California Laws - Military and Veterans Code
DIVISION 3. EMBLEMS AND DECORATIONS
CHAPTER 2. MILITARY REWARDS AND DECORATIONS (640-649)

DIVISION 4. VETERANS' AID AND WELFARE (1109)(1-click HTML)

CHAPTER 1. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (690-712) (1110)(1-click HTML)

690. As used in this division, "department" means the Department of Veterans Affairs. (1111)

694. The department constitutes a public corporation and may on behalf of the State hold property, request and receive donations, contract, sue and be sued, and has all other rights and powers provided by the Constitution and laws of the State as belonging to public corporations. (1112)

695. The department may cooperate and contract with the duly authorized representative of the United States Government in carrying out the provisions of this division. (1113)

699. All State and county officials shall furnish all required information to the department, upon request, and shall further assist the department in any manner in accordance with law and without charge therefor. (1114)

699.1. (a) The processing of claims for veterans and their dependents and survivors shall include the filing of the initial claim, the representation of the claimant before boards and offices of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, and the filing of appeals related to the claims. (1115)

(b) The claims may include the following types of benefits and services: (1116)

(1) Disability compensation benefits. (1117)

(2) Disability pension benefits. (1118)

(3) Dependents' indemnity compensation. (1119)

(4) Widow's death pension. (1120)

(5) Burial benefits. (1121)

(6) Confirmed and continued claims. (1122)

(7) Vocational rehabilitation and education. (1123)

(8) Waivers of indebtedness. (1124)

(9) Other benefits that result in monetary awards to the claimant. (1125)

699.5. (a) The department may assist every veteran of the United States and the dependent or survivor of every veteran of the United States in presenting and pursuing the claim as the veteran, dependent, or survivor may have against the United States arising out of war service and in establishing the veteran's, dependent's, or survivor's right to any privilege, preference, care, or compensation provided for by the laws of the United States or of this state. The department may cooperate and, with the approval of the Department of Finance, contract with any veterans service organization, and pursuant to the contract may compensate the organization for services within the scope of this section rendered by it to any veteran or dependent or survivor of a veteran. The contract shall not be made unless the department determines that, owing to the confidential relationships involved and the necessity of operating through agencies that the veterans, dependents, or survivors involved will feel to be sympathetic toward their problems, the services cannot satisfactorily be rendered otherwise than through the agency of the veterans organization and that the best interests of the veterans, dependents, or survivors involved will be served if the contract is made. (1126)

(b) (1) The Legislature finds and declares that services provided by veterans service organizations play an important role in the department's responsibilities to assist veterans and their dependents and survivors in presenting and pursuing claims against the United States, and that it is an efficient and reasonable use of state funds to provide compensation to veterans service organizations for these services. (1127)

(2) The Legislature further finds and declares that paragraph (1) shall not be implemented by using the General Fund until the annual budget for county veterans service officers reaches a minimum of five million dollars ($5,000,000). This subdivision shall not be construed to preclude the use of federal funding in implementing these provisions. (1128)

(c) Veterans service organizations that elect to contract with the department in accordance with this section shall document the claims processed each year by the veterans service officers employed by the veterans service organization at offices located in California. The documentation shall be in accordance with procedures established by the department. (1129)

(d) The department shall determine annually the amount of monetary benefits paid to eligible veterans and their dependents and survivors in the state as a result of the work of the veterans service officers of the contracting organizations. Beginning on January 1, 2006, the department shall, on or before January 1 of each year, prepare and transmit its determination for the preceding fiscal year to the Department of Finance and the Legislature. The department shall also identify federal sources to support the efforts of veterans service organizations pursuant to this section. The Department of Finance shall review the department's determination in time to use the information in the annual Budget Act for the budget of the department for the next fiscal year. (1130)

(e) For purposes of this section: (1131)

(1) "Survivor" means any relation of a deceased veteran who may be entitled to make a claim for any privilege, preference, care, or compensation under the laws of the United States or this state based upon the veteran's war service. (1132)

(2) "Veterans service officer" means an individual employed by a veterans service organization and accredited by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to process and adjudicate claims and other benefits for veterans and their dependents and survivors. (1133)

(3) "Veterans service organization" means an organization that meets all of the following criteria: (1134)

(A) Is formed by and for United States military veterans. (1135)

(B) Is chartered by the United States Congress. (1136)

(C) Has regularly maintained an established committee or agency in a regional office of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs in California rendering services to veterans and their dependents and survivors. (1137)

700. The department may make rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this division. (1138)

701. In the event that the provisions of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 are amended in such manner as to make the guarantees by the United States of loans to veterans for farms and homes applicable to purchases of farms and homes from the Department of Veterans Affairs pursuant to Chapter 3 and Article 3 of Chapter 6, the State of California hereby accepts the benefits of such federal act, and agrees to comply with all the requirements of said act. (1139)

The Department of Veterans Affairs is hereby designated as the official agency of the State to apply to the United States for such guarantees and to do all acts required in connection therewith. The board is authorized to adopt such rules and regulations and standards as may be required by the federal act and are not in conflict with the provisions of this division. (1140)

702. All salaries and expenses of the Division of Farm and Home Purchases shall be paid out of the Farm and Home Building Fund of 1943 and no part thereof shall be paid from the General Fund. (1141)

710. (a) The Department of Veterans Affairs may establish a pilot project for the purpose of establishing a cooperative housing project. (1142)

(b) The Department of Veterans Affairs shall work in conjunction with the Department of Housing and Community Development to implement the pilot project. (1143)

(c) The Department of Veterans Affairs may use existing home loan funds to establish the pilot project. These funds shall be used in accordance with all laws and regulations governing the use of the funds. (1144)

(d) The Department of Veterans Affairs shall prescribe the rules, regulations, and conditions necessary to implement this section. (1145)

(e) Any cooperative housing project established pursuant to this section shall be restricted for use and occupancy by military veterans and their families for a period of at least 55 years. (1146)

712. The department shall do both of the following: (1147)

(a) Make available to family members of veterans returning from active duty both of the following: (1148)

(1) (A) User-friendly Internet resources that provide information on the signs of pertinent ailments from various conflicts, including, but not limited to, all of the following: (1149)

(i) From the Vietnam War, exposure to Agent Orange and post-traumatic stress disorder. (1150)

(ii) From Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, exposure to depleted uranium and Gulf War Syndrome. (1151)

(iii) From Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. (1152)

(B) The Internet resources shall provide links to the appropriate agency or person that may help the family members of the veteran address any issues arising from the ailments specified in subparagraph (A). (1153)

(2) Printed material regarding the ailments specified in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) at any public function of the department. (1154)

(b) Update its Internet Web site to prominently display a link to the Network of Care for Veterans and Service Members site, which is an online educational tool for municipal employees and community-based organizations that allows for easier access to information and resources relating to veterans. (1155)

CHAPTER 2. RENDERING AND RECOVERY FOR BENEFITS (720-721) (1156)(1-click HTML)

720. Every state and local public agency shall render the service or provide the benefits or assistance it provides to the public to every veteran on the same basis as to any other eligible person. (1157)

721. If any public agency which has rendered a service, provided benefits, or furnished assistance to a veteran determines that the costs of rendering the service or providing the benefits or assistance are recoverable from the Veterans' Administration, it shall refer the matter to the county veteran service officer, where applicable, for action pursuant to Section 971 and shall assist the county veteran service officer in any way. (1158)

CHAPTER 3. THE CALIFORNIA MILITARY FAMILIES FINANCIAL RELIEF ACT 8 (800-812) (1159)(1-click HTML)

800. (a) Subject to subdivision (b), in addition to any other benefits provided by law and to the extent permitted by federal law, any member of the United States Military Reserve or the National Guard of this state who is called to active duty after the enactment of this chapter as a part of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts may defer payments on any of the following obligations while serving on active duty: (1160)

(1) An obligation secured by a mortgage or deed of trust. (1161)

(2) Credit card as defined in Section 1747.02 of the Civil Code. (1162)

(3) Retail installment contract as defined in Section 1802.6 of the Civil Code. (1163)

(4) Retail installment account, installment account, or revolving account as defined in Section 1802.7 of the Civil Code. (1164)

(5) Up to two vehicle loans. For purposes of this chapter, "vehicle" means a vehicle as defined in Section 670 of the Vehicle Code. (1165)

(6) Any payment of property tax or any special assessment of in-lieu property tax imposed on real property which is assessed on residential property owned by the reservist and used as that reservist's primary place of residence on the date the reservist was ordered to active duty. (1166)

(b) In order for an obligation or liability of a reservist to be subject to the provisions of this chapter, the reservist or the reservist's designee shall deliver to the lender: (1167)

(1) A letter signed by the reservist, under penalty of perjury, requesting a deferment of financial obligations. (1168)

(2) If required by a financial institution, proof that the reservist's employer does not provide continuing income to the reservist while the reservist is on active military duty, including the reservist's military pay, of more than 90 percent of the reservist's monthly salary and wage income earned before the call to active duty. (1169)

(c) Upon request of the reservist or the reservist's dependent or designee and within five working days of that request, if applicable, the employer of a reservist shall furnish the letter or other comparable evidence showing that the employer's compensation policy does not provide continuing income to the reservist, including the reservist's military pay, of more than 90 percent of the reservist's monthly salary and wage income earned before the call to active duty. (1170)

(d) The deferral period on financial obligations shall be the lesser of 180 days or the period of active duty plus 60 calendar days and shall apply only to those payments due subsequent to the notice provided to a lender as provided in subdivision (b). (1171)

(e) If a lender defers payments on a closed end credit obligation or an open-end credit obligation with a maturity date, pursuant to this chapter, the lender shall extend the term of the obligation by the amount of months the obligation was deferred. (1172)

(f) If a lender defers payments on an open-end credit obligation pursuant to this chapter, the lender may restrict the availability of additional credit with respect to that obligation during the term of the deferral. (1173)

801. For purposes of this chapter, "mortgage" means an obligation secured by a mortgage or deed of trust, and is limited to an obligation secured by a mortgage or deed of trust for residential property owned by the reservist and used as that reservist's primary place of residence on the date the reservist was ordered into active duty. (1174)

802. (a) Notwithstanding subdivisions (e) and (f) of Section 800, any mortgage payments delayed pursuant to Section 800 are due and payable upon the earlier of the following: (1175)

(1) The sale of the property or other event specified in the documents creating the obligation permitting the lender to accelerate the loan, other than a deferral of payments authorized by Section 800. (1176)

(2) Further encumbrance of the property. (1177)

(3) The maturity of the obligation as defined under the terms of the documents creating the obligation or, if applicable, as extended pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 800. (1178)

(b) Nothing in this section relieves a reservist with a mortgage subject to an impound account for the payment of property taxes, special assessments, mortgage insurance, and hazard insurance from making monthly payments of an amount which is at least sufficient to pay these amounts, unless the borrower and lender agree to a lesser amount. (1179)

(c) Nothing in this chapter shall preclude a reservist from making payments toward the mortgage payments deferred prior to the occurrence of any of the events in subdivision (a). (1180)

803. For purposes of this chapter, "reservist" means a member of the United States Military Reserve or National Guard of this state called to active duty as a result of the Iraq conflict pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243) or the Afghanistan conflict pursuant to Presidential Order No. 13239. (1181)

804. During the period specified in Section 800, the reservist may defer the payment of principal and interest on the specified obligations. No penalties shall be imposed on the nonpayment of principal or interest during this period. No interest shall be charged or accumulated on the principal or interest on which the payment was delayed. No foreclosure or repossession of property on which payment has been deferred shall take place during the period specified in Section 800. (1182)

805. Subject to subdivisions (e) and (f) of Section 800, a stay, postponement, or suspension under this chapter of the payment of any tax, fine, penalty, insurance premium, or other civil obligation or liability of a person in military service shall not provide the basis for affecting credit ratings, denial or revocation of credit, or a change by the lender in the terms of an existing credit arrangement. (1183)

806. (a) Any entity, which was providing any type of health care coverage, including, but not limited to, health care service plans, specialized health care service plans, and health insurance to a reservist at the time the reservist was ordered to active duty, shall reinstate the health care coverage without waiting periods or exclusion of coverage for preexisting conditions. (1184)

(b) Pursuant to Section 1386 of the Health and Safety Code, the Director of the Department of Managed Health Care has the authority to enforce the provisions of this section concerning any person or entity subject to regulation under Chapter 2.2 (commencing with Section 1340) of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, and may impose any applicable penalties provided for under that section. (1185)

(c) Pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 12921 of the Insurance Code, the Insurance Commissioner has the authority to enforce the provisions of this section concerning any person or entity subject to regulation under the Insurance Code, and may impose any applicable penalties provided for under the Insurance Code. (1186)

(d) The enforcement and penalty provisions of the act that added this subdivision shall apply only to reservists ordered to active duty on or after January 1, 2007. (1187)

807. (a) The holder of a loan or retail installment sales contract with respect to which the debtor has purchased prepaid credit disability insurance shall give notice to the debtor not less than 30 days before the expiration date of the insurance that the debtor will not be protected during the period between that expiration date and the deferred maturity date of the loan or contract unless the insurance is extended. The debtor may, at his or her option, direct the holder to add the amount of the additional premium to the unpaid balance of the loan or contract. (1188)

(b) The holder of an open-ended loan or retail installment account with respect to which the debtor has purchased credit disability insurance with premiums payable monthly together with the installment payments on the loan or the account shall give notice to the debtor that the debtor will not be protected by the insurance during the period specified in Section 800 unless the debtor elects to continue payment of premiums during that period. The debtor may, at his or her option, direct the holder to add the amount of those premiums to the unpaid balance of the account. (1189)

808. (a) During the period specified in Section 800, the reservist may defer payments for leased vehicles without breach of the lease or the foreclosure or repossession of the vehicle. If a lender defers payments pursuant to this section, the lender shall extend the term of the lease by the amount of months the lease was deferred. (1190)

(b) For the purposes of this chapter, "vehicle" means a vehicle as defined in Section 670 of the Vehicle Code. (1191)

809. This chapter shall not apply to any active duty voluntarily served after the close of the Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts or to any reservist on active duty as part of the Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts prior to the effective date of this measure. (1192)

810. In those instances where a financial obligation covered by this chapter is sold, any requirement to defer payments as specified in this chapter transfers to the purchaser of the obligation. (1193)

811. (a) The spouse or legal dependent, or both, of a member of the United States Military Reserve or National Guard of this state who is called to active duty, shall be entitled to the benefits accorded to a member under this chapter, provided that the member is eligible for the benefits. (1194)

(b) This chapter applies only to an obligation specified in this chapter that was incurred prior to the date that a member of the United States Military Reserve or National Guard of this state was called to active duty as part of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. (1195)

812. (a) A person violating any provision of this chapter shall be liable for actual damages, reasonable attorney's fees, and costs incurred by the service member or other person entitled to the benefits and protections of this chapter. (1196)

(b) A service member or other person seeking to enforce rights pursuant to this chapter shall not be required to pay a filing fee or court costs. (1197)

CHAPTER 3.3. CALIFORNIA MILITARY FAMILIES FINANCIAL RELIEF ACT OF 2005 (820-829) (1198)(1-click HTML)

820. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "California Military Families Financial Relief Act of 2005." (1199)

821. For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply: (1200)

(a) "Service member" means either of the following: (1201)

(1) A member of the militia, as defined in Section 120, called or ordered into state military service pursuant to Section 143 or 146, or in federal or state military service pursuant to Title 10 or 32 of the United States Code. (1202)

(2) A reservist of the United States Military Reserve who has been ordered to full-time federal active duty by the President of the United States pursuant to Title 10 of the United States Code. (1203)

(b) "Military service" means either of the following: (1204)

(1) Full-time active state service or full-time active federal service of a service member who is a member of the militia, as described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a). (1205)

(2) Full-time active duty of a service member who is a reservist, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), for a period of 30 consecutive days. (1206)

822. No county recorder in this state may impose a fee for the recordation of a power of attorney to act as the agent for a service member for the period the service member is in military service. (1207)

823. (a) Any service member who is in military service, or any spouse or legal dependent of that service member, may terminate, without penalty, a mobile telephony services contract that meets both of the following requirements: (1208)

(1) It is entered into on or after the effective date of this section. (1209)

(2) It is executed by or on behalf of the service member who is in military service, or by any spouse or legal dependent of that service member. (1210)

(b) Termination of the mobile telephony services contract shall not be effective until both of the following occur: (1211)

(1) Thirty days after the service member who is in military service or the spouse or legal dependent gives notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the intention to terminate the mobile telephony services contract, and provides a copy of the service member's activation or deployment order and any other information that substantiates the duration of the service member's military service. (1212)

(2) Unless the service member who is in military service, or any spouse or legal dependent of that service member, owns the mobile communication device, the mobile communication device is returned to the custody or control of the mobile telephony services company, or the service member who is in military service or the service member's spouse or legal dependent agrees in writing to return the mobile communication device as soon as practicable after the military service is completed. (1213)

823.5. (a) No person or entity licensed under the Business and Professions Code, Corporations Code, Financial Code, or Insurance Code shall market financial services or products to a service member or former service member, or the spouse of a service member or former service member, in a misleading or deceptive manner that suggests any of the following: (1214)

(1) That the person or entity marketing the financial service or product is acting on behalf of one or more branches of the United States military or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. (1215)

(2) That the person or entity marketing the financial service or product is an affiliate of one or more branches of the United States military or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. (1216)

(3) That the financial service or product is being offered on behalf of one or more branches of the United States military or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. (1217)

(b) If a person who violates this section is licensed under any state licensing law, a violation of this section shall be deemed a violation of the laws under which that person is licensed. (1218)

(c) This section shall not apply to either of the following: (1219)

(1) Any bank as defined in Section 102 of the Financial Code. (1220)

(2) Any credit union as defined in Section 14002 of the Financial Code. (1221)

(d) For purposes of this section: (1222)

(1) "Service member" means any of the following: (1223)

(A) An active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States. (1224)

(B) An officer or enlisted member of the National Guard called or ordered into active state service by the Governor pursuant to Section 143 or 146, or into active federal service by the President of the United States, pursuant to Title 10 or 32 of the United States Code, for a period of 30 days or more. (1225)

(C) A reservist of the United States Military Reserve who has been called to full-time active duty for a period of 30 days or more. (1226)

(2) "Former service member" means a veteran as defined by Section 980. (1227)

824. (a) If requested by a student granted an academic leave of absence for military service, not later than one year after the student's release from military service, other than a dishonorable release, the institution in which the student is enrolled shall do one of the following, as elected by the student: (1228)

(1) The institution shall make arrangements to reasonably accommodate and assist the student so that he or she is able to meet any and all coursework requirements that he or she may have missed due to military service. (1229)

(2) The institution shall credit tuition and fee charges toward a subsequent academic term in an amount that is equal to 100 percent of what the student paid the institution for the academic term in which the student is required to report for military service. (1230)

(3) The institution shall refund tuition and fees paid for the academic term, provided the student withdraws before the withdraw date established by the institution. The refund shall equal 100 percent of the tuition and fee charges the student paid the institution for the academic term. If the student withdraws after the withdraw date established by the institution, the student is ineligible for a refund of tuition and fee charges. For the purposes of this section, the "withdraw date" shall be the same as the date set by the institution for its general student population to withdraw from the institution or a course or class without academic penalty. (1231)

(b) If requested by a student granted an academic leave of absence for military service, not later than one year after the student's release from military service, other than a dishonorable release, the institution shall restore the student to the educational status the student had attained prior to being called to military service without loss of academic credits earned, scholarships or grants awarded, or tuition and other fees paid prior to the commencement of military service. (1232)

(c) If an institution fails to comply with this section, the student may bring an action against the institution to enforce its provisions in any court of competent jurisdiction of the county in which the student resides. If the student resides outside of this state, the action shall be brought in the court of the county in which the campus of the institution previously attended by the student is located. The court may award reasonable attorney's fees and expenses if the student prevails in the action. (1233)

(d) The Legislature hereby requests that the University of California adopt policies similar to those set forth in this section. (1234)

(e) For purposes of this section, "institution" includes any public postsecondary educational institution and any private postsecondary educational institution, as defined in Section 94858 of the Education Code. (1235)

825. The State Bar of California shall waive the membership fees of any member who is a service member if all of the following requirements are met: (1236)

(a) The member was in good standing with the State Bar of California at the time the member enters into military service. (1237)

(b) The membership fees are for the period for which the service member is in military service. (1238)

(c) The service member, or the service member's spouse, provides written notice to the State Bar of California that substantiates the service member's military service. (1239)

826. On or after the effective date of the act adding this chapter, any service member who terminates a motor vehicle lease pursuant to the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act shall be allowed by the lessor to make payment of any arrearages and other obligations that are due and unpaid at the time of termination of the lease in equal installments over a period equal to at least the period of military service. (1240)

827. (a) A qualified customer may apply for and shall receive shutoff protection from a service provider for a period of 180 days. The service provider may grant extensions after the initial 180-day period. (1241)

(b) A qualified customer may apply for shutoff protection for utility service by notifying the service provider that he or she is in need of assistance because of a reduction in household income as the result of a member of a qualified household being called to active duty status in the military. (1242)

(c) Notification of the need for assistance shall be submitted in writing and accompanied by a copy of the activation or deployment order of a service member that specifies the duration of the active duty status. The written notification shall also include self-certification that the qualified household of the qualified customer will be occupied by the qualified customer's legal dependent or dependents during the duration of the shutoff protection period. (1243)

(d) A qualified customer receiving assistance under this section shall notify the service provider if the active duty status of the service member will be extended. (1244)

(e) If the qualified customer moves out of the residence that is receiving shutoff protection, he or she shall provide the service provider a written notice that includes the date of service termination and a forwarding address. (1245)

(f) Unless waived by the service provider, the shutoff protection provided under this section shall not void or limit the obligation of the qualified customer to pay for utility services received during the time of assistance. (1246)

(g) All service providers shall do the following: (1247)

(1) Establish a repayment plan requiring minimum monthly payments that allows the qualified customer to pay any past due amounts over a reasonable time period not to exceed one year after the service member's release from active military duty. (1248)

(2) Not charge late payment fees or interest to the qualified customer during the period of military service or the repayment period. (1249)

(h) This section shall not affect or amend any rules or orders of the Public Utilities Commission pertaining to billing standards. (1250)

(i) If terms and conditions under this section are not followed by the qualified customer, the service provider may follow its procedures and rules on customer standards and billing practices for providing electric, water, and gas residential services. (1251)

(j) For public utilities regulated by the Public Utilities Commission, the commission shall allow recovery of reasonable costs incurred to implement this section. (1252)

(k) For purposes of this section: (1253)

(1) "Service provider" means a provider of utility services, including, but not limited to, public utilities that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Commission, local publicly owned electric utilities, as defined by Section 9604 of the Public Utilities Code, and public water, sewer, or solid waste collection services, or any combination thereof. "Service provider" does not include any corporation described in subdivision (a) of Section 234 of the Public Utilities Code. (1254)

(2) "Qualified customer" means the customer of record of a qualified household. (1255)

(3) A "qualified household" is a residential household for which the income is reduced because the customer of record, the spouse of the customer of record, or the registered domestic partner of the customer of record, as defined by Section 297.5 of the Family Code, is a service member called to full-time active military service by the President of the United States or the Governor of this state during a time of declared national or state emergency or war. (1256)

828. The Military Department shall, to the extent reasonable and feasible, inform all members of the militia of the benefits and protections provided by this act, and of similar benefits and protections provided by any other law. (1257)

829. (a) A person violating any provision of this chapter shall be liable for actual damages, reasonable attorney's fees, and costs incurred by the service member or other person entitled to the benefits and protections of this chapter. (1258)

(b) A service member or other person seeking to enforce rights pursuant to this chapter shall not be required to pay a filing fee or court costs. (1259)

CHAPTER 3.5. CALIFORNIA NATIONAL GUARD SURVIVING SPOUSES AND CHILDREN RELIEF ACT OF 2004 (850-852) (1260)(1-click HTML)

850. (a) The state shall pay a ten thousand dollar ($10,000) death benefit to the surviving spouse of, or a beneficiary designated by, any member of the California National Guard, State Military Reserve, or Naval Militia who dies or is killed after March 1, 2003, in the performance of duty. (1261)

(b) The Military Department shall determine if the death occurred in the performance of the member's duty, and shall issue a certificate of benefit eligibility under this section within 20 days of application by the surviving spouse or a designated beneficiary. (1262)

(c) The state shall pay the death benefit within 10 days of the receipt of the certificate of benefit eligibility from the surviving spouse or a beneficiary designated by the service member. (1263)

851. This chapter shall become operative upon the operative date of an appropriation by the Legislature for the purpose of funding the payments of military benefits, as required by this chapter. (1264)

852. There is hereby appropriated the sum of one hundred thirty thousand dollars ($130,000) from the General Fund to the Military Department for the purpose of paying death benefits, as prescribed by this chapter, to the families of members of the California National Guard, State Military Reserve, or Naval Militia who have lost their lives in the performance of duty, as determined by the Military Department. (1265)

CHAPTER 4. EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE (1266)(1-click HTML)

Article 2. Veterans' Dependents (890-899) (1267)(1-click HTML)

890. As used in this article: (1268)

(a) "Veterans" means (1) any person who served in the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States and was killed in action or died as a result of war service in the World War since April 6, 1917; (2) any member of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard or Marine Corps of the United States, or any of their auxiliaries, including, but not limited to, the Philippine Commonwealth Army, the Regular Scouts (" Old Scouts"), and the Special Philippine Scouts ("New Scouts"), who was killed in action in World War II on or after December 7, 1941, and prior to January 1, 1947, or who died at any time as a result of war service during such period; (3) any member of the armed forces of the United States who was killed in action during any period of hostilities in which the United States is engaged, or who died or was totally disabled at any time as a result of active service during any such period or during the induction period; or (4) any person who, at the time of entry into the armed forces of the United States was a resident of this state and was subsequently declared by the United States government to be missing in action, captured in the line of duty by hostile forces, or forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power. (1269)

(b) "Dependent of a veteran" means the natural or adopted child of a veteran, or stepchild of a veteran as defined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for compensation purposes, the unmarried surviving spouse of a veteran, or the spouse of a totally disabled veteran. (1270)

(c) "Induction period" means (1) the period beginning September 16, 1940, and ending December 6, 1941, and the period beginning January 1, 1947, and ending June 26, 1950, and (2) the period beginning on February 1, 1955, and ending on the day before the first day thereafter on which individuals (other than individuals liable for induction by reason of a prior deferment) are no longer liable for induction for training and service into the armed forces under the Universal Military Training and Service Act. (1271)

890.3. (a) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, on or after January 1, 2001, a claimant is not ineligible for a disabled veterans' benefit for lack of certification of disability of the veteran with respect to whom the benefit is sought, if there is a currently pending application to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) for certification of disability for that veteran and the subsequently received certification qualifies the veteran for the benefit. An entity of state government, or any political subdivision thereof, to which a claim for a disabled veterans' benefit is made, shall require the claimant to provide written verification that an application had been pending with the USDVA at the time the claim for the disabled veterans' benefit is submitted. (1272)

(2) For purposes of this subdivision, "disabled veterans benefit" means an exemption, privilege, service, or other legal benefit that is provided pursuant to law by the state, or a political subdivision thereof, exclusively to a disabled veteran, or his or her surviving spouse, parent, or child. (1273)

(b) (1) For purposes of applying the disabled veterans' property tax exemption set forth in Section 205.5 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, any amount of tax, including any interest or penalty thereon, levied upon that portion of the assessed value of real property that would have been exempt if the veteran's pending application for certification of disability had been finalized, shall be canceled or refunded if both of the following conditions are met: (1274)

(A) The certification is received and is forwarded to the county assessor. (1275)

(B) A return is made as required by Section 277 of the Revenue and Taxation Code. (1276)

(2) Any refund issued pursuant to this subdivision is subject to the limitations periods for refunds set forth in Section 5096 of the Revenue and Taxation Code. (1277)

891. (a) A dependent of a veteran applying for aid under this article shall be over 14 years of age or shall have entered the ninth grade, and shall be a native of or shall have lived in this state for five of the nine years immediately preceding the date that the application is filed. (1278)

(b) Any dependent of a veteran who has attained eligibility pursuant to this article while under 21 years of age may continue to receive the benefits of this article until the needed training is completed or until he or she attains the age of 27 years, whatever first occurs. (1279)

(c) The eligibility limitations of subdivision (b) shall not apply to the spouse or dependent widow of a veteran. However, the spouse or dependent widow of a veteran shall be limited to not more than 48 months, of full-time training, or the equivalent thereof in part-time training. (1280)

(d) Notwithstanding the eligibility limitations of subdivision (b), a dependent who has honorably served in the Armed Forces of the United States may be granted an extension of training through the age of 30 years. (1281)

(e) The eligibility limitations of subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not apply to the dependent of a veteran as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 890. (1282)

892. A dependent of a veteran who desires to continue his education may apply to the department. If in the opinion of the department the educational needs of the applicant can be satisfactorily met in educational institutions in this State or elsewhere, the department shall assume state wardship over the education of the applicant. The department may provide educational counsel for applicants and assist them in securing admission to suitable institutions of learning. Tuition may be paid at private schools only when suitable opportunity is not available in public or semipublic institutions. (1283)

893. The department, insofar as funds permit, may provide: (1284)

(a) For the payment of tuition and other fees. (1285)

(b) For the monthly payment of an allowance for books, supplies and living expenses of the student. Qualified applicants may claim their first monthly allowance upon completion of school registration and the department is authorized to establish a revolving fund if necessary to expedite payment. (1286)

894. For students of collegiate, community college, business and trade school rank, the amount expended by the department as an allowance for living expenses shall not exceed one hundred dollars ($100) per month. Dependents enrolled in the fifth year of any course requiring five years may be considered to be at the undergraduate level. For students of high school rank, the amount shall not exceed fifty dollars ($50) per month during the time the student is in actual attendance at a day school. Absence during the month on account of illness shall be included as attendance. (1287)

895. For tuition and fees: (1288)

(a) The amount expended on account of any one applicant of undergraduate, collegiate, community college, business, or trade school rank under this article shall not exceed the maximum rate authorized for the regular school year under Section 69566 of the Education Code and not to exceed one-third more for students pursuing a summer session or full year course. (1289)

(b) For students of high school rank, the sum shall not exceed four hundred fifty dollars ($450) a year for students pursuing a regular course and five hundred fifty dollars ($550) a year for students pursuing a summer session or full year course. (1290)

896. The department shall consider applications in the order in which they are received. If the funds available are insufficient to meet the obligations which would arise from the guardianship of all worthy applicants, the department shall assume wardship over the applicants who are most urgently in need of further education, taking into consideration both scholastic achievement and financial need. (1291)

896.1. No dependent of a veteran, as defined in paragraph (1), (2) or (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 890, shall be eligible to receive the benefits of this article during the time that he is entitled to receive federal educational benefits under Chapter 35, Title 38, United States Code, as amended, or duplicate assistance from any other government source. (1292)

896.3. Upon application to the department by a dependent of a veteran as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 890, the department shall reimburse such person for the costs of tuition and fees incurred by such person at a public or private educational institution in the amount provided for in Section 895. (1293)

896.4. Any person who is reimbursed by the department for tuition and fees or on whose account the department has paid tuition and fees, shall not at the same time be eligible for any other allowances provided for in this article if, at such time, such person is also therefor entitled to receive educational assistance under Chapter 35, Title 38, United States Code, as amended, or duplicate assistance from any other government source. (1294)

898. The sum of three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) is hereby annually appropriated from the receipts heretofore or hereafter collected under the provisions of Chapter 5, Statutes of 1938, or any other act under which oil royalties are or may be collected, other than those receipts received from rents, bonuses, and royalties accruing from the use of state school land, to carry out the purposes of this article. Such amount shall annually be paid into the General Fund. (1295)

899. The department may, for the purposes of this article, draw upon its appropriation for educational assistance to veterans under Section 981 to 981.8 of the Military and Veterans Code. (1296)

CHAPTER 5. LOCAL AID (1297)(1-click HTML)

Article 1. Indigent Veterans (920-931) (1298)(1-click HTML)

920. As used in this article, unless the context otherwise indicates, "veteran" means a person who has been honorably discharged from the United States Army, United States Navy, United States Air Force, United States Marine Corps, United States Coast Guard, the Merchant Marine, or the American Red Cross, and who has served in any war. (1299)

921. The board of supervisors of any county may grant financial assistance, relief, and support to indigent veterans. Such assistance, relief, and support shall be administered through and by any military, naval, or marine organization created for the purpose of aiding, relieving and supporting such veterans under the terms and conditions set forth in this article. (1300)

922. Any organization desiring to assist indigent veterans shall first file with the board of supervisors of the county in which it is operating or intending to operate, a verified statement setting forth the following: (1301)

(a) Name, objects, and purposes of the organization. One of the purposes shall be that mentioned in section 921. (1302)

(b) Date of organization. (1303)

(c) Names and addresses of officers and relief committee. (1304)

(d) Name and address of the treasurer or financial officer in charge of the receipt and disbursement of funds. (1305)

(e) Number of members. (1306)

(f) Financial condition, showing total assets and liabilities. (1307)

(g) That financial assistance for indigent veterans to be administered in accordance with the provisions of this article will be requested. (1308)

923. Upon the filing of the statement the board of supervisors shall set a day for its consideration not more than ten days after the date of filing. At least five days' notice of the hearing shall be given by mail to the clerk or secretary of the organization. (1309)

924. On the day set, the board of supervisors shall, after hearing any evidence presented, determine by resolution entered upon its minutes whether the organization is qualified to carry out this article. The resolution shall be effective for a period of one year only and may be revoked at any time. (1310)

925. (a) No money shall be transferred to any person under this article except to the treasurer or financial officer whose name is given in the statement required by Section 922. (1311)

(b) The treasurer or financial officer shall, before receiving any money hereunder, file with the board of supervisors a bond or undertaking in an amount fixed by the board of supervisors. The bond shall inure to the benefit of the county and shall be conditioned upon the faithful and honest administration of the funds intrusted to the officer. (1312)

926. Upon receipt of a request from any organization qualified under this article, giving the names of all indigent veterans for whom relief is desired, together with the branch of service, division, regiment, and company, or other unit or designation by which each of such veterans may be identified, and a further statement that the circumstances of each of such veterans has been personally investigated by the relief committee of the organization, and that each is in all respects worthy and entitled to relief hereunder, the board of supervisors may direct the county auditor to draw his warrant upon the county treasurer for the amount specified in the request, or a lesser amount. Such warrant shall be delivered to the treasurer or financial officer of the organization. (1313)

927. All money paid out by any county under this article shall be used by the organization receiving it exclusively for the relief of indigent veterans and no part of it shall ever be used for administration or overhead expenses. (1314)

928. The indigent and dependent widow, minor child, father, or mother of any indigent veteran may be granted relief by the organization out of the money available under this article. (1315)

929. The necessary expenses, not to exceed three hundred fifty dollars ($350), for burial or cremation of any indigent veteran may be paid out of the money available under this article. (1316)

930. The money necessary to carry out this article may be taken from the general fund of the county. (1317)

931. Any municipal corporation may extend assistance to any organization under this article. In such case all proceedings required to be had before the board of supervisors of the county shall be had before the legislative body of the city. The words "board of supervisors," "county," "county auditor" and "county treasurer" wherever used in this article shall mean "legislative body," "city," "city auditor" and "city treasurer." (1318)

Article 2. Burial of Veterans and Veterans' Dependents (940-954) (1319)(1-click HTML)

940. As used in this article, unless the context otherwise indicates, "veteran" means a person honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States, including, but not limited to, the Philippine Commonwealth Army, the Regular Scouts ("Old Scouts"), and the Special Philippine Scouts ("New Scouts"). (1320)

940.5. As used in this article, the terms "burial" and "interment" include cremation, except that the election of the form of interment as between burial and cremation shall be made pursuant to the first paragraph of Section 7100 of the Health and Safety Code. (1321)

941. This article shall not apply to soldiers, sailors, or marines who die in the national or State soldiers' homes in this State. (1322)

942. The board of supervisors of each county shall designate an honorably discharged veteran of the United States military or a member of a veterans' remains organization, as defined in Section 951, who shall cause to be decently interred the body of any veteran or spouse or eligible dependent of a veteran as defined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for compensation purposes who dies in the county. This section shall apply to all indigent, abandoned, or unclaimed veterans and dependents of veterans, including those deceased veterans and dependents of veterans without sufficient means to defray the expenses of burial, other than moneys paid or due and payable by the United States, pursuant to the World War Adjusted Compensation Act. (1323)

943. Such burial shall not be made in any cemetery or burial ground, or any portion thereof, used exclusively for the burial of the pauper dead. (1324)

944. In the event a deceased veteran or a widow of a veteran has been interred other than by the person designated by the board of supervisors, the person so designated may pay the sum of three hundred fifty dollars ($350) toward the burial expenses of the person who would have been entitled to interment by the person designated by the supervisors. (1325)

945. The expenses to the county of each burial or contribution shall not exceed the sum of three hundred fifty dollars ($350). Claims therefor are governed by Part 3 (commencing with Section 900) and Part 4 (commencing with Section 940) of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code. (1326)

946. Such claims shall be paid by the county in which the veteran or widow dies. If the decedent was a resident of any other county than the one paying the claim, the county of the decedent's residence shall refund the money advanced by the county where such person died. Such claims shall be audited and paid by the county as other accounts. (1327)

947. The person appointed under section 942, before he assumes the charge and expenses of any burial, shall first satisfy himself by a careful inquiry into and examination of all the circumstances in the case that the family of the decedent, if any, residing in the county, is unable for want of means to defray the expenses of the burial. If he finds such inability he shall cause the decedent to be buried as provided in this article. He shall immediately report his action to the clerk of the board of supervisors of the county, stating all the facts and that he found the family of the decedent in indigent circumstances and unable to pay the expenses of the burial. He shall also report the name, rank, and command of the veteran, the date of death, place of burial, occupation, and an itemized statement of the expenses of such burial. (1328)

948. The clerk of the board of supervisors, upon receiving the report and statement of expenses, shall transcribe in a book kept for that purpose all the facts contained in the report respecting such decedent. The clerk, upon the burial of any honorably discharged soldier, sailor, or marine, shall make application to the proper authorities of the United States, for a suitable headstone, as provided by act of Congress, and cause the same to be placed at the head of the grave of such soldier, sailor, or marine. The expenses shall not exceed ten dollars ($10) for cartage and properly setting each stone. (1329)

949. The board of supervisors shall perpetually maintain the grave of any such honorably discharged soldier, sailor, or marine. The expenses thus incurred shall be audited and paid as provided in section 946 for burial expenses. (1330)

950. The person appointed under section 942 shall receive no compensation for any duties he may perform in compliance with this article. (1331)

951. (a) "Veteran status information" means the data required by the Department of Veterans Affairs to verify the status of a decedent as either a veteran or the dependent of a veteran for purposes of eligibility for burial in a national or state cemetery, including the person's name, service number, social security number, date of birth, date of death, place of birth, branch of the service, and military rank. (1332)

(b) "Veterans' remains organization" means any entity recognized by the Veterans Administration and the National Personnel Records Center as an organization authorized to verify and inter unclaimed cremated remains of American veterans, including a member or employee of that entity. (1333)

952. (a) A cemetery corporation or association, or other entity in possession of the cremated remains of a veteran or dependent of a veteran, shall, upon request of a veterans' remains organization and after verifying the status of the veterans' remains organization as an organization currently authorized by the Veterans Administration and the National Personnel Records Center or as an organization authorized by the local county board of supervisors to verify and inter unclaimed cremated remains of American veterans, release veteran status information to the veterans' remains organization. (1334)

(b) The use or disclosure of veteran status information obtained by a veterans' remains organization pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be permitted only for the purpose of verifying veteran interment benefits of the deceased veteran or a dependent of a veteran with the Department of Veterans Affairs and shall not be used or disclosed for any other purpose. (1335)

(c) The cemetery authority, cemetery corporation or association, or other entity in possession of the cremated remains of a veteran or dependent of a veteran may, upon request of a veterans' remains organization and after verifying the status of the veterans' remains organization as an organization currently authorized by the Veterans Administration and the National Personnel Records Center or as an organization authorized by the local county board of supervisors to verify and inter unclaimed cremated remains of American veterans, release the cremated remains of the veteran or dependent of a veteran to a veterans' remains organization for the sole purpose of interment, subject to Section 943 and Sections 7110 and 7208 of the Health and Safety Code, when all of the following conditions have been met: (1336)

(1) The veterans' remains organization has verified the interment benefits of the deceased veteran or dependent of a veteran with the Department of Veterans Affairs and provided documentation of the verification to the cemetery authority, cemetery corporation or association, or other entity that the decedent is a veteran or a dependent of a veteran eligible for burial in a national or state cemetery. (1337)

(2) The veterans' remains organization has made a reasonable effort to locate the agent or family member who has the right to control the cremated remains of the veteran or dependent of a veteran. (1338)

(3) The veterans' remains organization has provided notice to all known agents or family members who have the right to control the cremated remains of the veteran or dependent of a veteran of the veteran's remains organization's intent to claim the cremated remains of the veteran or dependent of a veteran for the purpose of providing a proper burial of the cremated remains of the veteran or dependent of a veteran in accordance with Section 943 and Sections 7110 and 7208 of the Health and Safety Code. (1339)

(4) An agent or family member who has the right to control the cremated remains of the veteran or dependent of a veteran has made no attempt to claim the cremated remains. (1340)

(5) The cremated remains have been in the possession of the cemetery authority, cemetery corporation or association, or other entity for a period of at least one year. (1341)

(d) The cemetery authority, cemetery corporation or association, or other entity that releases veteran status information or cremated remains of the veteran or dependent of a veteran pursuant to this section shall not be subject to civil liability, except for gross negligence, if all of the conditions of this section are met. (1342)

953. (a) A veterans' remains organization shall take all reasonable steps to inter the cremated remains of a veteran or dependent of a veteran received in accordance with this article. (1343)

(b) A veterans' remains organization that receives and inters the cremated remains of a veteran or dependent of a veteran pursuant to this article shall not be liable for negligence if the veterans' remains organization does not know or have reason to know that the cremated remains of the veteran or dependent of a veteran were not released by the cemetery authority, cemetery corporation or association, or other entity in compliance with subdivisions (a) and (c) of Section 952. (1344)

954. The board of supervisors of each county is encouraged to designate personnel from a veterans' remains organization, as defined in Section 951, to fulfill the role created in Section 942. (1345)

Article 3. Care of Veterans' Graves (960-962) (1346)(1-click HTML)

960. Whenever in any cemetery or place of burial of human remains, which is established or organized under the authority of the board of supervisors of any county or the governing body of any city, there is any known grave of a former soldier, sailor, or marine of the United States who was not dishonorably discharged from the service, the officers who manage such cemetery or place of burial shall keep such grave properly marked and identified, and free from weeds and rubbish, and keep in decent order and repair and free from defacement, injury, and unlawful markings any tomb, monument, gravestone, wall, or other appurtenance to such grave. (1347)

960.5. Whenever in any cemetery or place of burial of human remains there is any known grave of a former soldier, sailor, or marine of the United States who was not dishonorably discharged from the service, the board of supervisors of any county as to territory, whether incorporated or not, within it, and the governing body of the city as to territory within it, with the consent of the officers who manage such cemetery or place of burial, if any may keep such grave properly marked and identified, and free from weeds and rubbish, and keep in decent order and repair and free from defacement, injury, and unlawful markings any tomb, monument, gravestone, wall, or other appurtenance to such grave. (1348)

961. Any fraternal or benevolent organization which maintains a plot in a place of burial mentioned in section 960, which is devoted exclusively to the burial of soldiers, sailors, or marines of the United States, may apply under this article to the board of supervisors of the county in which the plot is maintained. Upon a showing of need, the board may keep the plot free from weeds and rubbish, and keep in decent order and repair and free from defacement and injury any tomb, monument, gravestone, wall, or other appurtenance to the graves in the plot. (1349)

962. The officers who are charged by law with raising money by taxation for maintaining any such cemetery or place of burial shall fix the tax levy at an amount sufficient to comply with the requirements of this article. (1350)

Article 4. Administration (970-974.5) (1351)(1-click HTML)

970. (a) The board of supervisors of each county may, but is not required to, appoint, prescribe the qualifications of, and fix the compensation of an officer to be titled "county veterans service officer." The appointee shall be a veteran. (1352)

(b) It shall be the duty of the county veterans service officer to administer the aid provided for in this chapter, to investigate all claims, applications, or requests for aid made pursuant to the terms of this chapter, and to perform any other veteran related services as requested by the county board of supervisors. (1353)

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), two or more counties may jointly establish a single veterans service office which shall serve all the counties that agree to the joint establishment of that office. (1354)

(d) This section shall become operative January 1, 1995. (1355)

971. (a) The county veteran service officer shall assist every veteran of any war of the United States and the dependents of every deceased veteran in presenting and pursuing any claim the veteran may have against the United States and in establishing the veteran's right to any privilege, preference, care, or compensation provided for by the laws of the United States or of this state. (1356)

(b) The county veteran service officer shall present and pursue claims against the United States referred by any public agency pursuant to Section 721. (1357)

972. (a) The board of supervisors may provide the county veterans service office with any assistance and facilities that it determines to be necessary. (1358)

(b) If the position of veterans service officer is created and filled, the compensation and expenses of the county veterans service office shall be a county charge, but the Department of Veterans Affairs, out of state moneys available therefor, shall pay each county a portion of those costs in an amount determined by the department, conditioned upon the observance of standards and regulations adopted by, and in compliance with the direction of, the department and its authorized representatives. (1359)

(c) State money available for paying counties any portion of the cost of the compensation and expenses of county veterans service offices shall not include any funds of the Veterans' Farm and Home Building Fund of 1943. (1360)

972.1. (a) The sum of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) is hereby appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Veterans Affairs for allocation, during the 1989-90 fiscal year, for purposes of funding the activities of county veteran service officers pursuant to this section. Funds for allocation in future years shall be as provided in the annual Budget Act. (1361)

(b) Funds shall be disbursed each fiscal year on a pro rata basis to counties that have established and maintain a county veteran service officer in accordance with the staffing level and workload of each county veteran service officer under a formula based upon performance that shall be developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs for these purposes. (1362)

(c) The department shall annually determine the amount of new or increased monetary benefits paid to eligible veterans by the federal government attributable to the assistance of county veteran service officers. The department shall, on or before January 1 of each year, prepare and transmit its determination for the preceding fiscal year to the Department of Finance and the Legislature. The Department of Finance shall review the department's determination in time to use the information in the annual Budget Act for the budget of the department for the next fiscal year. (1363)

(d) (1) The Legislature finds and declares that 50 percent of the amount annually budgeted for county veteran service officers is approximately eleven million dollars ($11,000,000). The Legislature further finds and declares that it is an efficient and reasonable use of state funds to increase the annual budget for county veteran service officers in an amount not to exceed eleven million dollars ($11,000,000) if it is justified by the monetary benefits to the state's veterans attributable to the effort of these officers. (1364)

(2) It is the intent of the Legislature, after reviewing the department's determination in subdivision (c), to consider an increase in the annual budget for county veteran service officers in an amount not to exceed five million dollars ($5,000,000), if the monetary benefits to the state's veterans attributable to the assistance of county veteran service officers justify that increase in the budget. (1365)

(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2016, and as of that date is repealed. (1366)

972.1. (a) The sum of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) is hereby appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Veterans Affairs for allocation, during the 1989-90 fiscal year, for purposes of funding the activities of county veteran service officers pursuant to this section. Funds for allocation in future years shall be as provided in the annual Budget Act. (1367)

(b) Funds shall be disbursed each fiscal year on a pro rata basis to counties that have established and maintain a county veteran service officer in accordance with the staffing level and workload of each county veteran service officer under a formula based upon performance that shall be developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs for these purposes, and that shall allocate county funds in any fiscal year for county veteran service officers in an amount not less than the amount allocated in the 1988-89 fiscal year. (1368)

(c) The department shall annually determine the amount of new or increased monetary benefits paid to eligible veterans by the federal government attributable to the assistance of county veteran service officers. The department shall, on or before January 1 of each year, prepare and transmit its determination for the preceding fiscal year to the Department of Finance and the Legislature. The Department of Finance shall review the department's determination in time to use the information in the annual Budget Act for the budget of the department for the next fiscal year. (1369)

(d) (1) The Legislature finds and declares that 50 percent of the amount annually budgeted for county veteran service officers is approximately eleven million dollars ($11,000,000). The Legislature further finds and declares that it is an efficient and reasonable use of state funds to increase the annual budget for county veteran service officers in an amount not to exceed eleven million dollars ($11,000,000) if it is justified by the monetary benefits to the state's veterans attributable to the effort of these officers. (1370)

(2) It is the intent of the Legislature, after reviewing the department's determination in subdivision (c), to consider an increase in the annual budget for county veteran service officers in an amount not to exceed five million dollars ($5,000,000), if the monetary benefits to the state's veterans attributable to the assistance of county veteran service officers justify that increase in the budget. (1371)

(e) This section shall become operative January 1, 2016. (1372)

972.2. (a) There is in the State Treasury the Veterans Service Office Fund. (1373)

(b) Commencing January 1, 1995, the Veterans Service Office Fund shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the Department of Veterans Affairs for allocation and disbursement to counties for the operation of county veterans service offices. (1374)

(c) It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this section, that revenues from the special interest license plate fees for license plates issued pursuant to Article 8.1 (commencing with Section 5025) of Chapter 1 of Division 3 of the Vehicle Code, and deposited in the Veterans Service Office Fund, shall be used to expand the support of county veterans service offices. (1375)

972.5. (a) The Department of Veterans Affairs may enter into an agreement with the State Department of Health Services and the State Department of Social Services for purposes of obtaining federal matching funds for the Department of Veterans Affairs to contribute toward the salaries and expenses of county veteran service officers for their activities which are reasonably related to the programs of the State Department of Health Services and the State Department of Social Services which are benefited, or realize cost avoidance, as a result of the services of those officers. (1376)

(b) At such time as the United States Department of Health and Human Services makes available additional federal financial participation, the State Department of Social Services may enter into an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs for those county veteran service officers' activities specified in subdivision (a). Such an agreement shall have no adverse impact on the General Fund. (1377)

(c) The sums obtained each fiscal year pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be disbursed by the Department of Veterans Affairs to counties for payment of salaries and expenses of county veteran service officers. The Department of Veterans Affairs shall make the disbursement to a county on a pro rata basis in accordance with the actual workload of each county veteran service officer under a formula based on performance to be developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs for these purposes. (1378)

973. The county veteran service officer shall have power to administer and certify oaths and affirmations, take and certify affidavits and acknowledgments, and exercise any other power of a notary public, as a part of his duties under the provisions of this chapter in assisting veterans with respect to their affairs. The county veteran service officer shall not charge any fee for such service. (1379)

974. (a) The Department of Veterans Affairs shall annually prepare a report of the activities of county veteran service officers, and may require each county veteran service officer to submit information required to prepare the report. The report shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following: (1380)

(1) The number of monthly federal benefit payments obtained on behalf of veterans. (1381)

(2) The total value of those monthly benefit payments. (1382)

(3) The average value of those monthly benefit payments. (1383)

(4) The number of one-time benefit payments obtained, including both single-payment benefits and retroactive payments. (1384)

(5) The total value of one-time benefit payments obtained. (1385)

(6) The average value of these one-time benefit payments obtained. (1386)

(b) The information required to be included in paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, of subdivision (a) shall be set forth for each county together with a statewide total. (1387)

(c) The department shall transmit a copy of the report to the Department of Finance, the State Department of Health Services, the California Veterans Board, and to each Member of the Legislature. (1388)

974.5. (a) The purpose of this section is to provide a mechanism to facilitate the delivery of complete, efficient, information and other services to veterans in a convenient setting. (1389)

(b) By July 1, 1999, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Employment Development may enter into interagency agreements with individual counties that elect to participate in the program pursuant to this section, after a determination that services to be provided pursuant to this section are not otherwise being provided and would, thus, not be duplicated. Services provided pursuant to this section shall not be contrary to the purposes of, nor shall they be in conflict with, any one-stop service program provided under federal guidelines. Pursuant to the agreements the departments may agree to provide resources and staff, or both, as necessary to locate within a single facility owned by the participating county, under the coordination of the county veteran service director, a more complete and convenient local service program for veterans. (1390)

(c) The veteran service center shall be staffed with persons knowledgeable in employment and veterans benefits issues, and shall contain all necessary resources, information, forms, and other materials necessary for a veteran to receive full employment assistance and a complete assessment of veterans benefits to which he or she is entitled. (1391)

(d) The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Employment Development, after consulting with participating counties, shall jointly report to the Legislature by January 1, 2002, regarding the progress of the program. (1392)

Article 5. Veterans' Affairs Commissions (975-975.5) (1393)(1-click HTML)

975. The board of supervisors of any county may create and appoint members to a veterans' affairs commission either as an independent agency or in conjunction with a California National Guard members' commission or a veterans' memorial commission, or in any combination of these commissions. (1394)

975.5. (a) The Department of Veterans Affairs shall provide for one paid veterans assistant position within the office of the county veteran service officer for the County of Los Angeles. The department shall establish one similar position for the County of San Diego and one similar position for the City and County of San Francisco. (1395)

(b) The veterans assistants employed under subdivision (a) shall conduct outreach programs in order to make veterans aware of readjustment counseling services and alcohol and drug abuse programs offered by community-based organizations and city, county, and federal agencies. The veterans assistants shall advise and counsel veterans concerning readjustment counseling programs and refer veterans to appropriate community-based or city, county, or federal counseling programs. (1396)

CHAPTER 6. STATE BENEFITS FOR VETERANS (1397)(1-click HTML)

Article 1. Veterans (980-980.5) (1398)(1-click HTML)

980. (a) As used in this chapter, "veteran" means any of the following: (1399)

(1) Any citizen of the United States who served in the active military, naval, or air service of the United States on or after April 6, 1917, and prior to November 12, 1918, and who received an honorable discharge or was released from active duty under honorable conditions. (1400)

(2) Any person who did all of the following: (1401)

(A) Served in the active military, naval, or air service of the United States for a period of not less than 90 consecutive days or was discharged from the service due to a service-connected disability within that 90-day period. (1402)

(B) Received an honorable discharge or was released from active duty under honorable conditions. (1403)

(C) Performed any portion of that service during any of the following periods: (1404)

(i) On or after December 7, 1941, and prior to January 1, 1947, including, but not limited to, members of the Philippine Commonwealth Army, the Regular Scouts ("Old Scouts"), and the Special Philippine Scouts ("New Scouts"). (1405)

(ii) On or after June 27, 1950, and prior to February 1, 1955. (1406)

(iii) On or after February 28, 1961, and prior to August 5, 1964, in the case of a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period. (1407)

(iv) On or after August 5, 1964, and prior to May 8, 1975. (1408)

(v) On or after August 2, 1990, to and including the date on which the territories in and around the Arabian Peninsula cease to be designated as a place where the armed forces of the United States are engaged in combat, as described in Executive Order 12744 of the President of the United States. It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this clause, that the benefits provided by this chapter shall be available to all veterans who were on active duty in the armed forces of the United States or who were called to active duty in the reserves or National Guard during the pendency of the deployment of forces for Operation Desert Shield or Desert Storm, which resulted in Executive Order 12744, irrespective of whether these veterans served overseas or in the United States. (1409)

(vi) At any time, in a campaign or expedition for service in which a medal has been authorized by the government of the United States, regardless of the number of days served on active duty. (1410)

(vii) At any time in Somalia, or in direct support of the troops in Somalia, including, but not limited to, persons stationed on ships of the United States armed forces conducting support activities offshore in the vicinity of Somalia, during Operation Restore Hope, regardless of the number of days served. (1411)

(3) Any member of the reserves or National Guard who does all the following: (1412)

(A) Is called to, and released from, active duty or active service, regardless of the number of days served. (1413)

(B) Is called during any period when a presidential executive order specifies the United States is engaged in combat or homeland defense. (1414)

(C) Has received an honorable discharge or was released from active duty or active service under honorable conditions. (1415)

(4) Any person who did all of the following: (1416)

(A) Served in the Merchant Marine Service of the United States. (1417)

(B) Has been granted veteran status by the United States Secretary of Defense under Title IV of the GI Improvement Act of 1977 (Public Law 95-202, as amended). (1418)

(5) Any person who qualifies under federal laws for revenue bond or unrestricted funds (26 U.S.C. Sec. 143) and did all of the following: (1419)

(A) Served in the active military, naval, or air service of the United States for a period of not less than 90 consecutive days. (1420)

(B) Received an honorable discharge or was released from active duty or active service under honorable conditions. (1421)

(6) Any person who qualifies for funds made available from a qualified mortgage revenue bond issued pursuant to 26 U.S.C. Section 143 and is, at the time of application for Cal-Vet benefits, a member of the California National Guard or a reserve component of any branch of the United States armed forces who has enlisted or been commissioned in that service for a period of not less that six years and has completed a minimum of one year of satisfactory service. (1422)

(b) For purposes of this chapter "veteran" does not include any of the following: (1423)

(1) A person who was separated from the armed forces under other than honorable conditions. (1424)

(2) A person who was separated from the armed forces on account of alienage. (1425)

(3) A person who performed no military duty whatever or refused to wear the uniform. (1426)

(4) A person who served only in an auxiliary or reserve component of the armed forces whose service therein did not provide an exemption from the operation of the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 (54 Stat. 885, as amended). (1427)

(5) A person whose service with the armed forces was due to temporary active duty orders for the sole purpose of training duty, processing, or a physical examination, except as provided for in paragraph (6) of subdivision (a). (1428)

(6) A person whose only service was as a student at a military academy and who, for any reason, failed to complete the course of study and subsequently did not serve on active duty. (1429)

(c) For purposes of this section, "active duty" or "active service" is defined as provided in 10 U.S.C. Section 101(d). (1430)

980.5. In the event of any conflict between any provision of this chapter and the federal Mortgage Subsidy Bond Tax Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-499; 94 Stat. 2660), including any amendment thereto and any regulation issued thereunder, the department shall comply with that federal law or regulation and any other federal law or regulation to the extent necessary to maintain the tax-exempt status of any issue of general obligation or revenue bonds. (1431)

Any prior action of the department to effect that compliance is hereby confirmed and ratified, it having been at all times the intent of the Legislature that the tax-exempt status of those bonds be maintained. (1432)

Article 2. Educational Assistance (981-981.8) (1433)(1-click HTML)

981. There is in the state government an educational institution known as the California Veterans' Educational Institute, which is under the management and control of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The purpose of the institute is to provide opportunities for veterans to continue their education. (1434)

981.1. Any veteran who desires to continue his education may apply for admission to the institute and if, in the opinion of the department, the educational needs and desires of the veteran can be satisfactorily met, the department shall assume state wardship and supervision over the education of such veteran. The department may provide for such education in educational institutions in this State, or in other states, or in other countries, when necessary or desirable for postgraduate or professional college courses. The department may provide educational counsel for students and assist them in securing admission to suitable institutions of learning in either public or private school field. The department may assist any eligible veteran who may apply for a short intensive postgraduate or training or refresher course in any professional field where the purposes of such course are to prepare the veteran for a state examination which he must pass as a prerequisite to practice his profession in the State of Calfornia or where said course or courses will acquaint the veteran in professional techniques developed in private practice during the time that he was in the service. (1435)

981.15. "Suitable institutions of learning," as used in this article, includes postgraduate schools of colleges, universities, or other institutions of learning, but does not include educational institutions whose enrollment of students receiving federal or state veteran subsidy exceeds 85 percent of their total enrollment. (1436)

981.2. The department, insofar as the funds permit, may provide an allowance of one hundred dollars ($100) for each month the student is in satisfactory and actual full-time attendance at an educational institution, and pursuing a course of study leading to a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree, or to a recognized degree, license, certificate, or diploma. (1437)

For purposes of this section the term "full-time attendance" shall be defined in the same manner as it is defined by the educational institution attended by the student. For purposes of this section, "educational institution" shall be defined as any school or college of the collegiate level accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, including a community college, and shall include a vocational school or any other school approved by the State Department of Education for the purpose of receipt by a student of educational benefits afforded by the Veterans Administration. (1438)

The department may provide for such educational benefits for full-time students pursuing a course of study leading to a recognized postgraduate or professional degree, license, certificate, or diploma in educational institutions in other states or in other countries when such course of study is otherwise unavailable to the student. (1439)

981.3. The amount expended on account of any one veteran under the provisions of this article shall not exceed one thousand two hundred dollars ($1,200). Eligibility for benefits conferred under this article shall not be granted if either the student has not exhausted his rights to eductional benefits afforded by the Veterans Administration, or four years have elapsed from termination of educational benefits afforded by the Veterans Administration. (1440)

981.4. The department shall consider the application of veterans for admission to the institute in the order in which they are received. If the funds available are insufficient to meet the obligations which would arise from the guardianship of all worthy applicants, the department shall assume wardship over such veterans as are most urgently in need of further education. (1441)

981.5. The department may co-operate and confer with authorized agencies of the United States in carrying out the provisions of this article. (1442)

981.6. No veteran who is receiving federal educational benefits shall be eligible to receive the educational benefits provided by this article during such time that he is receiving federal educational benefits. (1443)

981.7. Nothing in this article shall be construed as repealing the provisions of Chapter 579, Statutes of 1921, appropriating money for educational assistance to veterans. (1444)

981.8. (a) The Office of the Adjutant General is requested to annually make both of the following available to each member of the California National Guard, the State Military Reserve, and the Naval Militia who does not have a baccalaureate degree: (1445)

(1) A copy of the enrollment fee waiver application of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. (1446)

(2) A copy of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). (1447)

(b) The Office of the Adjutant General is requested to provide assistance as necessary to help the members complete the forms made available to them under subdivision (a). (1448)

(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2012, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2012, deletes or extends that date. (1449)

Article 3. Farm and Home Purchase (985-987.31) (1450)(1-click HTML)

985. As used in this article: (1451)

(a) "Farm" means a tract of land, which, in the opinion of the department, is capable of producing sufficiently to provide a living for the purchaser and the purchaser's dependents. (1452)

(b) "Home" means any of the following: (1453)

(1) A parcel of real estate upon which there is a dwelling house or other buildings that will, in the opinion of the department, suit the needs of the purchaser and the purchaser's dependents as a place of abode. (1454)

(2) Condominium, as defined in subdivision (h). (1455)

(3) Mobilehome, as defined in subdivision (k). (1456)

(4) Cooperative housing, as defined in subdivision (m). (1457)

(c) "Purchaser" means a veteran or any person who has entered into a contract of purchase of a farm or home from the department. (1458)

(d) "Purchase price" means the price which the department pays for any farm or home. (1459)

(e) "Selling price" means the price for which the department sells any farm or home. (1460)

(f) "Initial payment" means the first payment to be made by a purchaser to the department for a farm or home. (1461)

(g) "Progress payment plan" means payment by the department for improvements on real property in installments as work progresses. (1462)

(h) "Condominium" means an estate in real property consisting of an undivided interest in common in a portion of a parcel of real property together with a separate interest in space in a residential building on the real property, such as an apartment, which, in the opinion of the department, suits the needs of the purchaser and the purchaser's dependents as a place of abode. A condominium may include, in addition, a separate interest in other portions of the real property. (1463)

(i) "Effective rate of interest" means the average interest rate of the interest on the unpaid balance due on a participation contract to which the interest of the department is subject and the interest rate on the unpaid balance of the purchase price, as determined by the department. (1464)

(j) "Participation contract" means an obligation secured by a deed of trust or mortgage, or other security interest established pursuant to regulations of the department. (1465)

(k) "Mobilehome" means either a parcel of real estate, or an undivided interest in common in a portion of a parcel of real property, on which is situated a mobilehome that will, in the opinion of the department, suit the needs of the purchaser and the purchaser' s dependents as a place of abode and meets all requirements of local governmental jurisdictions. (1466)

(l) "Immediate family" means the spouse of a purchaser, the natural or adopted dependent children of the purchaser, and the parents of the purchaser if they are dependent on the purchaser for 50 percent or more of their support. (1467)

(m) "Cooperative housing corporation" means a real estate development in which membership in the corporation, by stock ownership, is coupled with the exclusive right to possess a portion of the real property. (1468)

985.1. This article may be cited as the Veterans' Farm and Home Purchase Act of 1943. (1469)

985.2. The object of this article is to provide veterans with the opportunity to acquire farms and homes. (1470)

985.3. The administration of the provisions of this article is vested in the Department of Veterans Affairs. (1471)

985.4. The department shall adopt rules and regulations in keeping with the purpose of this article to establish preferences in the granting of the benefits conferred by this article. (1472)

986. The department shall prescribe and determine the qualifications of all veterans. Any person deeming himself a veteran and desiring to benefit hereunder, shall submit to the department information, in such form as the department prescribes, which will enable the department to determine his eligibility and qualifications. The department may make further inquiries and investigations in order to determine such eligibility and qualifications. Veterans who are otherwise qualified and who were wounded or disabled as a result of their service shall be given first preference in the benefits conferred by this article. The department shall determine, in each case, whether or not the veteran was wounded or disabled as a result of service. (1473)

The following group shall be given second preference in the benefits conferred by this article: (1474)

(a) The unremarried spouse of individuals who were members of the armed forces on active military duty, entered active duty while in the State of California, lived in this state for six months immediately preceding his or her entry into active duty, and were killed in the line of duty while on active duty. (1475)

(b) Members of the armed forces who entered active military duty while in the State of California, lived in this state for six months preceding his or her entry into active duty, and were held as prisoners of war. (1476)

(c) The unremarried spouse of members of the armed forces who entered active military duty while in the State of California, lived in this state for six months preceding his or her entry into active duty, and have been designated by the armed forces as missing in action. (1477)

Veterans discharged or released from active duty within 10 years of their application to the department shall be given third preference in the benefits conferred by this article. (1478)

Nothing in this section regarding preferences shall affect any eligibility requirement for benefits conferred by this article. (1479)

986.01. On and after January 1, 1974, all applications for the benefits contained in this article shall be filed with the department within 25 years from the date of the applicant's discharge from the service, except applications filed by either: (1480)

(a) Veterans who were wounded or are disabled as a result of wartime service; or (1481)

(b) Veterans who were previously declared prisoners of war. (1482)

986.1. (a) If a veteran dies after filing an application for a farm or a home, and the application setting forth the veteran's eligibility and qualifications is subsequently approved, his or her surviving spouse may, in the discretion of the department, succeed to the veteran's rights under the application, and may be entitled to the rights, privileges, and benefits under this article that would have been the veteran's, but for his or her death. The contract of purchase that the department otherwise would have made with the veteran may be made with his or her surviving spouse. (1483)

(b) If a person was a member of the armed forces on active military duty, entered active duty while in the State of California and lived in this state for six months immediately preceding entry into active duty and was killed in the line of duty while on active duty, he or she shall be considered to be a "veteran" for the purposes of this article, and his or her unremarried surviving spouse may file an application, may be entitled to the same rights, privileges, and benefits, and may contract with the department as provided in the case of a surviving spouse under subdivision (a). (1484)

(c) If a member of the armed forces entered active military duty while in the State of California, and lived in this state for six months immediately preceding entry into active duty, and is being held as a prisoner of war or has been designated by the armed forces as missing in action, he or she shall be considered to be a "veteran" for the purposes of this article, and his or her surviving spouse may file an application, may be entitled to the same rights, privileges, and benefits, and may contract with the department as provided in the case of a surviving spouse under subdivision (a). (1485)

986.2. When a veteran has been authorized by the department to select a farm or home, he shall submit his selection in such form as the department prescribes. (1486)

986.3. The department may acquire a farm or home from the owner thereof or may contract with a veteran for the construction of a dwelling house and other improvements for a farm or home, upon the terms agreed if: (1487)

(a) The department is satisfied of the desirability of the property submitted. (1488)

(b) The veteran has agreed with the department that the veteran or members of his or her immediate family will actually reside on the property within 60 days from the day of purchase by the department, or if the residence on the property is not complete on the date of purchase, within 60 days after the residence is completed. (1489)

(c) The sum to be expended by the department pursuant to a contract for the construction of a dwelling house and other improvements does not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000). (1490)

(d) Where the department is to contract with a veteran for the construction of a dwelling house and other buildings, or for the purchase of a mobilehome: (1491)

(1) The veteran is the owner in fee of the real property on which the dwelling house and other buildings are to be constructed, or is the owner in fee of the real property or the owner of an undivided interest in common in a portion of a parcel of real property on which a mobilehome is to be situated, and agrees to convey that property to the department without cost. (1492)

(2) The veteran has paid a reasonable fee set by the department to cover the cost of any preliminary service of the department as may be necessary to process the application. (1493)

(3) The veteran has filed with the department adequate plans and specifications for the improvements to be constructed upon the real property, together with a contract, executed by a contractor licensed by the State of California for the construction of the improvements in accordance with the plans and specifications within eight months after the acquisition of the real property by the department, and a bond executed by the contractor providing for compliance with the terms of the contract and for the payment of persons furnishing material or labor on the job, executed by a surety company, authorized to do business in the State of California. (1494)

(4) The plans, specifications, contract and bond are approved by the department. (1495)

(5) The veteran has placed in escrow, all sums of money to be advanced by him or her where the cost is in excess of the maximum that may be expended by the department. (1496)

As used in this section "immediate family" includes only the following: (1497)

Spouse, children, either natural or adoptive; and the parents if they are dependent upon the veteran for 50 percent or more of their support. (1498)

986.31. The department may purchase property, subject to a participation contract providing for a loan term of not less than 23 years. In no event shall the purchase price plus the participation contract exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) or equal more than 90 percent of the market value of the property as determined by department appraisal, whichever is the lower amount. (1499)

986.35. The department, after consummating a purchase under the provisions of this article and the veteran having occupied the property as required by Section 986.3 of this code, may waive the occupancy requirement for a period not to exceed four years on a showing of good cause. The department shall establish standards for the occupancy waiver and shall make those standards known. The department shall waive the occupancy requirement in any case where the State Department of Health determines that health hazards on adjacent property render the farm or home unsuitable for occupancy, and such waiver shall be effective as long as such conditions exist. (1500)

986.36. Notwithstanding other provisions of this article relating to the occupancy, leasing, letting, or subletting of a farm or home acquired pursuant to this article, the department, with respect to any veteran who after consummating a purchase of a farm or home under this article and occupying such farm or home reenters the active military, naval, or air service of the United States, may waive the occupancy requirement for the period of such active service and for a reasonable period subsequent to the termination of such active service and consent to the leasing, letting, or subletting of the farm or home during such period or periods. (1501)

986.4. The department shall not acquire a home under the provisions of this article where the market value of the improvements exceeds the sum of forty-five thousand dollars ($45,000), to be determined by an appraiser or an authorized representative of the department. (1502)

986.5. The purchase price of a home to the department shall not exceed the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), except that the purchase price of a mobilehome to the department shall not exceed twelve thousand five hundred dollars ($12,500), and a veteran purchasing the home may advance, subject to the provisions of Section 986.4, the difference between the total price or cost of the home and the sum of the purchase price of the home to the department and any amount the department is required under Section 986.9 of this code to add to the purchase price of the home in fixing the selling price thereof to the veteran. The purchase price of a farm to the department shall not exceed eighty thousand dollars ($80,000), and a veteran purchasing the farm may advance the difference between the total price of the farm or cost of the dwelling and improvements to be constructed on a farm under a contract and the sum of such purchase price to the department or contract price to the department and any amount which the department is required under Section 986.9 of this code to add to such purchase or contract price to the department in fixing the selling price of the farm to the veteran. (1503)

986.6. The department may acquire a farm in which the veteran to whom such farm is to be sold has theretofore acquired an interest. (1504)

986.7. Before the purchase of any property by the department there shall be filed with the department (1) an appraisement of the market value of the property by an employee or an authorized agent of the department or (2) in lieu of the appraisal by the department, the department may accept an appraisement of the market value of the property by either the Federal Housing Administration or the Veteran' s Administration, and in addition there may be filed with the department an appraisement of the market value of the property by an authorized appraiser of a banking corporation formed under the laws of this state or of a national banking association having a place of business in this state. Each appraisement shall be certified by the maker thereof. The certification shall state that it is made in good faith, and that the valuation is honestly determined and represents the bona fide opinion of the maker. (1505)

986.8. The department, before consummating a purchase under the provisions of this article, shall cause the title of the property sought to be purchased to be examined and may require for that purpose an abstract, an unlimited certificate of title, or a policy of title insurance, and may refer the same to the Attorney General for his opinion. (1506)

986.9. The department shall then enter into a contract with the veteran for the sale of the property to the veteran. The department shall fix the selling price of the property by adding to the purchase price thereof, to the total cost of improvements constructed, or to the value of such property as determined by the department when such property is acquired by the department in a manner other than by purchase, all expenses incurred and estimated to be incurred by the department in relation thereto, inclusive of interest, administration, appraisals, examination of title, incidental expenses, and the sum deemed necessary to meet unforeseen contingencies. In the case of real property acquired from a veteran for the purpose of constructing improvements thereon, the department shall forthwith after acquiring said real property enter into the contract with the veteran authorized by this section at a selling price determined by the amount of the contract price for the improvements and any of the other additions herein authorized. After the execution of said contract between the veteran and the department and the making of the initial payment thereon the department shall be authorized to pay the cost of the improvements contracted to be constructed on said real property, making progress payments thereon in such amounts and at such times as the department approves. The department shall upon written request of the veteran and his contractor have authority to approve additions to or deletions from the improvements contracted to be constructed and any savings affected or added cost incurred shall be deducted from or added to the amount due the department by the veteran under the terms of his contract. (1507)

986.10. For the purposes of this article any veteran who is under the age of 21 shall be deemed to be of the age of majority and to be an adult person for the purpose of entering into any contract for the purchase of a farm or home from the department or any other contract with respect to such property. (1508)

987. The purchaser shall make an initial payment of at least 10 percent of the selling price of the property, in case of a farm, and 5 percent in the case of a home. The department may waive the initial payment in any case where the value of the property as determined by the department appraisal shall equal the amount to be paid by the department plus at least 10 percent in the case of a farm, and 5 percent in the case of a home. The balance of the purchase price may be amortized over a period fixed by the department, not exceeding 40 years for farms or homes, but not exceeding 15 years for mobilehomes, together with interest thereon at the rate as determined by the department pursuant to Section 987.17 for such amortization purposes. The purchaser on any installment date may pay any or all installments still remaining unpaid. In any individual case the department may for good cause postpone from time to time, upon terms as the department deems proper, the payment of the whole or any part of any installment of the purchase price or interest thereon. Each installment shall include an amount sufficient to pay the principal and interest on the participation contract to which the interest of the department is subject. (1509)

987.01. The provisions of Section 987, relative to the rate of interest to be charged to veteran purchasers do not apply to assignees of such purchasers who are not veterans, but as to such assignees the rate of interest shall be as fixed by the department, compounded at periods fixed by the department. (1510)

The action of the department in refusing to permit any assignments except as provided in this section is hereby ratified and confirmed, it having at all times been the intent of the Legislature that Section 987 apply to veteran purchasers only. (1511)

987.02. (a) Notwithstanding Section 987.01, upon the dissolution of marriage or legal separation of a veteran contract purchaser and the veteran's spouse, an assignment may be made in favor of the nonveteran former spouse at the same rate of interest and upon the same terms and conditions as are provided to veteran purchasers, provided the veteran's entire beneficial interest is transferred to the spouse and provided there are dependent children of the veteran occupying the property and the spouse agrees to: (1) actually reside in the home and (2) continue to make the payments in the same amount required by the purchase contract. For the purposes of this subdivision, any child of the veteran who is legally adopted or who acquires a separate domicile or marries shall not be considered a dependent child. (1512)

(b) Should the veteran retain entire beneficial interest in the property after dissolution or legal separation, the veteran may continue as purchaser provided either the veteran or the former spouse continues to occupy the property. (1513)

987.1. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), the department in each individual case may specify the terms of the contract entered into with the purchaser, but no property sold under the provisions of this article shall, voluntarily or involuntarily, by operation of law or otherwise, be transferred, assigned, encumbered, leased, let or sublet, in whole or in part, nor shall any mobilehome be removed from its original site, except in case of emergency where temporary removal is necessary to avoid potential damage, without the written consent of the department, until the purchaser has paid therefor in full and has complied with all the terms and conditions of this contract of purchase. The department may give its written consent to such transfers, assignments, encumbrances, leasings, lettings or sublettings, or removals, for good cause shown, subject to the interest of the department and consistent with the purposes of this article. (1514)

(b) The consent of the department shall not be required where a veteran, alone or jointly with his spouse, transfers his interest in property which is the subject of a loan agreement with the department into a revocable trust established for the benefit of the veteran or of the veteran and his spouse. (1515)

987.2. The contract made between the department and the purchaser shall provide that the purchaser maintain the farm or home as the purchaser's place of residence and keep in good order and repair all buildings, fences, and other permanent improvements situated thereon, and that the purchaser, if required, insure and keep insured against fire or other hazards, all buildings, fences, other permanent improvements, or crops on the property, the loss, if any, under the insurance policies to be made payable to the department as its interest appears. Insurance shall be in the amount, with the insurance companies, and under the conditions specified by the department. The department shall make an annual report on or before September 1st of each year to the Legislature regarding any insurance coverage implemented or required by it. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the type of insurance coverage, its cost, the reason for requiring that coverage, loss-ratio information, and any changes in existing insurance coverage and the reason for those changes. (1516)

987.3. If the purchaser fails or neglects to pay, satisfy, and discharge at maturity all taxes and assessments, and all other charges and encumbrances which are a lien upon the property being purchased from the department, or any part thereof, and also all taxes and assessments levied or assessed upon the interest created by the contract of purchase of such property; or to keep the buildings, fences, other permanent improvements upon such property insured and in good order and repair, or to keep the crops upon such property insured; or to keep in good order and repair all buildings, fences, and other permanent improvements situated upon such property; then, in such event, the department may pay, satisfy, discharge, settle, or compromise the taxes, assessments, charges, or encumbrances, or insure the buildings, fences, permanent improvements, or crops, or do the work and supply the materials necessary to keep the buildings, fences, and other improvements in good order and repair. All moneys so expended by the department shall be added to the selling price of the property and bear interest at the rate of interest designated in Section 987 from the date of expending the same, and shall be repaid by the purchaser to the department on demand. The department may amortize the repayment of such expenditures or permit repayment in installments upon the terms and conditions which it deems proper. (1517)

987.4. The department shall be the sole judge of: (1518)

(a) The legality or validity of taxes, assessments, charges, or encumbrances, and the amount necessary to be paid in satisfaction or discharge thereof. (1519)

(b) The amount of insurance to be placed upon the buildings, fences, other permanent improvements, and crops and the amount necessary to be paid for the premiums for such insurance. (1520)

(c) The necessity and nature of the work necessary to keep the buildings, fences, and other improvements in good order and repair, and the amount necessary to be paid therefor. (1521)

987.5. In the event of a failure of a purchaser to comply with any of the terms of his contract of purchase, the department may cancel such contract, and thereupon be released from all obligations, at law or in equity, to convey the property, and the purchaser shall forfeit all right thereto. All payments theretofore made shall be deemed to be rental paid for occupancy. Upon such forfeiture, the department shall take possession of the property covered by such contract, and shall remove all persons and personal property therefrom without any liability whatsoever on the part of the department or of any official or employee thereof for any damage or injury caused by or incident to the entry or removal. The failure of the department to exercise any option to cancel or to exercise any other privilege under such contract for any default shall not constitute a waiver of the right to exercise such option or privilege for any other default on the part of the purchaser. (1522)

987.6. In the event of a forfeiture of a contract of purchase under the provisions of this article, the department may sell or otherwise dispose of the property covered by the forfeited contract to such person and upon such terms and conditions as it deems proper. (1523)

In the event such property is subject to a participation contract, the department may, at its option, pay the balance due upon such participation contract, including accrued interest without penalty. (1524)

987.7. The department may, in the contract of purchase with a veteran, provide that, in the event of default by the veteran and forfeiture of his or her rights under the contract and subsequent sale of the property by the department, it may pay to the veteran any net gain realized by the department upon the sale. The department is the sole judge of the net gain. (1525)

987.8. The department may insure and keep insured against fire or other hazards all buildings, fences, other permanent improvements, or crops situated upon any property which has reverted to and is under the control of the department, or may do the work and supply the materials necessary to keep the buildings, fences, and other improvements situated upon the property in good order and repair. The department may lease or let the property, in whole or in part, upon such terms as it deems proper. In the case of a farm, the department may cultivate the farm or harvest the crop. (1526)

987.9. If illness or accident prevents a purchaser of a farm from cultivating his farm or harvesting any crop, the department may enter and cultivate the farm or harvest the crop. In such event the department has a first lien upon the crop for all moneys expended and may sell the harvested crop. Out of the proceeds of the sale the department may reimburse itself for any expense which it has incurred in the cultivation of the farm, the harvesting of crops and the sale thereof, and retain any moneys due to the department from the purchaser. Any balance shall be paid by the department to the purchaser. (1527)

987.10. When a purchaser dies, indebted to the department under contract of purchase, his rights acquired under this article and such contract shall devolve upon his heirs, devisees, or personal representatives, but subject to all rights, claims, and charges of the department. Default on the part of an heir, devisee, or personal representative, with respect to any right, claim, or charge of the department shall have the same effect as would default on the part of the purchaser but for his death. (1528)

987.12. For the purposes of carrying out the Veterans' Farm and Home Purchase Act of 1943 the Director of Finance may by executive order authorize the withdrawal from the General Fund of an amount or amounts not to exceed the amount of the unsold bonds which have been authorized to be sold for the purpose of carrying out this article, and the amount necessary to carry out this section is hereby appropriated without regard to fiscal years. Any amounts withdrawn shall be deposited in the Veterans' Farm and Home Building Fund of 1943. Any moneys made available under this section to the department shall be returned to the General Fund in such amounts as may be received by the department from the sale of bonds sold for the purpose of carrying out this article, together with interest at the rate of interest fixed in the bonds so sold. (1529)

987.14. The right to declare a forfeiture for breach of a condition contained in any deed to real property may not be enforced as against the interest of the deparement in said real property or any portion thereof. (1530)

987.15. The department shall not acquire a home in which the veteran has an interest of record except in the following instances: (1531)

(a) Where the application is for aid for the construction of a home upon unimproved real property owned by the applicant. (1532)

(b) Where the veteran had no interest of record in the property at the time of filing his or her application and thereafter secured interim financing pending the processing and approval of his or her application by the department. (1533)

(c) Where the application is to pay the balance due on an existing loan not insured or guaranteed by the federal government, and which bears an interest rate of more than 5 3/4 percent. (1534)

(d) Where the application is for purchase of a mobilehome to be situated upon real property, or an undivided interest therein, owned by the applicant. (1535)

(e) Where the veteran had a prior interest of record in the property as a result of property left in trust at the time of filing his or her application. The loan may only be used to pay the amount of any existing encumbrance. (1536)

987.16. (a) Any veteran for whom a farm or home is purchased under this article may be granted a subsequent opportunity to purchase another farm or home when the farm or home purchased under this article is sold because of any of the following: (1537)

(1) Condemnation proceedings instituted by a public agency. (1538)

(2) A change in the veteran's employment which compels a change in residence location. (1539)

(3) The health of a veteran or of a member of his immediate family compels a change in residence location. (1540)

(4) Any increase or decrease in the veteran's obligation to provide housing for dependents has resulted in the livable area of the house being inadequate or excessive for the veteran's current housing needs. (1541)

(5) Increased real property taxes beyond the veteran's ability to pay. (1542)

(b) The provisions of subdivision (a) shall apply only if the veteran pays his purchase contract in full, applies for a subsequent loan within six months from date of sale and pays toward the purchase of the new farm or home the net equity received from sale of the former property. (1543)

(c) Only one farm or home purchased under this article shall be owned by a veteran or a veteran and the veteran's spouse at any one time under the provisions of this article. (1544)

(d) Any veteran for whom a farm or home is purchased under this article may be granted a subsequent opportunity to purchase another farm or home if he has paid his purchase contract in full, and qualifies as a veteran as described in Section 980, under another separate period of service, or the veteran and the veteran's spouse each qualify as a veteran as described in Section 980. (1545)

(e) A member of the armed forces, eligible for military retirement who meets the residence requirements of Section 980, or a veteran as described in Section 980 who is receiving military retirement pay, for whom a farm or home was purchased under this article while in active military service, may be granted a subsequent opportunity to purchase another farm or home provided he has paid his purchase contract in full and has served during more than one period for which eligibility is granted. (1546)

987.17. The department shall establish the actual interest rate to be paid. To this end the department, by a two-thirds vote of California Veterans Board members and with the approval of the Veterans' Finance Committee of 1943, is empowered to establish a uniform rate of interest payable upon the amount remaining unpaid under any veteran's purchase contract executed prior to the effective date of the amendments to this section enacted at the 1972 Regular Session of the Legislature. The California Veterans Board and the Veterans' Finance Committee shall periodically, at least once each year, make a finding as to the rate of interest to be charged, not to exceed 5 percent per annum on contracts for the purchase of farms or homes, and not to exceed 8 percent per annum on contracts for the purchase of mobilehomes, taking into consideration the current value of money, bond market conditions, and the solvency of the Veterans' Farm and Home Building Fund of 1943. The California Veterans Board may raise or lower the rate of interest payable under such contracts for any given period as many times and as frequently as it deems to be for the best interests of the department, as well as the contract holders, if in so doing its action is made applicable alike to any and all contract holders and 90 days' advance notice be given of the time when the new rate of interest is to become effective. Any change in the interest rate shall not affect the total amount of any installment payment, but the difference shall be credited to interest or principal and accelerate or prolong the period of payment. (1547)

987.17a. (a) The department shall establish the actual interest rate to be paid. To this end the department, by a two-thirds vote of California Veterans Board members and with the approval of the Veterans' Finance Committee of 1943, is empowered to establish a uniform effective rate of interest. The California Veterans Board and the Veterans' Finance Committee shall periodically, at least once each year, make a finding as to the effective rate of interest to be charged, not to exceed 5 percent per annum, taking into consideration the current value of money and the solvency of the Veterans' Farm and Home Building Fund of 1943 and the interest paid on participation contracts to which the interest of the department is subject. The California Veterans Board may raise or lower the effective rate of interest payable under those contracts for any given period as many times and as frequently as it deems to be for the best interests of the department, as well as the contractholders, if in so doing its action is made applicable alike to any and all contracts executed after the effective date of this section, and 90 days' advance notice be given of the time when the new rate of interest is to become effective. (1548)

(b) The total amount of any installment payment shall be raised or lowered to reflect a change in the effective rate of interest. The department shall, upon request of the purchaser, instead increase or decrease the period fixed by the department for amortization of the purchase price without changing the amount of the installment payment. The department shall provide the purchaser with full information as to the repayment options available to him or her under this subdivision and, upon request of the purchaser, the financial consequences of each option. The actual interest rate to be paid on the amount remaining unpaid under any veteran's purchase contract shall be a rate of interest that, when combined with the interest paid on the unpaid balance of a participation contract to which the department's interest is subject, equals the effective rate of interest. (1549)

987.25. (a) In the event the department enters into a master agreement with one or more insurance companies to provide life insurance coverage for the purchasers of farms and homes from the department, the master agreement shall provide that the life insurance coverage offered under the master agreement will be offered by the insurance company or companies to disabled and nondisabled veterans on an equal basis and that no veteran shall be denied coverage because that veteran is disabled at the time of application. (1550)

(b) Any proposal to enter into, revise, amend, renew, extend, or cancel, any agreement described in this section shall be a policy change subject to subdivisions (b), (c), and (d) of Section 84. (1551)

987.30. The action of a veteran purchaser for damages against any third party does not affect his right of action for all damages against any party other than the department. If the department indemnifies, or becomes obligated to indemnify, the veteran purchaser, it may likewise bring an action against any such third party responsible for damage to the contract property. In the latter event, the department may recover in the same suit all payments made on behalf of the veteran purchaser. (1552)

If either the veteran purchaser or the department brings an action against such third party, the veteran purchaser or the department, as the case may be, shall forthwith give to the other written notice of the action and of the name of the court in which the action is brought, by personal service or registered mail. Proof of such service shall be filed in such action. If the action is brought by either the veteran purchaser or the department, the other may, at any time before trial on the facts, join as party plaintiff, or shall consolidate the action if brought independently. (1553)

The court shall first apply, out of the entire amount of any judgment for any damage recovered by the veteran purchaser, a sufficient amount to reimburse the department for the amount of its expenditures for indemnification. If the department has not joined in the action or has not brought action, or if the action has not been consolidated, the court, on the department's application, shall allow as a first lien against the entire amount of any judgment for any damages recovered by the veteran purchaser, the amount of the department's expenditures for indemnification. (1554)

987.31. This article shall be applicable to all farm and home purchase loans made or entered into prior to the effective date of the legislation adding this section during the 1974 legislative session and thereafter Article 3.1 (commencing with Section 987.50) of this chapter shall apply. (1555)

Article 3.1. Veterans' Farm and Home Purchase Act of 1974 98 (987.50-987.92) (1556)(1-click HTML)

987.50. This article may be cited as the Veterans' Farm and Home Purchase Act of 1974. (1557)

987.51. The object of this article is to provide veterans with the opportunity to acquire farms and homes. (1558)

987.52. The provisions of this article are applicable, and the benefits conferred thereby are available, to: (1559)

(a) Any veteran as defined in Section 980; (1560)

(b) Any person who is on active duty in the military or naval service of the United States, whose service may or may not have been continuous, and who is in all other respects qualified pursuant to Section 980. (1561)

987.53. As used in this article: (1562)

(a) "Farm" means a tract of land, which, in the opinion of the department, is capable of producing sufficient income to provide payment of the amortized contract installments, including principal, interest, and taxes. (1563)

(b) "Home" means a parcel of real estate upon which there is a dwelling house and other buildings that will, in the opinion of the department, suit the needs of the purchaser and the purchaser's dependents as a place of abode. "Home" includes all of the following: (1564)

(1) A condominium as defined in subdivision (h). (1565)

(2) A mobilehome as defined in subdivision (k). (1566)

(3) A residence with two to four units, inclusive, that satisfies the requirements of Section 143(k)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code and that is only occupied by veterans and their families. (1567)

(c) "Purchaser" means a veteran or any person who has entered into a contract of purchase of a farm or home from the department. (1568)

(d) "Purchase price" means the price which the department pays for any farm or home. (1569)

(e) "Selling price" means the price for which the department sells any farm or home. (1570)

(f) "Initial payment" means the first payment to be made by a purchaser to the department for a farm or home. (1571)

(g) "Progress payment plan" means payment by the department for improvements on real property in installments as work progresses. (1572)

(h) "Condominium" means an estate in real property consisting of an undivided interest in common in a portion of a parcel of real property together with a separate interest in space in a residential building on the real property, such as an apartment, which, in the opinion of the department, suits the needs of the purchaser and the purchaser's dependents as a place of abode. A condominium may include, in addition, a separate interest in other portions of the real property. (1573)

(i) "Effective rate of interest" means the average rate of interest on the unpaid balance due on a participation contract to which the department's legal rights are subject, and the rate of interest on the unpaid balance of the purchase price, as determined by the department. (1574)

(j) "Participation contract" means an obligation secured by a deed of trust or mortgage, or other security interest established pursuant to regulations of the department. (1575)

(k) "Mobilehome" means either a parcel of real estate, or an undivided interest in common in a portion of a parcel of real property, on which is sited one or more mobilehome modules, or a site in a mobilehome park, as defined in Section 18214 of the Health and Safety Code, on which one or more mobilehome modules is sited or is to be sited that will, in the opinion of the department, suit the needs of the purchaser and the purchaser's dependents as a place of abode and meets all requirements of local governmental jurisdictions. However, where the mobilehome module or modules are sited on trust land, "local governmental jurisdictions" means the tribal governing body. (1576)

For purposes of this subdivision, "module" means a section of a mobilehome at least 10 feet wide and at least 40 feet long. (1577)

(l) "Indian veteran" means a veteran, as defined in Section 980, who, in addition, either belongs to an Indian tribe, band, group, reservation, rancheria, or community which is recognized by the United States as eligible for services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs or is an Indian beneficiary and who is eligible under this article for purchase by the department of a home or farm sited on trust land. (1578)

(m) "Trust land," with respect to an Indian veteran, means land held in trust by the United States government for individual Indians, Indians who belong to Indian tribes, or Indian tribes. (1579)

(n) "Allotment trust land" means land held by the United States under the Indian General Allotment Act of 1887, as amended, (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 331) of Title 25 of the United States Code), in trust for an individual Indian or for two or more Indians holding individual interests in common. It includes both trust and restricted public domain allotments and allotments within the boundaries of an Indian reservation. (1580)

(o) "Tribal trust land" means land held in trust by the United States for an Indian tribe or band. (1581)

(p) "Tribe" means any Indian tribe, band, group, reservation, rancheria, or community which is recognized by the United States as eligible for services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. (1582)

  

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