

38 USC 544 - Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans

(a) 
(1) The Secretary shall establish an advisory committee to be known as the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans (hereinafter in this section referred to as the Committee).
(2) 
(A) The Committee shall consist of members appointed by the Secretary from the general public, including
(i) representatives of veterans who are minority group members;
(ii) individuals who are recognized authorities in fields pertinent to the needs of veterans who are minority group members;
(iii) veterans who are minority group members and who have experience in a military theater of operations; and
(iv) veterans who are minority group members and who do not have such experience.
(B) The Committee shall include, as ex officio members, the following:
(i) The Secretary of Labor (or a representative of the Secretary of Labor designated by the Secretary after consultation with the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans Employment).
(ii) The Secretary of Defense (or a representative of the Secretary of Defense designated by the Secretary of Defense).
(iii) The Secretary of the Interior (or a representative of the Secretary of the Interior designated by the Secretary of the Interior).
(iv) The Secretary of Commerce (or a representative of the Secretary of Commerce designated by the Secretary of Commerce).
(v) The Secretary of Health and Human Services (or a representative of the Secretary of Health and Human Services designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services).
(vi) The Under Secretary for Health and the Under Secretary for Benefits, or their designees.
(C) The Secretary may invite representatives of other departments and agencies of the United States to participate in the meetings and other activities of the Committee.
(3) The Secretary shall determine the number, terms of service, and pay and allowances of members of the Committee appointed by the Secretary, except that a term of service of any such member may not exceed three years. The Secretary may reappoint any such member for additional terms of service.
(4) The Committee shall meet as often as the Secretary considers necessary or appropriate, but not less often than twice each fiscal year.
(b) The Secretary shall, on a regular basis, consult with and seek the advice of the Committee with respect to the administration of benefits by the Department for veterans who are minority group members, reports and studies pertaining to such veterans and the needs of such veterans with respect to compensation, health care, rehabilitation, outreach, and other benefits and programs administered by the Department, including the Center for Minority Veterans.
(c) 
(1) Not later than July 1 of each year, the Committee shall submit to the Secretary a report on the programs and activities of the Department that pertain to veterans who are minority group members. Each such report shall include
(A) an assessment of the needs of veterans who are minority group members with respect to compensation, health care, rehabilitation, outreach, and other benefits and programs administered by the Department;
(B) a review of the programs and activities of the Department designed to meet such needs; and
(C) such recommendations (including recommendations for administrative and legislative action) as the Committee considers appropriate.
(2) The Secretary shall, within 60 days after receiving each report under paragraph (1), submit to Congress a copy of the report, together with any comments concerning the report that the Secretary considers appropriate.
(3) The Committee may also submit to the Secretary such other reports and recommendations as the Committee considers appropriate.
(4) The Secretary shall submit with each annual report submitted to the Congress pursuant to section 529 of this title a summary of all reports and recommendations of the Committee submitted to the Secretary since the previous annual report of the Secretary submitted pursuant to such section.
(d) In this section, the term minority group member means an individual who is
(1) Asian American;
(2) Black;
(3) Hispanic;
(4) Native American (including American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian); or
(5) Pacific-Islander American.
(e) The Committee shall cease to exist December 31, 2009.

38 USC 545 - Advisory Committee on the Readjustment of Veterans

(a) 
(1) There is in the Department the Advisory Committee on the Readjustment of Veterans (hereinafter in this section referred to as the Committee).
(2) The Committee shall consist of not more than 18 members appointed by the Secretary from among individuals who
(A) have demonstrated significant civic or professional achievement; and
(B) have experience with the provision of veterans benefits and services by the Department.
(3) The Secretary shall seek to ensure that members appointed to the Committee include individuals from a wide variety of geographic areas and ethnic backgrounds, individuals from veterans service organizations, individuals with combat experience, and women.
(4) The Secretary shall determine the terms of service and pay and allowances of the members of the Committee, except that a term of service may not exceed two years. The Secretary may reappoint any member for additional terms of service.
(b) 
(1) The Secretary shall, on a regular basis, consult with and seek the advice of the Committee with respect to the provision by the Department of benefits and services to veterans in order to assist veterans in the readjustment to civilian life.
(2) 
(A) In providing advice to the Secretary under this subsection, the Committee shall
(i) assemble and review information relating to the needs of veterans in readjusting to civilian life;
(ii) provide information relating to the nature and character of psychological problems arising from service in the Armed Forces;
(iii) provide an on-going assessment of the effectiveness of the policies, organizational structures, and services of the Department in assisting veterans in readjusting to civilian life; and
(iv) provide on-going advice on the most appropriate means of responding to the readjustment needs of veterans in the future.
(B) In carrying out its duties under subparagraph (A), the Committee shall take into special account the needs of veterans who have served in a theater of combat operations.
(c) 
(1) Not later than March 31 of each year, the Committee shall submit to the Secretary a report on the programs and activities of the Department that relate to the readjustment of veterans to civilian life. Each such report shall include
(A) an assessment of the needs of veterans with respect to readjustment to civilian life;
(B) a review of the programs and activities of the Department designed to meet such needs; and
(C) such recommendations (including recommendations for administrative and legislative action) as the Committee considers appropriate.
(2) Not later than 90 days after the receipt of a report under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall transmit to the Committees on Veterans Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a copy of the report, together with any comments and recommendations concerning the report that the Secretary considers appropriate.
(3) The Committee may also submit to the Secretary such other reports and recommendations as the Committee considers appropriate.
(4) The Secretary shall submit with each annual report submitted to the Congress pursuant to section 529 of this title a summary of all reports and recommendations of the Committee submitted to the Secretary since the previous annual report of the Secretary submitted pursuant to that section.
(d) 
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall apply to the activities of the Committee under this section.
(2) Section 14 of such Act shall not apply to the Committee.

TITLE 38 - US CODE - CHAPTER 7 - EMPLOYEES

38 USC 701 - Placement of employees in military installations

The Secretary may place employees of the Department in such Army, Navy, and Air Force installations as may be considered advisable for the purpose of adjudicating disability claims of, and giving aid and advice to, members of the Armed Forces who are about to be discharged or released from active military, naval, or air service.

38 USC 703 - Miscellaneous authorities respecting employees

(a) The Secretary may furnish and launder such wearing apparel as may be prescribed for employees in the performance of their official duties.
(b) The Secretary may transport children of Department employees located at isolated stations to and from school in available Government-owned automotive equipment.
(c) The Secretary may provide recreational facilities, supplies, and equipment for the use of patients in hospitals and employees in isolated installations.
(d) The Secretary may provide for the preparation, shipment, installation, and display of exhibits, photographic displays, moving pictures, and other visual educational information and descriptive material. For the purposes of the preceding sentence, the Secretary may purchase or rent equipment.
(e) The Secretary may reimburse employees for the cost of repairing or replacing their personal property damaged or destroyed by patients or domiciliary members while such employees are engaged in the performance of their official duties.
(f) 
(1) The Secretary, upon determining that an emergency situation exists and that such action is necessary for the effective conduct of the affairs of the Department, may use Government-owned, or leased, vehicles to transport employees to and from their place of employment and the nearest adequate public transportation or, if such public transportation is either unavailable or not feasible to use, to and from their place of employment and their home.
(2) The Secretary shall establish reasonable rates to cover the cost of the service rendered under this subsection, and all proceeds collected therefrom shall be applied to the applicable appropriation.

38 USC 705 - Telephone service for medical officers and facility directors

The Secretary may pay for official telephone service and rental in the field whenever incurred in case of official telephones for directors of centers, hospitals, independent clinics, domiciliaries, and medical officers of the Department where such telephones are installed in private residences or private apartments or quarters, when authorized under regulations prescribed by the Secretary.

38 USC 707 - Benefits for employees at overseas offices who are United States citizens

(a) The Secretary may, under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the President or the Presidents designee, provide to personnel of the Department who are United States citizens and are assigned by the Secretary to the Department offices in the Republic of the Philippines allowances and benefits similar to those provided by the following provisions of law:
(1) Section 905 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (relating to allowances to provide for the proper representation of the United States).
(2) Sections 901(1), (2), (3), (4), (7), (8), (9), (11), and (12) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (relating to travel expenses).
(3) Section 901(13) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (relating to transportation of automobiles).
(4) Section 903 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (relating to the return of personnel to the United States on leave of absence).
(5) Section 904(d) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (relating to payments by the United States of expenses for treating illness or injury of officers or employees and dependents requiring hospitalization).
(6) Section 5724a (c) of title 5 (relating to subsistence expenses for 60 days in connection with the return to the United States of the employee and such employees immediate family).
(7) Section 5724a (d) of title 5 (relating to the sale and purchase of the residence or settlement of an unexpired lease of the employee when transferred from one station to another station and both stations are in the United States, its territories or possessions, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico).
(b) The authority in subsection (a) supplements, but is not in lieu of, other allowances and benefits for overseas employees of the Department provided by title 5 and the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (22 U.S.C. 3901 et seq.).

38 USC 709 - Employment restrictions

(a) 
(1) Notwithstanding section 3134 (d) of title 5, the number of Senior Executive Service positions in the Department which are filled by noncareer appointees in any fiscal year may not at any time exceed 5 percent of the average number of senior executives employed in Senior Executive Service positions in the Department during the preceding fiscal year.
(2) For purposes of this subsection, the average number of senior executives employed in Senior Executive Service positions in the Department during a fiscal year shall be equal to 25 percent of the sum of the total number of senior executives employed in Senior Executive Service positions in the Department on the last day of each quarter of such fiscal year.
(b) The number of positions in the Department which may be excepted from the competitive service, on a temporary or permanent basis, because of their confidential or policy-determining character may not at any time exceed the equivalent of 15 positions.
(c) 
(1) Political affiliation or activity may not be taken into account in connection with the appointment of any person to any position in or to perform any service for the Department or in the assignment or advancement of any employee in the Department.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply
(A) to the appointment of any person by the President under this title, other than the appointment of the Under Secretary for Health, the Under Secretary for Benefits, and the Inspector General; or
(B) to the appointment of any person to
(i)  a Senior Executive Service position as a noncareer appointee, or
(ii)  a position that is excepted from the competitive service, on a temporary or permanent basis, because of the confidential or policy-determining character of the position.

38 USC 711 - Grade reductions

(a) The Secretary may not implement a grade reduction described in subsection (b) unless the Secretary first submits to the Committees on Veterans Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives a report containing a detailed plan for such reduction and a detailed justification for the plan. The report shall include a determination by the Secretary (together with data supporting such determination) that, in the personnel area concerned, the Department has a disproportionate number of employees at the salary grade or grades selected for reduction in comparison to the number of such employees at the salary levels involved who perform comparable functions in other departments and agencies of the Federal Government and in non-Federal entities. Any grade reduction described in such report may not take effect until the end of a period of 90 calendar days (not including any day on which either House of Congress is not in session) after the report is received by the committees.
(b) A grade reduction referred to in subsection (a) is a systematic reduction, for the purpose of reducing the average salary cost for Department employees described in subsection (c), in the number of such Department employees at a specific grade level.
(c) The employees referred to in subsection (b) are
(1) health-care personnel who are determined by the Secretary to be providing either direct patient-care services or services incident to direct patient-care services;
(2) individuals who meet the definition of professional employee as set forth in section 7103 (a)(15) of title 5; and
(3) individuals who are employed as computer specialists.
(d) Not later than the 45th day after the Secretary submits a report under subsection (a), the Comptroller General shall, upon request of either of such Committees, submit to such committees a report on the Secretarys compliance with such subsection. The Comptroller General shall include in the report the Comptroller Generals opinion as to the accuracy of the Secretarys determination (and of the data supporting such determination) made under such subsection.
(e) In the case of Department employees not described in subsection (c), the Secretary may not in any fiscal year implement a systematic reduction for the purpose of reducing the average salary cost for such Department employees that will result in a reduction in the number of such Department employees at any specific grade level at a rate greater than the rate of the reductions systematically being made in the numbers of employees at such grade level in all other agencies and departments of the Federal Government combined.

38 USC 712 - Repealed. Pub. L. 107103, title V, 509(a)(1), Dec. 27, 2001, 115 Stat. 997]

Section, added Pub. L. 103–446, title XI, § 1102(a), Nov. 2, 1994, 108 Stat. 4680; amended Pub. L. 104–262, title III, § 303, Oct. 9, 1996, 110 Stat. 3194; Pub. L. 105–33, title VIII, § 8023(e), Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 667; Pub. L. 105–368, title X, § 1005(b)(1), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3364, limited reduction of full-time equivalent positions in the Department of Veterans Affairs during the period beginning on Nov. 2, 1994, and ending on Sept. 30, 1999.

TITLE 38 - US CODE - CHAPTER 9 - SECURITY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT ON PROPERTY UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE DEPARTMENT

38 USC 901 - Authority to prescribe rules for conduct and penalties for violations

(a) 
(1) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to provide for the maintenance of law and order and the protection of persons and property on Department property.
(2) In this chapter, the term Department property means land and buildings that are under the jurisdiction of the Department and are not under control of the Administrator of General Services.
(b) Regulations under subsection (a) shall include
(1) rules for conduct on Department property; and
(2) the penalties, within the limits specified in subsection (c), for violations of such rules.
(c) Whoever violates any rule prescribed by regulation under subsection (b)(1) shall be fined in accordance with title 18 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both. The Secretary may prescribe by regulation a maximum fine less than that which would otherwise apply under the preceding sentence or a maximum term of imprisonment of a shorter period than that which would otherwise apply under the preceding sentence, or both. Any such regulation shall apply notwithstanding any provision of title 18 or any other law to the contrary.
(d) The rules prescribed under subsection (a), together with the penalties for violations of such rules, shall be posted conspicuously on property to which they apply.
(e) The Secretary shall consult with the Attorney General before prescribing regulations under this section.

38 USC 902 - Enforcement and arrest authority of Department police officers

(a) 
(1) Employees of the Department who are Department police officers shall, with respect to acts occurring on Department property, enforce
(A) Federal laws;
(B) the rules prescribed under section 901 of this title; and
(C) subject to paragraph (2), traffic and motor vehicle laws of a State or local government within the jurisdiction of which such Department property is located.
(2) A law described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) may be enforced under such subparagraph only as authorized by an express grant of authority under applicable State or local law. Any such enforcement shall be by the issuance of a citation for violation of such law.
(3) Subject to regulations prescribed under subsection (b), a Department police officer may make arrests on Department property for a violation of a Federal law or any rule prescribed under section 901 (a) of this title.
(b) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations with respect to Department police officers. Such regulations shall include
(1) policies with respect to the exercise by Department police officers of the enforcement and arrest authorities provided by this section;
(2) the scope and duration of training that is required for Department police officers, with particular emphasis on dealing with situations involving patients; and
(3) rules limiting the carrying and use of weapons by Department police officers.
(c) The Secretary shall consult with the Attorney General before prescribing regulations under paragraph (1) of subsection (b).
(d) Rates of basic pay for Department police officers may be increased by the Secretary under section 7455 of this title.

38 USC 903 - Uniform allowance

(a) The Secretary may pay an allowance under this section for the purchase of uniforms to any Department police officer who is required to wear a prescribed uniform in the performance of official duties.
(b) The amount of the allowance that the Secretary may pay under this section
(1) may be based on estimated average costs or actual costs;
(2) may vary by geographic regions; and
(3) except as provided in subsection (c), may not exceed $200 in a fiscal year for any police officer.
(c) The amount of an allowance under this section may be increased to an amount up to $400 for not more than one fiscal year in the case of any Department police officer. In the case of a person who is appointed as a Department police officer on or after January 1, 1990, an allowance in an amount established under this subsection shall be paid at the beginning of such persons employment as such an officer. In the case of any other Department police officer, an allowance in an amount established under this subsection shall be paid upon the request of the officer.
(d) A police officer who resigns as a police officer less than one year after receiving an allowance in an amount established under this section shall repay to the Department a pro rata share of the amount paid, based on the number of months the officer was actually employed as such an officer during the twelve-month period following the date on which such officer began such employment or the date on which the officer submitted a request for such an allowance, as the case may be.
(e) An allowance may not be paid to a Department police officer under this section and under section 5901 of title 5 for the same fiscal year.

38 USC 904 - Equipment and weapons

The Secretary shall furnish Department police officers with such weapons and related equipment as the Secretary determines to be necessary and appropriate.

38 USC 905 - Use of facilities and services of other law enforcement agencies

With the permission of the head of the agency concerned, the Secretary may use the facilities and services of Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies when it is economical and in the public interest to do so.