CHAP. 634.- An act granting pensions to soldiers and sailors who are incapacitated for the performance of manual labor, and providing for pensions to widows, minor children, and dependent parents.
|Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in considering the pension claims of dependent parents, the fact of the soldier’s death by reason of any wound, injury, casualty, or disease which, under the conditions and limitations of existing laws, would have entitled him to an invalid pension, and the fact that the soldier left no widow or minor children having been shown as required by law, it shall be necessary only to show by competent and sufficient evidence that such parent or parents are without other present means of support than their own manual labor or the contributions of others not legally bound for their support: Provided, That all pensions allowed to dependent parents under this act shall commence from the date of the filing of the application hereunder and shall continue no longer than the existence of the dependence.
SEC. 2. That all persons who served ninety days or more in the military or naval service of the United States during the late war of the rebellion and who have been honorably discharged therefrom, and who are now or who may hereafter be suffering from a mental or physical disability of a permanent character, not the result of their own vicious habits, which incapacitates them from the performance of manual labor in such a degree as to render them unable to earn a support, shall, upon making due proof of the fact according to such rules and regulations as the Secretary of the Interior may provide, be placed upon the list of invalid pensioners of the United States, and be entitled to receive a pension not exceeding twelve dollars per month, and not less than six dollars per month, proportioned to the degree of inability to earn a support; and such pension shall commence from the date of the filing of the application in the Pension Office, after the passage of this act upon proof that the disability then existed, and shall continue during the existence of the same: Provided, That persons who are now receiving pensions under existing laws, or whose claims are pending in the Pension Office, may, by application to the Commissioner of Pensions, in such form as he may prescribe, showing themselves entitled thereto, receive the benefits of this act; and nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to prevent any pensioner thereunder from prosecuting his claim and receiving his pension under any other general or special act: Provided, however, That no person shall receive more than one pension for the same period: And provided further, That rank in the service shall not be considered in applications filed under this act.
SEC. 3. That if any officer or enlisted man who served ninety days or more in the Army or Navy of the United States during the late war of the rebellion, and who was honorably discharged has died, or shall hereafter die, leaving a widow without other means of support than her daily labor, or minor children under the age of sixteen years, such widow shall, upon due proof of her husband’s death, without proving his death to be the result of his army service, be placed on the pension-roll from the date of her application therefor under this act, at the rate of eight dollars per month during her widowhood, and shall also be paid two dollars per month for each child of such officer or enlisted man under sixteen years of age, and in case of the death or remarriage of the widow, leaving a child or children of such officer or enlisted man under the age of sixteen years, such pension shall be paid such child or children until the age of sixteen: Provided, That in case a minor child is insane, idiotic, or otherwise permanently helpless, the pension shall continue during the life of said child, or during the period of such disability, and this proviso shall apply to all pensions heretofore granted or hereafter to be granted under this or any former statute, and such pensions shall commence from the date of application wherefor after the passage of this act: And provided further, That said widow shall have married said soldier prior to the passage of this act.
SEC. 4. That no agent, attorney, or other person engaged in preparing, presenting, or prosecuting any claim under the provisions of this act shall, directly or indirectly, contract for, demand, receive, or retain for such services in preparing, presenting, or prosecuting such claim a sum greater than ten dollars, which sum shall be payable only upon the order of the Commissioner of Pensions, by the pension agent making payment of the pension allowed, and any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this section, or who shall wrongfully withold from a pensioner or claimant the whole or any part of a pension or claim allowed or due such pensioner or claimant under this act, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall, for each and every such offence, be fined not exceeding five hundred dollars, or be imprisoned at hard labor not exceeding two years, or both, in the discretion of the court.
Approved, June 27, 1890.