2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 45. Veterans' affairs, benefits and memorials.
45.51 Eligibility for membership.

45.51

45.51 Eligibility for membership.

45.51(1)

(1) General statement. Within the limitations of veterans homes, the department may admit to membership in veterans homes persons who meet the qualifications set forth in this section.

45.51(2)

(2) Eligibility.

45.51(2)(a)

(a) The following persons are eligible for benefits under this subchapter if they meet the applicable requirements of this subchapter:

45.51(2)(a)1.

1. A veteran.

45.51(2)(a)2.

2. A person who has served on active duty under honorable conditions in the U.S. armed forces or in forces incorporated as part of the U.S. armed forces for 90 days or more and at least one day during a war period or under section 1 of executive order 10957, dated August 10, 1961.

45.51(2)(a)3.

3. A spouse, surviving spouse, or parent of a person under subd. 1. or 2.

45.51(2)(b)

(b) A person under par. (a) 1. or 2. may be admitted to a veterans home if the person meets all of the following conditions:

45.51(2)(b)1.

1. Is a resident of this state on the date of admission to a veterans home.

45.51(2)(b)2.

2. Is permanently incapacitated due to physical disability or age from any substantially gainful occupation.

45.51(2)(b)3.

3. Has not been convicted of a felony or of a crime involving moral turpitude or, if so, has produced sufficient evidence of subsequent good conduct and reformation of character as to be satisfactory to the department.

45.51(2)(b)4.

4. Provides a complete financial statement containing information that the department determines is necessary to evaluate the financial circumstances of the person. The department may require a member of a veterans home to provide the department with information necessary for the department to determine the financial circumstances of the person. If a person fails to provide the additional information, the department may discharge the person from the veterans home.

45.51(2)(b)5.

5. Has care needs that the veterans home is able to provide within the resources allocated for the care of members of the veterans home, including chronic alcoholism, drug addition, psychosis, or active tuberculosis.

45.51(3)

(3) Admission priorities.

45.51(3)(a)

(a) Except in cases where there is an immediate need for physical care or economic assistance, the department shall act on applications based upon the date of receipt of the application by the veterans home. The department may defer establishment of the priority date of the application to the date that the veterans home is able to verify its ability to provide appropriate care to the applicant or to assure that the appropriate care setting is available within the home.

45.51(3)(b)

(b) Spouses, surviving spouses, and parents derive their eligibility from the eligibility of the person under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. Surviving spouses and parents of eligible persons under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. shall not be eligible for admission to the Wisconsin Veterans Home at Union Grove or the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King unless a home's overall occupancy level is below an optimal level as determined by the board.

45.51(3)(c)

(c)

45.51(3)(c)1.

1. The order of priority for admission to a veterans home shall be as follows:

45.51(3)(c)1.a.

a. Eligible persons under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. have 1st priority.

45.51(3)(c)1.b.

b. Spouses of eligible persons under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. have 2nd priority.

45.51(3)(c)1.c.

c. Surviving spouses of eligible persons under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. have 3rd priority for admission.

45.51(3)(c)1.d.

d. Parents of eligible persons under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. have 4th priority for admission.

45.51(3)(c)2.

2. The department may deviate from this sequence upon order of the board to prevent the separation of a husband and wife.

45.51(4)

(4) Additional eligibility requirements of a spouse of a veteran. A spouse of an eligible person under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. is eligible only if the spouse meets the requirements of sub. (2) (b) 3. to 5. and if all of the following apply:

45.51(4)(a)

(a) The person under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. is a member, or if not a member is institutionalized elsewhere because of physical or mental disability, and the spouse had lived with the person for not less than 6 months immediately before making application for membership.

45.51(4)(b)

(b) Separation from the spouse necessitated by reason of employment, hospitalization, or because of a physical or mental disability of either spouse shall not be taken to constitute an interruption of the 6-month period.

45.51(4)(c)

(c) A spouse of an eligible person under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. by virtue of a marriage that was void when entered into but validated under s. 765.21 before applying for admission shall, for the purpose of this subsection and sub. (6), be considered married to the eligible person under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. from the date the marriage was entered into.

45.51(5)

(5) Additional eligibility requirements of a surviving spouse. The surviving spouse of a person under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. who was a resident of this state at the time of the veteran's death is eligible if the surviving spouse meets the requirements of sub. (2) (b) 3. to 5. and if the surviving spouse satisfies all of the following conditions:

45.51(5)(a)

(a)

45.51(5)(a)1.

1. The surviving spouse satisfies any of the following conditions:

45.51(5)(a)1.a.

a. Was married to and living with the deceased person under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. not less than 6 months immediately prior to the death of the person.

45.51(5)(a)1.b.

b. Was married to the person under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. at the time the person entered the service and who became a widow or widower by the death of the person while in the service or as a result of physical disability of the person incurred during the service.

45.51(5)(a)1.c.

c. The period during which the surviving spouse was married to and lived with the deceased person under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. plus the period of widowhood or widowerhood is 6 months or more.

45.51(5)(a)1.d.

d. Was married to and living with the person under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. less than 6 months and a child was born of the marriage.

45.51(5)(b)

(b) Has not remarried.

45.51(5)(c)

(c) Is 45 years of age or over on the date of application.

45.51(5)(d)

(d) Is physically disabled.

45.51(5)(e)

(e) Is unable adequately to care for himself or herself and lacks adequate means of support.

45.51(5)(f)

(f) Has been a resident of this state for the 12 months immediately preceding the date of application for membership.

45.51(6)

(6) Additional eligibility requirements of parents. The parent of a person under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. who was a resident of this state at the time of the person's death or, the parent of a living person under sub. (2) (a) 1. or 2. who is eligible for membership, is eligible if the parent meets the requirements of sub. (2) (b) 3. to 5. and if the parent satisfies all of the following conditions:

45.51(6)(a)

(a) Has reached 60 years of age.

45.51(6)(b)

(b) Has been a resident of this state for the 12-months preceding the date of application for membership.

45.51(6)(c)

(c) Is physically disabled, unable adequately to care for himself or herself, and lacks adequate means of support.

45.51(7)

(7) Member income retention and payment.

45.51(7)(a)

(a) The board shall establish a pay plan for compensation of members for services rendered to a veterans home under its work therapy program.

45.51(7)(b)

(b) Members shall pay the amount due the state for care and maintenance of the member within 30 days after the receipt of the veterans home's billing statement by the member or by the member's personal representative. The department may subject any bill not paid within 30 days after receipt of the billing statement to an interest assessment of 1 percent per month or fraction of a month. If payment is not made within 60 days after the receipt of the billing statement, the department may discharge the member from the veterans home.

45.51(7)(c)

(c) Payment of amounts due the state for care and maintenance of a member shall be made to the fullest extent possible from sources of income other than pension or compensation paid by the U.S. department of veterans affairs.

45.51(7)(d)

(d) A member is not required to use income received from services rendered to the veterans home under its work therapy program or from the sale of products or services through the hobby shop as payment for the care or maintenance of the member at the veterans home.

45.51(7)(e)

(e) The department shall supervise the operation of a veterans home exchange, including the operation of the hobby shop for the sale of products made by all members.

45.51(8)

(8) Personal funds of member. A member may, in writing, authorize a veterans home to receive, hold, and account for his or her personal funds. Section 49.498 (8) applies to the funds of a member held by the veterans home under this subsection. The department may transfer the personal funds of a member received under this subsection to the Wisconsin veterans facilities members fund under s. 25.37. Upon request of the member, the department shall pay the member the amount the member requests from his or her personal account.

45.51(10)

(10) Conveyance of property; descent.

45.51(10)(a)

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the application and admission of any applicant admitted under this section shall constitute a valid and binding contract between a member and the department. If a member dies leaving a relative that is entitled to an interest in the property of the member under the rules of intestate succession or a will the existence of which is made known to the commandant of the veterans home within 60 days of the member's death, the member's property shall constitute a part of the member's estate, except the commandant may distribute personal effects of nominal monetary value of a deceased member who is not survived by a member spouse to surviving relatives of the member who request the personal effects within a reasonable time after the member's death.

45.51(10)(b)

(b) The department may manage, sell, lease, or transfer property passing to the state pursuant to this section or conveyed to it by members, defend and prosecute all actions concerning it, pay all just claims against it, and do all other things necessary for the protection, preservation, and management of the property. All expenditures necessary for the execution of functions under this paragraph or sub. (14) shall be made from the appropriation in s. 20.485 (1) (h).

45.51(10)(c)

(c) A person who at the time of death is a member of a veterans home is a resident of the county in which the veterans home is located for the probate of the person's will, issuance of letters testamentary or other letters authorizing the administration of the decedent's estate, and the administration of the estate.

45.51(11)

(11) Disposition of property passing to state. If a member dies without a relative who is entitled to an interest in the property of the member under the rules of intestate succession and without leaving a will the existence of which is made known to the commandant of the home within 60 days of the member's death, the member's property shall be converted to cash, without administration. The commandant of a veterans home shall submit that converted sum to the secretary of administration to be paid into the appropriation under s. 20.485 (1) (h). The amount paid to the secretary of administration is subject to refund within 6 years to the estate of a member if it is subsequently discovered that the member left a will or a relative that is entitled to an interest in the property of the member under the rules of intestate succession or to any creditor of the member who establishes right to the funds or property or any portion of the funds or property. The department of administration, upon being satisfied that a claim out of the funds or property is legal and valid, shall pay the claim out of the funds or property, except that payment of claims for a member's funeral and burial expenses may not exceed a total of $1,500 including any amount allowed by the United States for the member's funeral and burial and the right for burial and interment provided in s. 45.61 (2).

45.51(12)

(12) Powers of commandant over personal funds of members. A commandant may receive, disburse, and account for funds of members.

45.51(13)

(13) Additional eligibility requirements for skilled nursing facilities. Any person admitted to a skilled nursing facility at a veterans home shall meet the eligibility requirements under ss. 49.45 and 49.46, and, if applicable, s. 49.471 and rules promulgated under those sections during residence at the skilled nursing facility except if any of the following apply:

45.51(13)(a)

(a) Persons with sufficient income and resources to meet the expenses of care for one or more months may be admitted to the skilled nursing facility but shall apply income and resources to costs to the extent required under ss. 49.45 and 49.46, and, if applicable, s. 49.471 and rules promulgated under those sections.

45.51(13)(b)

(b) Persons who meet all the requirements of this section but whose degree of physical disability does not meet the minimum requirements under ss. 49.45 and 49.46 and rules promulgated under those sections may be admitted to the skilled nursing facility but shall apply income and resources to costs to the extent required by ss. 49.45 and 49.46, and, if applicable, s. 49.471 and rules promulgated under those sections.

45.51(14)

(14) Additional eligibility requirement for other care facilities at veterans homes. An otherwise eligible person may be admitted to or remain in residency at a community-based residential facility, as defined in s. 50.01 (1g) or a residential care apartment complex, as defined in s. 50.01 (1d) at a veterans home only if the person has sufficient income and resources, and applies the income and resources to fully reimburse the department for the cost of providing care to the person.

45.51 - ANNOT.

History: 2005 a. 22, 25; 2007 a. 20.

45.51 - ANNOT.

Cross Reference: See also s. VA 6.01, Wis. adm. code.

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