BALITANG BETERANO: CEDILLO LAW 1978 CAL STATE SUPPLEMENTARY PROGRAM

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA,
May 26, 2004  By Col .(Ret) Frank B. Quesada (Former Senate Committee Secretary Veterans and Military Pensions, Associate, PMA ‘44)   -  In reply to so many queries from veterans and their families, here are some salient points in the Cedillo law - AB 1978 or otherwise known as Cal State Supplementary Program [SSP], here is legislative measure pertinent to this State law.

Obtaining debate and demonstrations by affected veterans and their families as regards the cancellation of this State assistance to Fil-Am WW-II veterans – by the Governor, necessitated this detailed information on why and how such State assistance came about.

I am hereunder quoting certain pertinent portions of said law for the guidance of veterans and their next-of-kins. Not leave out the general public who support such law that entitled Fil-Am vets mistreated by the U.S. Congress.

The State of California has been the only State that recognized the misery of Fil-Am WW-II veterans that were denied their rightful but unpaid wartime-earned compensation and benefits. Therefore, have chosen to help the intrepid WW-II veterans residing in California.

By providing these information, it will assist the affected veterans and families being cut-off from said State Supplementary Program.

This State law is actually entitled as: “An Act to add Chapter 3.5 commencing with Section 12400 to Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to human services, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.”

This law provides for a State Supplementary Program [SSP] for the aged, blind, and disabled, which requires the State Department of Social Services to contract with the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to make payments to SSP recipients to supplement supplemental security income (SSI) payments made available pursuant to the Federal Social Security Act.

This also provides benefits at the same level as SSP benefits to certain veterans of World War II who return to the Republic of the Philippines, and no longer have a place of residence in the State, if they are receiving SSP benefits on December 14, 1999.

This also would require the Secretary of California Health and Human Services Agency to seek an agreement with the Federal government to provide for the administration of this law in conjunction with the administration of certain Federal benefits. The law declares that it is to take effect immediately as an emergency statute.

Section I. x x x Intent of this legislature that the same level of benefits are made available under the SSP x x x and be provided as a California veterans benefit to those courageous soldiers who were members of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines military forces who were in the service of the U.S. on July 31, 1941 or thereafter.

Section 2. The legislature finds and declares the following:

[a] Included among those military forces described in Section 1 of this Act were the organized guerrilla forces under commanders appointed, designated, or subsequently recognized by the Commander in Chief of the Southwest Pacific Area [ AFWESPAC] or other competent authority in the Army of the U.S.

[b] It is in the public interest for the State of California to recognize these courageous soldiers who fought and defended American interests during WW-II and who were currently receiving SSP benefits as of December 14, 1999, by permitting then to return to their homeland to spend their last days without complete forfeiture of benefits.

Section 3. Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 12400) is added to Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read: CHAPTER 3.5 BENEFITS FOR CALIFORNIA VETERANS.

12400. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person receiving benefits under Section 12200 on December 14, 1999, and who meets the requirements of subdivision (b) shall be eligible to receive benefits under this chapter although he or she does not retain a residence in the State and returns to the Republic of the Philippines, if he or she maintains permanent residence in the Republic of the Philippines without any lapse of his or her presence in the Republic of the Philippines. for a period of not more than 12 months and without lapse of his or her presence in the Republic of the Philippines for two periods of 30 consecutive days during the period three (3) years.

(b) The person subject to subdivision (a) shall be eligible to receive benefits pursuant to this chapter if he or she was receiving benefits pursuant to subdivision (a) (b) ( c ) or (d) of Section 12200 as appropiate

(1) He or she is a veteran of World War II.

(2) He or she was a member of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines military forces who was in the service of the U.S. on July 31, 1941, or thereafter.

( c ) Benefits under this chapter shall be calculated the same as those benefits paid under subdivision (a) (b) ( c ) or (d) of Section 12200, as appropiate.

(d) Benefits paid under this chapter shall be in lieu of benefits paid under Section 12000 of Chapter 3 for the period for which the benefits are paid.

(e) Benefits hall be paid under this chapter for any period during which the recipient is eligible to receive benefits under Title 8 of the Federal Social Security Act as a result of the application of Federal Pubic Law 106-169, subject to any limitations imposed by this Section.

(f) This Section shall apply only to any individual who returns to the Republic f the Philippines for the period during which the individual establishes and maintain residence in the Republic of the Philippines and shall cease to apply to any individual who, after receiving benefits pursuant to this Section, leaves the Republic of the Philippines and establishes a residence outside of the Republic of the Philippines.

(g) To assist the /state in administering this Chapter, the Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency shall seek and agreement with the Federal government to administer this Chapter in conjunction with benefits under Title 8 of the Federal Social Security Act.

Section 4. This Act is an emergency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go to immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:

In order to timely implement this Act in a manner tha would result in reduced implementation costs, it is necessary that this Act take effect immediately.

Discussions

A. How much is the California SSP portion paid with the Federal SSI ?

The general average amount of an SSI check is $692 for residents of California. At present, the SSP is approximately $180 to $215 over and above the social security income of approximately $447 to $512.

B. How much can an eligible Filipino-American veterans take home to the Philippines upon returning there to reside, from the SSP?

The amount of check received as a Social Security Supplemental Program from the State varies for each individual applicant, taking into account various factors such as other income received from other sources. Generally, the SSP check is $180 to approximately $215. So this is subject to verification by the applicant upon applying.

C. What are the restrictions in order to receive the SSP?

The new California SSP for Fil-Am veterans is the State version of the Federal Legislation (the SSI Extension Law - Public Law 106-109) signed by Pres. Clinton on December 1999.

The State law (SSP) imposes the same limitations as those imposed by the Federal law as stated in Section 3(e) which provides, to wit:

“Benefits shall be paid under this chapter fir any period during which the recipient is eligible to receive benefits under Title 8 of the Federal Social Security Act as a result of the application of Federal PL-106-169 subject to nay limitation imposed by this Section.”

The general public is hereby warned not to deal with any individual or parties, that appears misrepresenting themselves as advocate for veterans.

There were reported so-called “coalitions” posing as do-gooders but are not registered with the Secretary of State of California, reported collecting money from veterans and their families during veterans meetings and gatherings.

Watch out also for a team of a fake colonel and a forger who works with a notorious moocher using an alias (not his true surname) using fantabulous titles in order to impress innocent veterans.

These duo are cuddled by a local newspaper whose press releases mislead the public. Boycott this newspaper that betrays veterans!

These duo usurp the responsibility of the Office of Veterans Affair (OVA) under the reported dispensation of an embassy official.

Legislators, OVA and the Veteran’s Council do not ask veterans lobby money at all - knowing veterans are only subsisting under SSI, therefore those who say that the money they ask from veterans are for legislative lobby, etc., are pocketing said money.

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frankquesada_1@juo.com


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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