Recovering an Institutional Memory: The Origins of the Modern Veterans Benefits System, 1914 to 1958
5 Veterans L. Rev. 1 (2013)
55 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2012 Last revised: 13 Apr 2013
Date Written: May 30, 2012
Tracing statutory and regulatory history in veterans law can be exceptionally difficult. Although judicial review has only been available for a little more than two decades, the modern veterans benefits system evolved -- more by happenstance than design -- from the system that was originally adopted to serve WWI veterans. Tracing key statutory and regulatory provisions to their true origin is not easy because much of the legislative and regulatory history for veterans law provisions in the United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations is simply incorrect. Moreover, even if a provision were traced past the false origins provided to its true enactment, the language was often copied or adapted from an even older authority. This article provides guidance in understanding the true origins of the modern veterans benefits system and traces many key provisions to their antecedents under the Bureau of War Risk Insurance and the Pension Bureau.
Keywords: veterans benefits, history, pension
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