"Regional office" means the U.S. department of veterans affairs regional office in Wisconsin.
"State veterans organization" means a state organization or department of a national veterans organization, which national organization is incorporated by an act of congress.
Upon application the department shall make a payment to any state veterans organization that establishes that it, or its national organization, or both, has maintained a full-time service office at the regional office for at least 5 of the 10 years preceding the date of application. The payment shall equal 25% of all salaries and travel expenses under sub. (3)
paid during the previous fiscal year by the state veterans organization to employes engaged in veterans claims service and stationed at the regional office, except that the sum paid to a state veterans organization annually shall not be less than either $2,500, or the amount of salaries and travel expenses paid by the state veterans organization to employes stationed at the regional office, whichever is less, nor more than $15,000.
Application by any such state veterans organization shall be filed annually with the department for the 12-month period commencing on April 1 and ending on March 31 of the year in which it is filed. An application shall contain a statement of salaries and travel expenses paid to employes engaged in veterans claims service maintained at the regional office by such state veterans organization covering the period for which application for a grant is made, which statement has been certified as correct by an accountant certified under ch. 442
and sworn to as correct by the adjutant or principal officer of the state veterans organization. The application shall also contain the state organization's financial statement for its last completed fiscal year and such evidence of claims service activity as the department requires. Sufficient evidence shall be submitted with an initial application to establish that the state veterans organization, or its national organization, or both, has maintained a full-time service office at the regional office without interruption throughout 5 years out of the 10-year period immediately preceding such application. Subsequent applications must be accompanied by an affidavit by the adjutant or principal officer of such state veterans organization stating that a full-time service office was maintained at the regional office by such state veterans organization, or by such state organization and its national organization, for the entire 12-month period for which application for a grant is made.
The board may promulgate such rules as are necessary to administer this section.
Biennial study of fiscal needs for veterans' housing.
Biennially the joint committee on finance shall study and review the fiscal requirements for veterans' housing loans and the condition of the veterans trust fund and thereupon shall make report thereon to the chief clerk of each house of the legislature, for distribution to the legislature under s. 13.172 (2)
, with a view to recommending proper appropriations to adequately provide for such loans. All appropriations made by the legislature for veterans' housing loans pursuant to recommendations so made by the joint committee on finance shall be from the veterans trust fund or the general fund or both, as the needs may require.
History: 1981 c. 20
; 1987 a. 186
Veterans trust fund stabilization loans. 45.356(1)
It is determined that the loan program established under this section is a special purpose credit program for an economically disadvantaged class of persons for the purposes of the federal equal credit opportunity act, 15 USC 1691-1691f
"Department" means the department of veterans affairs.
The department may lend a veteran not more than $15,000 for the purchase of a mobile home, business or business property, the repair of or addition to his or her home or business property, the construction of a garage, the education of the veteran or his or her spouse or children, the payment of medical or funeral expenses or the consolidation of debt. The department may prescribe loan conditions, but the term of the loan may not exceed 10 years.
The department may lend not more than $15,000 to a veteran's surviving spouse, whether remarried or not, or to the parent of a deceased veteran's children for the education of the minor or dependent children of the veteran if the surviving spouse or parent is a resident of and living in this state on the date of application.
The department shall administer this program as a fiduciary for the purpose of maximizing the asset and income base of the veterans trust fund. The department may execute necessary instruments, collect interest and principal, compromise indebtedness, sue and be sued, post bonds and write off indebtedness that it considers uncollectible. If a loan under this subsection is secured by a real estate mortgage, the department may exercise the rights of owners and mortgagees generally and the rights and powers set forth in s. 45.72
. The department shall pay all interest and principal repaid on the loan into the veterans trust fund.
The department may charge loan expenses incurred under this section to a loan applicant. The department shall pay all expenses received under this subsection into the veterans trust fund.
No person may receive a loan under this section if the department receives a certification under s. 49.855 (7)
that the person is delinquent in child support or maintenance payments or owes past support, medical expenses or birth expenses.
The department shall promulgate rules for the distribution of loans under this section that include all of the following:
Other provisions that the department determines are necessary to ensure efficient administration of this section.
History: 1993 a. 16
; 1995 a. 404
Veterans rehabilitation program.
The department of veterans affairs shall administer a rehabilitation program to provide assistance to persons who served in the U.S. armed forces or in forces incorporated as part of the U.S. armed forces and who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. The department shall provide assistance to persons whose need for services is based upon homelessness, incarceration or other circumstances designated by the department by rule. The department shall designate the assistance available under this section, which may include assistance in receiving medical care, dental care, education, employment and transitional housing. The department may provide grants to facilitate the provision of services under this section.
History: 1993 a. 16
; 1995 a. 129
Wisconsin veterans cemeteries. 45.358(1)(a)
"Dependent child" means any natural or adoptive child under 18 years of age, or under the age of 26 if in full attendance at a recognized school of instruction, or of any age if the child is unmarried and incapable of self-support by reason of mental or physical disability.
"Veteran" means a person who has served on active duty in the U.S. armed forces.
(2) Construction and operation of cemeteries.
Subject to authorization under ss. 13.48 (10)
and 20.924 (1)
, the department of veterans affairs may construct and operate veterans cemeteries in northwestern and southeastern Wisconsin and may employ such personnel as are necessary for the proper management of the cemeteries. The department may acquire, by gift, purchase or condemnation, lands necessary for the purposes of the cemeteries. Title to the properties shall be taken in the name of this state. Every deed of conveyance shall be immediately recorded in the office of the proper register of deeds and thereafter filed with the secretary of state. All cemeteries operated by the department are exempt from the requirements of ss. 157.061
The following persons are eligible for burial at a cemetery constructed and operated under sub. (2)
or s. 45.37 (15)
A veteran who died while on active duty or who was discharged or released from active duty in the U.S. armed forces under honorable conditions and who was a resident of this state at the time of his or her entry or reentry into active service and his or her dependent children and unremarried surviving spouse.
A veteran who was discharged or released from active duty in the U.S. armed forces under honorable conditions and who was a resident of this state at the time of his or her death and his or her dependent children and unremarried surviving spouse.
The spouse or dependent child of a veteran who is serving on active duty at the time of the spouse's or dependent child's death if the veteran was a resident of this state at the time of the veteran's entry or reentry into active service.
The spouse or dependent child of a veteran if the veteran was a resident of this state at the time of his or her entry or reentry into active service and was discharged or released from active duty in the U.S. armed forces under honorable conditions.
The spouse or dependent child of a veteran who was discharged or released from active duty in the U.S. armed forces under honorable conditions if the veteran and spouse or dependent child were residents of this state at the time of the spouse's or dependent child's death.
A person who was a resident of this state at the time of his or her death and who has 20 or more years of creditable military service for retirement pay as a member of the Wisconsin army national guard or air national guard or a reserve component of the U.S. armed forces or who would have been entitled to that retirement pay except that the person was under 60 years of age at the time of his or her death, and the person's spouse, unremarried surviving spouse and dependent children who are residents of this state at the time of the spouse's, unremarried surviving spouse's or dependent children's death.
A veteran who was discharged or released from active duty in the U.S. armed forces under honorable conditions and who was a resident of the state for at least 5 consecutive years after completing service on active duty.
The department may charge a fee for burials under this section and may promulgate rules for the assessment of the fee.
(4) Gifts, grants and bequests.
The department of veterans affairs may accept for the state all gifts, grants and bequests for the purposes of maintenance, restoration, preservation and rehabilitation of the veterans cemeteries constructed under sub. (2)
History: 1993 a. 296
; 1995 a. 27
Release of information and records by the department of veterans affairs and county veterans' service offices. 45.36(1)(1)
In this section:
"Department" means the department of veterans affairs.
"Duly authorized representative" means any person authorized in writing by the veteran to act for the veteran, or a legally constituted representative if the veteran is incompetent or deceased. Where for proper reason no representative has been or will be appointed, the veteran's spouse, an adult child, or, if the veteran is unmarried, either parent shall be recognized as the duly authorized representative.
"Service office" means a county veterans' service office.
(2) Separation documents.
Separation documents and copies thereof evidencing service in the armed forces of the U.S. are confidential and privileged. Examination of such records in the possession of the department or service office will be limited to authorized employes of the department or service office and information entered thereon will be disclosed only to veterans and their duly authorized representatives or to interested governmental agencies for the purpose of assisting veterans and their dependents to obtain the rights and benefits to which they may be entitled.
(3) U.S. department of veterans affairs records.
Records and papers in the possession of the department or service office which are released to the department or service office by or from the U.S. department of veterans affairs or which contain information provided by the U.S. department of veterans affairs are confidential. Release of information from such records or papers may be made only pursuant to regulations of the U.S. department of veterans affairs.
All reports of investigation made by employes of the department or at the direction of the department for official departmental purposes are only for the use of the secretary and staff. Materials and information which disclose the investigative techniques of the department or the identity of confidential informants and material received in confidence by representatives of the department may not be released.
(4m) Vital records.
The service office may obtain a copy of a vital record under s. 69.30 (2)
and may transmit the copy to the department or to the U.S. department of veterans affairs to assist a veteran or his or her dependent in obtaining a benefit to which he or she may be entitled.
(5) Disclosure of monetary benefits.
The department shall disclose, to any person who requests, the amount of any grant or loan made by the department to any applicant. A person seeking such information shall be required to sign a statement setting forth the person's name, address and the reason for making the request and certifying that the person will not use the information obtained for commercial or political purposes.
(5m) Disclosure of loan status information.
The department may disclose to a consumer reporting agency, as defined in 15 USC 1681a
(f), the current repayment status of, the balances due on, and other relevant information pertaining to department loans that is readily accessible from current department computer tapes on any loans on which balances are due and owing the department. The department may charge consumer reporting agencies requesting these computer tapes an amount sufficient to cover all the costs of preparation and delivery of the tapes.
(6) Disclosure of other information.
Except as provided in subs. (2)
, all files, records, reports, papers and documents pertaining to applications for benefits from the department, and information contained therein, shall only be released by the department or service office pursuant to rules of the department. The rules must provide for the furnishing of information required under sub. (5m)
and for official purposes by any agency of the U.S. government, any agency of this state, any law enforcement or public welfare agency of any Wisconsin county, or by members of the state senate and assembly, and will otherwise provide for release of personal information pertaining to or contained in any application for benefits, whether pending or adjudicated, only where authorized in writing by the applicants or where necessary to assist applicants in securing veterans benefits to which they may be entitled or where necessary for the efficient management of loans made by the department.
Wisconsin veterans home; management. 45.365(1)(a)(a)
The department of veterans affairs, hereafter in this section and in s. 45.37
referred to as the department, shall operate and conduct the Wisconsin veterans home at King, hereafter in this section and in s. 45.37
referred to as the home, and employ a commandant and the officers, nurses, attendants and other personnel necessary for the proper conduct of the home. In compliance with the compensation plan established pursuant to s. 230.12 (3)
, it may recommend to the director of personnel charges for meals, living quarters, laundry and other services furnished to employes and members of the employes' family maintained as such. Complete personal maintenance and medical care to include programs and facilities which promote comfort, recreation, well-being or rehabilitation, shall be furnished all members under the policy of the department.
All money received in reimbursement for services to institutional employes under par. (a)
or in payment for meals served to guests at the institution shall be accumulated in an account named "employe maintenance credits" and shall be paid into the general fund within one week after receipt and credited to the appropriation under s. 20.485 (1) (gk)
The home shall include a geriatric evaluation, research and education program. The program staff shall be funded from the appropriations under s. 20.485 (1) (hm)
The department may acquire, by gift, purchase or condemnation, lands necessary for the purposes of the home. Title thereto shall be taken in the name of this state and shall be held by and for the uses and purposes of said home so long as used for the present objects and purposes thereof. No payment shall be made out of the state treasury or otherwise for any such land until the title has been examined and approved by the attorney general. Every such deed of conveyance shall be immediately recorded in the office of the proper register of deeds and thereafter filed with the secretary of state.
The department may use moneys appropriated pursuant to s. 20.485 (1) (h)
to purchase, erect, construct or remodel buildings, and to provide additions and improvements thereto, and to provide equipment therefor and to provide materials, supplies and services necessary for the purposes of the home, and for such expenses as may be necessary and incidental to acquisition of property pursuant to s. 45.37 (10)
The department may accept gifts, bequests, grants or donations of money or of property from private sources to be administered by the department for the purposes of the home. All moneys so received shall be paid into the general fund and are appropriated therefrom as provided in s. 20.485 (1) (h)
, except that gifts or grants received specifically for the purposes of the geriatric program at the home are appropriated as provided in s. 20.485 (1) (hm)
. The department shall not apply to the gifts and bequests fund interest on certificate of savings deposits for those members who do not receive maximum monthly retained income. The department shall establish for such persons upon their request individual accounts with savings and interest applied pursuant to such member requests.
The department may enter into agreements for furnishing and charging for water and sewer service from facilities constructed at and for the home to public and private properties lying in the immediate vicinity of the home.
Agreements under this section shall be drafted to hold harmless the department, to require all expense thereof to be paid by the applicant, and to be terminable by the department when other water and sewer services become available to the applicant.
The commandant and employes designated by the commandant may summarily arrest all persons within or upon the grounds of the home who are guilty of any offense against the laws of this state or the rules and regulations governing the home. For this purpose the commandant and deputies have the power of constables.
The fire department at the home in response to emergency fire calls may make runs and render fire fighting service beyond the confines of the home.
Who are eligible to membership. 45.37(1)
Within the limitations of the facilities of the home, the department may admit to membership in the home persons who meet the qualifications set forth in this section.
(1a) Definition of veteran.
Except as provided in sub. (15) (a)
, in this section "veteran" means any person who served on active duty under honorable conditions in the U.S. armed forces or in forces incorporated as part of the U.S. armed forces who was entitled to receive the armed forces expeditionary medal, established by executive order 10977
on December 4, 1961, the Vietnam service medal established by executive order 11231
on July 8, 1965, the navy expeditionary medal or the marine corps expeditionary medal or who served in Bosnia, Grenada, Lebanon, Panama, Somalia or a Middle East crisis under s. 45.34
or any person who served for at least one day during a war period, as defined in s. 45.35 (5) (e)
or under section 1 of executive order 10957
, dated August 10, 1961, and who was officially reported missing in action or killed in action or who died in service, or who was discharged under honorable conditions after 90 days or more of active service, or if having served less than 90 days was honorably discharged for a service-connected disability or for a disability subsequently adjudicated to have been service connected, or who died as a result of service-connected disability.
(2) Basic eligibility requirements.
A veteran may be admitted to the home if the veteran:
Was a resident of this state at the time of entering service with the armed forces and is a resident of this state on the date of admission to the home.
Is permanently incapacitated due to physical disability or age from following any substantially gainful occupation.
Has not been convicted of a felony or of a crime involving moral turpitude or, if so, has produced sufficient evidence of subsequent good conduct and reformation of character as to be satisfactory to the department.
Is not a chronic alcoholic, drug addict, psychotic or active tuberculosis case, unless the department determines that the home is capable of providing satisfactory care for the person.
Provides a complete financial statement containing information that the department determines is necessary to evaluate the financial circumstances of the veteran and his or her spouse. The department may require a member of the home to provide the department with information necessary for the department to determine the financial circumstances of the member and his or her spouse. If a member fails to provide the additional information, the department may discharge the member from the home.
Has care needs which the home is able to provide within the resources allocated for the care of members of the home.
(3) Exceptions to the basic eligibility requirements. 45.37(3)(a)(a) Under 50 years of age.
A disabled veteran under 50 years of age, if otherwise qualified, may be admitted if unable to secure adequate care from the federal government.
A veteran who was not a resident of this state at the time of enlistment or induction into service but who is otherwise qualified for membership may be admitted if the veteran has been a resident of this state for any consecutive 5-year period after completing service on active duty and before the date of application. If a person applying for a benefit under this subchapter meets that 5-consecutive-year residency requirement, the department may not require the person to reestablish that he or she meets the 5-consecutive-year residency requirement when he or she later applies for any other benefit under this chapter that requires a 5-consecutive-year residency.
Order of eligibility of veterans.
Applications from veterans except in cases where there is an immediate need for physical care or economic assistance shall be passed upon in order of priority based upon the date of receipt of the application by the home. Establishment of the priority date of the application may be deferred to the date that the home is able to verify its ability to provide appropriate care to the applicant or to assure that the appropriate care setting is available within the home.
Basis for eligibility of nonveterans.
Spouses, surviving spouses and parents derive their eligibility from the eligibility of the veteran upon whose service it is based. Surviving spouses and parents of eligible veterans shall not be eligible except for those admitted prior to May 5, 1976 or unless the home's overall occupancy level is below an optimal level as determined by the board.
Order of priority.
The order of priority for admission to the home shall be as follows:
Spouses of eligible veterans shall be given 2nd priority;