2012 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 29 — Military, naval, and veteran's affairs
RS 29:26.1 — National guard death and disability benefits


LA Rev Stat § 29:26.1 What's This?

§26.1. National Guard death and disability benefits

A. Purpose. The purpose of this Section is:

(1) To establish an effective and efficient mechanism for providing death and disability benefits for Louisiana National Guardsmen called to active duty service by the governor or the president of the United States.

(2) To govern the submission, evaluation, and determination of claims submitted pursuant to this Section.

B. Definitions. As used in this Section, the following terms shall have the following meanings unless a different meaning is clearly required by context:

(1) "Beneficiary", unless otherwise designated by the deceased guardsman as set forth in this Section, means the person or persons designated by the guardsman on DD Form 93, as eligible to receive the death gratuity from DoD pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1475 et seq.

(2) "Course of business" means the performance of the business of the military forces of the state of Louisiana or the United States.

(3) "DD Form 93" means the record of emergency data executed by every member of the LANG pursuant to DoD policies and regulations.

(4) "Disabled or disability" means a physical condition affecting the ability of a guardsman to secure and follow a substantial and gainful occupation by reason of a service-connected injury or illness.

(5) "DoD" means the United States Department of Defense.

(6) "Guardsman or guardsmen" means an officer or enlisted member of the Louisiana National Guard.

(7) "LANG" means the Louisiana National Guard.

(8) "Period of activation" means any of the following:

(a) That period, subsequent to September 11, 2001, for which the governor of the state of Louisiana orders a guardsman into state active service pursuant to R.S. 29:7.

(b) That period, subsequent to September 11, 2001, for which the president of the United States orders a guardsman into active military duty, pursuant to 32 U.S.C. 502(f)(1).

(c) That period, subsequent to September 11, 2001, for which the president of the United States orders a guardsman to federal active duty pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 12301, 12302, or 12303.

(9) "Qualifying claim" means an application for benefits by a guardsman or beneficiary for a qualifying death or disability incurred during a period of activation in the line of duty, and meeting the documentation requirements of this Section.

(10) "Qualifying disability" means a one hundred percent permanent total disability rating, or a permanent and total unemployability disability rating as determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and certified by the Louisiana secretary of veterans affairs in a final adjudication of the initial rating decision or as determined or certified by the proper state entity that adjudicates such claims for guardsmen in accordance with the workers' compensation law of this state. A qualifying disability shall be certified by the Louisiana secretary of veterans affairs or his designee.

C. Claims for benefits. (1) All claims for death or disability benefits provided for under this Section shall be submitted to the Louisiana National Guard.

(2) Each death benefit claim request shall include all of the following documentation:

(a) The guardsman's signed LANG death beneficiary designation form, or in the absence thereof, a signed DD Form 93.

(b) DD Form 1300 Department of Defense Report of Casualty, or a valid death certificate issued by the state of the guardsman's domicile.

(c) A copy of the guardsman's state or federal orders or a copy of the guardsman's DD Form 214.

(d) A death benefit claim form signed by the claimant and certified by the adjutant general or his designee.

(3) Each claim for a disability benefit shall include all of the following documentation:

(a) A copy of the guardsman's state or federal orders or a copy of the guardsman's DD Form 214.

(b) A disability rating decision reached by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and certified by the Louisiana secretary of veterans affairs or his designee.

(c) A disability rating decision reached by the proper state entity that adjudicates such claims for guardsmen in accordance with the workers' compensation law of this state and certified by the Louisiana secretary of veterans affairs or his designee.

(d) A disability benefit claim form signed by the claimant and certified by the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs or his designee.

D.(1) Benefits available. During periods of activation, subsequent to September 11, 2001, of a guardsman ordered by the governor or by the president of the United States, benefits in a lump-sum amount of two hundred fifty thousand dollars for a qualifying death and one hundred thousand dollars for a qualifying disability shall be paid by the state to a guardsman or his beneficiary, when such death or disability occurs during a period of activation in the line of duty as required by this Section. Such benefits shall be paid only when funds are available, having been appropriated for the purpose.

(2) No guardsman shall be eligible to receive benefits pursuant to the provisions of this Section if any of the following occur:

(a) An investigation determines that a killed or injured guardsman was not in the line of duty at the time of death or injury.

(b) The guardsman is killed or injured while in any training status pursuant to this Title or Title 32 of the United States Code, except training pursuant to 32 U.S.C. 502(f)(2)(A).

E. Determination of eligibility for payment of benefits. (1) A qualifying death benefit eligibility and certification shall be made by the adjutant general of LANG, or his designee.

(2) A qualifying disability shall be determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or by the proper state entity that adjudicates such claims for guardsmen in accordance with the workers' compensation law of this state and certified by the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs or his designee.

(3) Payment to an eligible recipient for a qualified claim for a death benefit shall be made by the Military Department, state of Louisiana after certification of eligibility and request for payment are made as required by this Section.

(4) Payment to an eligible recipient of a qualified claim for a disability benefit shall be made by the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs after a determination by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and certification of eligibility by the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, and request for payment as required by this Section.

F. Beneficiary designation by guardsmen. (1) Each member of LANG shall complete and execute a Death Benefit Beneficiary Designation Form which shall contain the name of the beneficiary or beneficiaries of the guardsman's death benefit under this Section to whom this benefit shall be paid in a lump sum. In the absence of the Death Benefit Beneficiary Designation Form, a DD Form 93 shall be used.

(2) All designation forms shall be signed by the guardsman before a witness in the grade of E-7 or above in the LANG who shall also sign the form.

(3) All designation forms shall be kept in the personnel files of the LANG in the regular course of business.

Acts 2011, No. 406, §1, eff. July 5, 2011.

NOTE: See Acts 2011, No. 406, §3, relative to application.

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