(a) As used in the general statutes, except chapter 504, and except as otherwise provided: (1) “Armed forces” means the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Air Force and any reserve component thereof, including the Connecticut National Guard performing duty as provided in Title 32 of the United States Code, as amended from time to time; (2) “veteran” means any person honorably discharged from, released under honorable conditions from or released with an other than honorable discharge based on a qualifying condition from, active service in, the armed forces; (3) “service in time of war” means service of ninety or more cumulative days during a period of war unless separated from service earlier because of an injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty or a service-connected disability rated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, except that if the period of war lasted less than ninety days, “service in time of war” means service for the entire period of war unless separated because of any such injury or disability; (4) “period of war” has the same meaning as provided in 38 USC 101, as amended from time to time, except that the “Vietnam Era” means the period beginning on February 28, 1961, and ending on July 1, 1975, in all cases; and “period of war” shall include service while engaged in combat or a combat support role in Lebanon, July 1, 1958, to November 1, 1958, or September 29, 1982, to March 30, 1984; Grenada, October 25, 1983, to December 15, 1983; Operation Earnest Will, involving the escort of Kuwaiti oil tankers flying the United States flag in the Persian Gulf, July 24, 1987, to August 1, 1990; and Panama, December 20, 1989, to January 31, 1990, and shall include service during such periods with the armed forces of any government associated with the United States; and (5) “qualifying condition” means (A) a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury made by an individual licensed to provide health care services at a United States Department of Veterans Affairs facility, (B) an experience of military sexual trauma, as described in 38 USC 1720D, as amended from time to time, disclosed to an individual licensed to provide health care services at a United States Department of Veterans Affairs facility, or (C) a determination that sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression was more likely than not the primary reason for an other than honorable discharge, as determined in accordance with subsections (c) and (d) of this section.

Terms Used In Connecticut General Statutes 27-103

  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Quorum: The number of legislators that must be present to do business.

(b) As used in this part, “Veterans Residential Services facility” means the Veterans Residential Services facility in Rocky Hill maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs that provides temporary and other supported residential services for qualifying veterans; “long-term care facility” means a facility that has been federally certified as a skilled nursing facility or intermediate care facility; “Healthcare Center” means the long-term care facility in Rocky Hill maintained by the Department of Veterans Affairs; “veteran” means any veteran, as defined in subsection (a) of this section, who is a resident of this state; “eligible dependent” means any parent, wife or husband, or child of a veteran who has no adequate means of support; and “eligible family member” means any parent, brother or sister, wife or husband, or child or children under eighteen years of age, of any veteran whose cooperation in the program is integral to the treatment of the veteran.

(c) Not later than October 1, 2021, the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs shall establish a Qualifying Review Board, which shall review applications of veterans submitted under subsection (d) of this section. Said board shall be part of the Executive Department and shall consist of five voting members who, by education or experience, shall be knowledgeable of veterans benefits and programs and who shall have a demonstrated interest in the concerns of veterans. A majority of the members of the board shall be veterans.

(1) The membership of the board shall consist of the following members:

(A) One member appointed by the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs in consultation with the chairperson of the Department of Veterans Affairs Board of Trustees, who shall be a member of said board;

(B) The manager of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Advocacy and Assistance, or the manager’s designee; and

(C) Three members appointed by the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs.

(2) All initial appointments to the board shall be made not later than December 1, 2021, and shall terminate on November 31, 2023, or November 31, 2024, as applicable, regardless of when the initial appointment was made. Any member of the board may serve more than one term.

(3) Members first appointed shall have the following terms: (A) The member of the Department of Veterans Affairs Board of Trustees and the manager of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Advocacy and Assistance, or the manager’s designee, shall initially serve a term of three years, and (B) the three members appointed by the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs shall initially serve a term of two years. Members shall serve a term of four years thereafter. Members shall continue to serve until their successors are appointed.

(4) Any vacancy shall be filled by the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs. Any vacancy occurring other than by expiration of term shall be filled for the balance of the unexpired term.

(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of § 4-9a, the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs shall select the chairperson of the board from among the members of the board. Such chairperson shall schedule the first meeting of the board, which shall be held not later than January 1, 2022.

(6) A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business.

(7) The members of the board shall serve without compensation.

(8) The board shall meet at least monthly or as often as deemed necessary by the chairperson based on the number of applications pending before the board.

(d) (1) Any veteran who receives an other than honorable discharge and who believes such discharge characterization was based on such veteran’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, may file an application for state-based veterans benefits. Such veteran may include evidence supporting his or her claim that such discharge characterization was based on such veteran’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

(2) The commissioner shall promulgate a standardized application form enumerating the required documentation necessary for filing an application under this subsection and shall make such form available on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Internet web site along with instructions for filing the application.

(3) The commissioner shall promulgate a standardized request for reconsideration form enumerating the required documentation necessary for filing a request for reconsideration pursuant to subdivision (5) of this subsection and shall make such form available on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Internet web site along with instructions for filing the request for reconsideration.

(4) The board shall review each application submitted and render a recommendation to the commissioner as to whether the veteran’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression was more likely than not the primary reason for an other than honorable discharge. The board shall review each application not later than thirty days after receipt and render a written recommendation to the commissioner not later than thirty days after such review. The commissioner shall issue a written decision not later than ten days after receipt of the board’s recommendation, approving or denying the application. If the commissioner approves the application, such veteran shall be eligible for state-based veterans benefits.

(5) A veteran aggrieved by the commissioner’s decision may file a request for reconsideration with the commissioner not later than fifteen days after receipt of the commissioner’s decision. Such veteran may include supplemental documentation in support of the request for reconsideration. The commissioner shall provide due consideration to the request for reconsideration and render a decision not later than ten days after receipt of such request for reconsideration. The commissioner’s decision shall be a final decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs and may be appealed to the Superior Court in accordance with the provisions of § 4-183.