You are considered a Former Prisoners of War (FPOW) if during wartime active service, you were forcibly detained or interned (put in prison) in the line of duty by an enemy government, its agents or a hostile force.
You are considered a FPOW if you were forcibly detained or interned by a foreign government or its agents or a hostile force during peacetime active service, if the circumstances of the internment were comparable to wartime internment. For example: Iran, Somalia, or Kosovo.
You are generally entitled to a presumption of service-connection for eight diseases (or groups related conditions), if manifested to at least a minimally compensable degree of 10 percent or more after discharge or release from active military. These diseases are:
The following conditions presumed to be service-connected:
Yes. If you have a service–connected disability, you're eligible for VA hospital, nursing home, and outpatient treatment. If you do not have a service-connected disability, you're eligible for VA hospital and nursing home care – without regard to their ability to pay. You're also eligible for outpatient care on a priority basis – second only to Veterans with service-connected disabilities.
While receiving treatment in an approved outpatient treatment program, you're eligible for needed medicines, glasses, hearing aids or prostheses. You're also eligible for all needed dental care.
There is no co-payment requirement for FPOWs at VA pharmacies.
Yes. The major benefit is Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. A monthly benefit payable to the surviving spouse (and the FPOW’s children and parents in some cases) when the FPOW:
DIC is terminated for a surviving spouse who remarries. It can be resumed if the remarriage ends in death, divorce or annulment.
If a surviving spouse remarries, he or she can receive or continue to receive DIC if one of following apply:
Pension (income based), medical care, education and training, home loan guaranty, and burial benefits. Certain disabled Veterans may also be eligible for Veterans Readiness and Employment services, insurance, clothing allowance, special adapted housing assistance, and specially adapted automobile equipment.
May be entitled to health care, survivors’ pension (income based), education and training, home loan guaranty, burial benefits and burial in a national cemetery. See other VA fact sheets regarding benefits or contact VA for more information.
VBA has a FPOW Veterans Outreach Coordinator at each VA Regional Office. Any FPOW who needs special assistance should ask to speak to the FPOW coordinator. Additional FPOW information is available on the compensation webpage.
The specific VA benefit or program web page will provide tailored information about how to apply for a particular benefit or program. Generally, Servicemembers, Veterans, and families can apply for VA benefits using one of the methods below.
For more information on how to apply and for tips on making sure your claim is ready for processing, visit our How to Apply page.