Text: H.R.6372 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/29/2010)


111th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6372


To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the entitlement of surviving spouses of members of the Armed Forces who die while serving on active duty to educational assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 29, 2010

Mr. Nye (for himself, Mr. Bishop of New York, and Mr. McNerney) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs


A BILL

To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the entitlement of surviving spouses of members of the Armed Forces who die while serving on active duty to educational assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Spouses of Fallen Heroes Scholarship Act”.

SEC. 2. Entitlement of surviving spouses of members of the Armed Forces who die while serving on active duty to educational assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program.

(a) Entitlement.—Section 3311(b) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

“(10) An individual who is the surviving spouse of a person who, on or after September 11, 2001, dies in line of duty while serving on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces.”.

(b) Amount.—Section 3313(c)(1) of such title is amended by striking “or (9)” and inserting “(9), or (10)”.

(c) Time limitation for use.—Section 3321(b) of such title is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

“(5) APPLICABILITY TO SURVIVING SPOUSES OF DECEASED MEMBERS.—The period during which an individual entitled to educational assistance by reason of section 3311(b)(10) may use such individual’s entitlement expires on the date that is 20 years after the date of the death of the person from whom such entitlement is derived.”.

(d) Precedence of use of educational assistance benefits.—Section 3322 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

“(e) Surviving spouses.—An individual who is eligible for educational assistance under a program established by this chapter by reason of section 3311(b)(10) of this title and who is also entitled to a program of educational assistance under chapter 35 of this title shall utilize the program established by this chapter first before receiving educational assistance under chapter 35 of this title. Use of both programs remains subject to the 48-month aggregate period for which an individual may receive assistance under two or more of the provisions of law listed in section 3695 of this title.”.

(e) Definition of surviving spouse.—Section 3301 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

“(5) The term ‘surviving spouse’ means a person of the opposite sex who was the spouse of a veteran at the time of the veteran’s death, and who lived with the veteran continuously from the date of marriage to the date of the veteran’s 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) regardless of remarriage.”.

(f) Effective date; applicability.—

(1) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by this section shall take effect on August 1, 2009.

(2) APPLICABILITY.—The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall begin making payments to individuals entitled to educational assistance by reason of paragraph (10) of section 3311(b) of title 38, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), by not later than August 1, 2011. In the case of an individual entitled to educational assistance by reason of such paragraph for the period beginning on August 1, 2009, and ending on July 31, 2011, the Secretary shall make retroactive payments to such individual for such period by not later than August 1, 2011.