Mr. Earl Maxfield, Jr., served in the U.S. Merchant Marines in 1944, but has only been considered a “veteran” by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) since in November 2012. This is the predicate for an interesting article by The Day concerning certain World War II merchant mariners who are considered “veterans” under Title 38.
A “veteran” under Title 38 is defined as “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.” 38 U.S.C. § 101(2); see also 38 C.F.R. § 3.1(d). Most merchant mariners are not considered veterans under this definition. However, active duty military service includes service in the “American Merchant Marine in Oceangoing Service during the period of Armed Conflict, December 7, 1941, to August 15, 1945.” 38 C.F.R. § 3.7 (x)(15). Those limited group of merchant mariners, therefore, are considered “veterans” and are eligible for veteran benefits under Title 38.
If you have a question about whether you are a qualifying “veteran” for the purposes of VA disability compensation or pension, please do not hesitate to contact Fink Rosner Ershow-Levenberg at (732) 382-6070 or through our website at www.finkrosner.com.