FPOW Advocate - Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center
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Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center


FPOW Advocate

Who are Former Prisoners of War?

Since World War l, more than 142,000 Americans, including 85 women, have been captured and interned as POWs. Not included in this figure are nearly 93,000 Americans who were lost or never recovered. Only one fifth of America's former POWs since World War l are still living (about 22,641). More than 90% of living former POWs were captured and interned during World War ll. About 15,367 former POWs are in receipt of compensation for service-connected injuries, diseases, or illnesses.

VA Compensation:

In 1981, Congress passed Public Law 97-37 entitled "Former Prisoners of War Benefit Act." This law accomplished several things. It established an Advisory Committee on Former Prisoners of War and mandated medical and dental care. It also identified certain diagnoses as presumptive service-connected conditions for former POWs. Subsequent public laws and policy decisions by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs have added additional diagnoses to the list of presumptive conditions.   

How Should a Former POW Apply for VA Compensation?

Former POWs can apply for compensation for their service-connected injuries, diseases, or illnesses by completing VA Form 21-526, Veterans Application for Compensation and/or Pension. They can also apply online using the Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP) website.

For more information, contact VA Wilkes-Barre's FPOW Advocate, Valerie Barna, at 570-824-3521 x24104 or Toll Free at 877-928-2621 x24104, or visit http://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/.


Contact Info


  • Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center
    8th Floor

Contact Number(s)

  • 570-824-3521 Ext. 24104
  • 877-928-2621 Ext. 24104

Hours of Operation

  • Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:30pm