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All lands granted by the United States or by this state for the veterans' home are set apart for the support of the home. The proceeds from the sales of these lands are pledged as a perpetual fund for the use and benefit of the home.
The state accepts the conditions imposed by an Act of Congress, entitled "An act to provide aid to state or territorial homes for the support of disabled soldiers and sailors in the United States, approved August 27, 1888", and the various amendments thereto.
The state treasurer shall receive and receipt for all money which may become payable to this state by reason of the acceptance of the Acts of Congress as provided in section 37-15-12. The state treasurer shall deposit such money to the credit of the veterans' home operating fund for the use and benefit of the veterans' home.
A special fund, to be known as the veterans' home operating fund, must be maintained in the state treasury. Moneys arising from the interest received on money derived from the sale of lands appropriated for the support of the home and from the rental of these lands, moneys received from the United States for the support and maintenance of the home, and all other moneys, income, and collections of public funds arising from any other source or endeavor of the home, except as provided for in section 37-15-21, must be placed in the veterans' home operating fund for the use and maintenance of the veterans' home.
1. The veterans' home governing board may establish fees to be paid by members of the veterans' home. The fees must be based on the adjusted income of each member, but may not exceed forty-nine percent of the average daily per member cost. The fees must be set under a formula determined by the veterans' home governing board and designed to assure dignity and equity in the charge. The veterans' home governing board may reconsider its action establishing fees, amend or rescind the fees, or reinstate fees previously rescinded. The administrator of the veterans' home shall collect monthly any fees levied.
 
2. As used in subsection 1, "adjusted income" means all moneys received from any source, including social security benefits, less amounts received or expended as follows:
 
a. Moneys expended by the member for hospitalization due to illness or injury.
b. Moneys expended by the member for other medical care or treatment, or for required medicines.
c. Such other receipts or expenditures as the veterans' home governing board may permit to be deducted in individual cases.
 
3. All moneys received as a result of charging the fees authorized by subsection 1 must be deposited in the veterans' home operating fund.
All moneys withdrawn from the veterans' home operating fund must be withdrawn in accordance with chapters 54-14 and 54-44.1.

If a member of the veterans' home dies leaving property of the value of three thousand dollars or less, the administrator immediately shall take charge of the property. If within forty-five days of the date of death a valid claim of any heir or devisee is not made for the property and an application or petition has not been filed for issuance of letters of administration, the administrator shall convert the property into cash without probate or other proceedings and make payment first toward reasonable funeral expenses and second toward reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses of the last illness of the decedent.

If any cash remains, the administrator shall deposit the cash with the state treasurer who shall credit it to the veterans' home operating fund. The administrator shall make a report of the administrator's action to the administrative committee on veterans' affairs. The report must be audited by, and included in the records of, the committee.

If a member of the veterans' home dies leaving property in excess of three thousand dollars in value not disposed of by will, the administrator is entitled to letters of administration for the estate. The administrator shall apply to the proper court for letters of administration, qualify as administrator, and distribute and dispose of the estate. If a valid claim is not made to the estate by the heirs or the next of kin of the deceased member for a period of one year after the granting of letters of administration, the residue of the estate must be deposited with the state treasurer for the benefit of the veterans' home operating fund.
Upon becoming administrator of any estate under section 37-15-17, the administrator of the veterans' home is not required to give bond and may not charge or receive any compensation for the administrator's services as administrator of the estate. The district court serving the county where the administration proceedings are conducted may not allow any charge or fee in connection with the administration proceedings other than the actual disbursements of the administrator.
The administrator of the veterans' home may submit a biennial report to the governor and the secretary of state in accordance with section 54-06-04
The administrator for and in behalf of the veterans' home may accept and expend funds from any source, including federal or private sources and donations, gifts, or bequests offered or tendered to, or for the benefit of, the veterans' home to be used to benefit the veterans' home. All moneys received or accepted must be used for the specific purposes for which they were given or donated. This authority applies and is retroactive to any or all gifts, donations, or bequests already tendered, offered, or made.
 
The veterans' home may establish and maintain its own local fund to administer moneys received under this section. All interest, rent, or income from moneys or property received under this section must be deposited in the veterans' home operating fund unless by the terms of acquisition the moneys are required to be maintained in a different manner.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the veterans' home may purchase or arrange for independent third-party telephone services.
There is hereby established a department of veterans' affairs under the supervision and control of a commissioner known as commissioner of veterans' affairs, hereinafter referred to as the commissioner.
It is the duty of the commissioner to coordinate agencies or instrumentalities of the state set up to render service and benefits to returning veterans; to have charge of and implement programs and benefits authorized by statute; to assist or represent veterans or their widows, administrators, executors, guardians, or heirs, in processing claims; to advise and assist veterans in taking advantage of the provisions of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 [Pub. L. 78-346; 58 Stat. 291], or any similar or related measures afforded by the federal government; to provide counties with recommended qualifications and standards for county veterans' service officers; to assist counties with training of county veterans' service officers; to provide county veterans' service officers with educational materials; to assist county veterans' service officers in the performance of their duties; to disseminate information; and to do any and all things necessary and proper for the purpose of carrying out the intent and purposes of this chapter.
The commissioner shall have a seal of office and may administer oaths and take acknowledgments in connection with the prosecution of any claim for compensation, hospitalization, insurance, or other aid or benefits. The commissioner may certify to the correctness of any document or documents which may be submitted in connection with any such application.
The commissioner is hereby authorized and empowered to establish within the department a claims division, a loan division, a field division, and such other divisions as from time to time may become necessary to carry out the purposes of the chapter; to appoint such assistants as may be necessary; and to prescribe regulations and rules of procedure.
The appointment, qualifications, term of office, and salary of the commissioner must be as prescribed in section 37-18.1-03. The commissioner must be allowed such amounts for travel, clerkhire, and expenses as may be prescribed from time to time by legislative appropriations.
The office of the commissioner shall be located in the same city as the principal office of the veterans' administrator for this state. If the veterans' administrator is removed from the state, such commissioner's office must be located in the state capitol.
All records and papers pertaining or relating to veterans which are transmitted by the United States government to the department of veterans' affairs must be kept and maintained by said department under the following provisions and conditions:
 
1. All records and papers of the department are to be utilized in the manner to best serve the public interest, but the veteran's right of privacy as to information pertaining to the veteran's military or naval service and to confidential information contained in the veteran's application for benefits will be respected.
 
2. All reports of investigation made by employees of the department or at the direction of the department for official departmental purposes are for the use of the commissioner and the commissioner's staff only. Materials and information which disclose the investigative techniques of the department or the identity of confidential informants and material received in confidence by representatives of the department will not be released.
 
3. Records pertaining to any application for benefits, whether pending or adjudicated, will be deemed confidential and no disclosure therefrom will be made except in the circumstances and under the conditions set forth in this chapter, and any person making application for benefits must hereinafter be referred to as the applicant.
 
4. An applicant may not have access to official department records concerning the applicant, but information from official records may be disclosed to an applicant or the applicant's duly authorized representative as to matters concerning the applicant.
 
5. "Duly authorized representative" is defined as any person authorized in writing by the applicant to act for the applicant, or the applicant's legally constituted representative if the applicant is incompetent or deceased. If for proper reason no such representative has been or will be appointed, the applicant's spouse, an adult child, or if the applicant is unmarried, either of the applicant's parents shall be recognized as the duly authorized representative of the applicant.
 
6. Medical information may be disclosed as follows:
 
a. Except as otherwise required by law, information contained in medical records on file shall be disclosed to the resident on request.
b. Information contained in medical records of residents and beneficiaries pertaining to medical history, diagnosis, findings, or treatment may be disclosed directly to physicians and hospitals for treatment, payment, and health care operations, and as otherwise authorized by law. This information is to be treated as confidential information. This information also may be disclosed without the consent of the resident or the resident's personal  representative when a request for the information is received from the veterans' administration, the United States public health service, the superintendent of a state hospital, a commissioner or head of a state department of mental hygiene, or head of a state, county, or city health department and the disclosure is required by law, or for the purpose of treatment, payment, or department and the disclosure is required by law, or for the purpose of treatment, payment, or health care operations
 
7. Information contained in loan files may be made available to any party having an interest in such loan transaction upon approval by the director or pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the director. 
 
8. Information contained in department files required for official purposes by any agency of the United States government or by any agency of the state of North Dakota, or by any law enforcement or public welfare agency of any North Dakota county or municipality may be furnished in response to an official request, written or oral, from such agency. The requesting agency must be asked to specify the purpose for which such information is to be used.
 
9. Subject to the limitations of any other law, members of the legislative assembly may be furnished such information contained in department files as may be furnished such information contained in department files as may be requested for official use.
 
10. A county veterans' service officer may be permitted to inspect records pertaining to any application for benefits in which the officer's office may be directly involved upon he condition that only such information contained therein as may be properly disclosed will be disclosed by the officer only to the applicant or if the applicant is incompetent, to the applicant's legally constituted representative
 
11. When records pertaining to any application for benefits are requested for use in any judicial proceedings, they will be released only upon service of a proper subpoena and upon the condition that they will be returned upon conclusion of such proceedings.
 
12. Addresses of applicants from department records will not be furnished, person to whom it may not be furnished, the person making the request will be informed that correspondence enclosed in an unsealed envelope showing no return address, with the name of the addressee thereon, and bearing sufficient postage to cover mailing costs will be forwarded by the department. At the time the correspondence is forwarded, the department's return address will be placed on the envelope. If undelivered mail is returned to the department, the original sender will be notified thereof, but the envelope will be retained by the department. In no event will letters be forwarded for the purposes of debt collection, canvassing, or harassment.
 
13. Separation documents evidencing service in the armed forces of the United States will be considered confidential and privileged, anything contained in Subsections 4 through 10 notwithstanding. Examination of such records will will be limited to authorized employees of the department and information entered thereon will be disclosed only to interested governmental agencies for the purpose of assisting veterans and their dependents to obtain the rights and benefits to which they may be entitled.

 

The department of veterans' affairs may accept and expend funds from any source, including federal or private sources, to be used to assist veterans or qualified veterans' spouses in obtaining assistance and to pay other expenses authorized by law incurred in carrying out programs of benefit and service for resident North Dakota veterans as authorized by the administrative committee on veterans' affairs with the approval of the emergency commission. However, all interest earnings from the veterans' postwar trust fund received by the department of veterans' affairs from the administrative committee on veterans' affairs are appropriated to the department on a continuing basis.
The department of veterans' affairs may receive from the United States such records of veterans as the United States may wish to turn over to the department of veterans' affairs and same shall keep and maintain the records as provided in this chapter.
An employee of the department of veterans' affairs may not serve as a conservator for an individual who is receiving benefits or services from the department, except if the individual is the spouse or an immediate family member of the employee.
There is hereby created an administrative committee on veterans' affairs, which, for purposes of this chapter, must hereinafter be referred to as the committee. The committee must consist of three ex officio nonvoting members and fifteen voting members. The adjutant general, the center director of the veterans' administration, and the executive director of job service North Dakota are the ex officio nonvoting members who shall serve in an advisory capacity to the committee. On or before June 20, 1971, the American legion, the veterans of foreign wars, the disabled American veterans, the veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, (amvets), and Vietnam veterans of America, incorporated, shall each prepare a list containing the names of six persons qualifying as veterans under the provisions of section 37-01-40, for appointment as voting members of the committee. On or before July 1, 1971, the governor shall select fifteen nominees, three from each list, five of whom must be appointed to a term of three years, five of whom must be appointed to a term of two years, and five of whom must be appointed to a term of one year, or until their successors are appointed and qualified. On or before the twentieth day of June in each year, beginning in the year 1972, each of the above-listed nominating organizations shall submit a list containing the names of two persons who qualify as veterans under the provisions of section 37-01-40, to the governor for appointment or reappointment as voting members of the committee. On or before the first day of July in each year, beginning in the year 1972, the governor shall select one nominee from each list, a total of five nominees, to fill expiring terms of voting members of the committee. Each such appointment must be for a term of three years, or until a successor is appointed and qualified. All terms begin on the first day of July and end on the thirtieth day of June in the year specified. In case of the inability or failure of any voting member of the committee to serve, the governor shall appoint another member from a list of two persons qualifying as veterans under the provisions of section 37-01-40, submitted by the nominating organization represented by the member who was unable or failed to serve. Such appointments must be made for the remainder of the unexpired term.
A chairman and a secretary of the committee must be appointed by the governor from among the voting membership of the committee. Such appointment must be made annually, with the term of office to begin on the first day of July of the year specified and to end on the thirtieth day of June of the following year. Meetings of the committee must be held upon the call of the chairman, at such times and places as may be selected by the chairman, and upon due notice to committee members by the secretary. Meetings must also be called by the chairman upon the written request of any four voting members of the committee. A majority of the members of the committee is required for a quorum, and a majority of the members present voting in favor thereof is required for any action.
The committee is responsible for organization, policy, and general administration of all veterans' affairs in the state of North Dakota. It has the following powers and duties:
 
1. The chairman and secretary of the committee, acting jointly, shall appoint a seven-member governing board for administration of the veterans' home, from within or outside the committee, subject to ratification of a majority vote of the committee, and shall establish term lengths for service on the governing board. The governing board has all ordinary powers required of a governing board, including the power to establish qualifications for and selection of an administrator and to establish an appropriate salary structure, subject to limitations of legislative appropriation. The administrator serves at the pleasure of the governing board.
 
2. The chairman and secretary of the committee jointly shall appoint a subcommittee to be responsible for supervision and government of the department of veterans' affairs. Once appointed, a subcommittee member may continue to serve as long as the member remains a voting member of the committee, unless removed from the subcommittee by joint action of the committee chairman and secretary. A member of the subcommittee may not serve on the governing board of the veterans' home. Each nominating organization listed in section 37-18.1-01 must have at least one voting member nominated by the organization serving on the subcommittee. The subcommittee shall select by majority vote of the members a chairman to preside for the term of one year.
 
3. The committee shall appoint the commissioner of the department of veterans' affairs. The commissioner must be a bona fide resident of the state, and must qualify as a veteran as defined in section 37-01-40. The commissioner serves at the pleasure of the committee. The committee shall determine the salary paid to the commissioner of the department of veterans' affairs within the limits of legislative appropriation. The commissioner of veterans' affairs shall serve as the executive secretary for the subcommittee. The commissioner has no vote in the affairs of the subcommittee.
 
4. The committee shall, under recommendation from the board or the subcommittee, present any matters needing attention and action to the appropriate board, commission, agency, or department of the state, and the North Dakota veterans' coordinating council.
 
5. The committee shall assure compliance with applicable federal and state laws in the administration of both the department of veterans' affairs and the North Dakota veterans' home and shall exercise its responsibilities in all things necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter in regard to organization, policy, and general administration of the agencies served and involved in the conduct of veterans' affairs. The board governing the veterans' home and the subcommittee governing the department of veterans' affairs shall conduct an annual performance evaluation of the administrator and commissioner, respectively, with the evaluation presented to the committee. The board and subcommittee shall create and implement a strategic plan for the veterans' home and the department of veterans' affairs, respectively. The board and the subcommittee annually shall report as to the status of the respective strategic plan to the committee. After receiving a report, the committee shall submit the report to the governor.
Committee members may not receive any compensation for the performance of their official duties. Voting members may be reimbursed for travel expenses and meals and lodging expenses in connection with their official duties at the same rate and in the same manner as are elected officials and employees of the state, with payment to be made by the department of veterans' affairs and the veterans' home to each of their respective subcommittee members incurring the expenses. The payment must be made by warrant-check drawn by the office of management and budget upon the submission of a proper voucher to it, signed by the commissioner of veterans' affairs or the administrator of the veterans' home, as the case may be.
There is hereby created an administrative committee on veterans' affairs, which, for purposes of this chapter, must hereinafter be referred to as the committee. The committee must consist of three ex officio nonvoting members and fifteen voting members. The adjutant general, the center director of the veterans' administration, and the executive director of job service North Dakota are the ex officio nonvoting members who shall serve in an advisory capacity to the committee. On or before June 20, 1971, the American legion, the veterans of foreign wars, the disabled American veterans, the veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, (amvets), and Vietnam veterans of America, incorporated, shall each prepare a list containing the names of six persons qualifying as veterans under the provisions of section 37-01-40, for appointment as voting members of the committee. On or before July 1, 1971, the governor shall select fifteen nominees, three from each list, five of whom must be appointed to a term of three years, five of whom must be appointed to a term of two years, and five of whom must be appointed to a term of one year, or until their successors are appointed and qualified. On or before the twentieth day of June in each year, beginning in the year 1972, each of the above-listed nominating organizations shall submit a list containing the names of two persons who qualify as veterans under the provisions of section 37-01-40, to the governor for appointment or reappointment as voting members of the committee. On or before the first day of July in each year, beginning in the year 1972, the governor shall select one nominee from each list, a total of five nominees, to fill expiring terms of voting members of the committee. Each such appointment must be for a term of three years, or until a successor is appointed and qualified. All terms begin on the first day of July and end on the thirtieth day of June in the year specified. In case of the inability or failure of any voting member of the committee to serve, the governor shall appoint another member from a list of two persons qualifying as veterans under the provisions of section 37-01-40, submitted by the nominating organization represented by the member who was unable or failed to serve. Such appointments must be made for the remainder of the unexpired term.

1. "Agency" or "governmental agency" means all political subdivisions and any state, including any state agency, board, bureau, commission, department, officer, and any state institution or enterprise authorized to employ individuals either temporarily or permanently.

2. "Chief deputy" means the individual who is appointed by an elected or appointed official under express statutory authority to hire a chief deputy and who is authorized to act on behalf of that official. The term does not include an individual appointed to a position that must be filled under a competitive personnel system.
 
3. "Competitive personnel system" means a system that rates applicants for a position using an objective set of skills, knowledge, abilities, behaviors, or other  characteristics required for the position.
 
4. "Disabled veteran" means a veteran who is found to be entitled to a service-connected disability rating as determined by the United States veterans' administration.
 
5. "Justifiable cause" means grounds for action that are in accord with sufficient reason that can be justified or defended as correct. Justifiable cause not to hire a veteran must be something specific to that individual which renders the individual unsuitable for the position.
 
6. "Political subdivision" means counties, cities, townships, and any other governmental entity created by state law which employs individuals either temporarily or permanently.
 
7. "Private secretary" means the individual who is appointed by an elected or appointed official under express legal authority to hire a private secretary or administrative assistant and who is authorized to handle correspondence, keep files, schedule appointments, and do other clerical work of a more personal and confidential nature for that official, but does not include an individual appointed to a position that must be filled under a competitive personnel system.
 
8. "Veteran" means a North Dakota resident who is a wartime veteran as defined in subsection 2 of section 37-01-40.

1. Veterans are entitled to preference, over all other applicants, in recruitment and selection processes by governmental agencies, provided that such veteran is a United States citizen at the time of application for employment. Veterans qualified for preference may not be disqualified from holding any position with an agency because of physical or mental disability, unless the disability renders them unable to properly perform the duties of the position applied for. To receive veterans' preference, an applicant must submit the following documentation:

a. An applicant claiming veterans' preference shall provide a copy of report of separation DD-214.
b. An applicant claiming disabled veterans' preference shall provide a copy of report of separation DD-214 and a letter less than one year old from the veterans' administration indicating the veteran's disability status.
c. An applicant claiming veterans' preference as an eligible spouse of a deceased veteran shall provide a copy of the marriage certificate, the veteran's report of separation DD-214, and the veteran's death certificate.
d. An applicant claiming disabled veterans' preference as an eligible spouse of a disabled veteran shall provide a copy of the marriage certificate, the veteran's report of separation DD-214, and a letter less than one year old from the veterans' administration indicating the veteran's disability status.
 

2. When a veteran applies for employment to a position that is not being filled through a competitive personnel system, the officer, board, or person whose duty it is to employ an individual to fill the available position shall investigate the qualifications of the veteran. If the veteran is found to possess the qualifications required for the position applied for, whether educational or by way of prior experience, and is physically and mentally able to perform the duties of the position applied for, the officer, board, or person shall employ the veteran. A disabled veteran is entitled to a preference superior to that given other veterans under this section, which preference must be accorded in the manner provided in this section. If the group of eligible individuals includes either veterans or disabled veterans, the employing authority of that particular agency or governmental agency shall make a selection for the available position as follows:

a. A disabled veteran is first entitled to the position and, in the absence of justifiable cause, documented in writing, for not making that selection, must be so employed. If the list includes two or more disabled veterans, then the employing authority shall fill the position from the group of eligible individuals to be considered. The employing authority may further inquire into the qualifications of each eligible individual from within that group through means including interviews, background checks, and skills testing. A disabled veteran from the group of eligible individuals is first entitled to the position and, in the absence of justifiable cause, documented in writing, for not making that selection, must be so employed.

b. If the group of eligible individuals does not include one or more disabled veterans and consists only of veterans, then the employing authority shall fill the position from the group of eligible individuals to be considered. The employing authority may further inquire into the qualifications of each eligible individual from within that group through means including interviews, background checks, and skills testing. A veteran from the group of eligible individuals is first entitled to the position and, in the absence of justifiable cause, documented in writing, for not making that selection, must be so employed.

c. If the group of eligible individuals includes nonveterans and veterans, but not disabled veterans, then the employing authority shall fill the position from the group of eligible individuals to be considered. The employing authority may further inquire into the qualifications of each eligible individual from within that group through means including interviews, background checks, and skills testing. A veteran from the group of eligible individuals is first entitled to the position and must be employed unless there is justifiable cause that is documented in writing for not employing that veteran.
 

3. When a veteran applies for employment to a position that is being filled through a competitive personnel system, the officer, board, or person whose duty it is to employ an individual to fill the available position shall investigate the qualifications of the veteran. If the veteran is found to possess the qualifications required for the position applied for, whether educational or by way of prior experience, and is physically and mentally able to perform the duties of the position applied for, the officer, board, or person shall employ the following:

a. No distinction or discrimination may be made in the administration of the competitive personnel system examination because the applicant may be a veteran.

b. Upon receipt of proof required in subsection 1, on a one hundred point scale, the examiner shall add five points for a veteran and ten points for a disabled veteran to the examination grade of the applicant. The total is the veteran's examination score. If a scale other than a one hundred point scale is used, the examiner shall add five percent of the scale used for a veteran and ten percent of the scale used for a disabled veteran to the examination grade of the applicant. The total is the veteran's examination score.

c. The employing authority shall designate a prescribed number of eligible individuals to be considered from the top number of the group of eligible candidates in rank order, from highest to lowest, based on the applicant's final score. The employing authority shall fill the position from the group of eligible individuals to be considered. The employing authority may further inquire into the qualifications of each eligible individual from within that group through means including interviews, background checks, and skills testing.

4. This section does not apply when the position to be filled is that of an administrative head of a department required by law or the chief deputy or private secretary of an elected or appointed official. Temporary committees and individual or group appointments made by the governor or legislative assembly are also excepted from the provisions of this section. If an exempt position is advertised, the advertisement must state that veterans' preference does not apply to the position being advertised.

5. An employee of a state agency is not eligible for preference when applying for a different job within the same state agency or other state agencies. An employee of a political subdivision is not eligible for preference when applying for a different job within the same political subdivision.

1. Veterans are entitled to preference, over all other applicants, in recruitment and selection processes by governmental agencies, provided that such veteran is a United States citizen at the time of application for employment. Veterans qualified for preference may not be disqualified from holding any position with an agency because of physical or mental disability, unless the disability renders them unable to properly perform the duties of the position applied for. To receive veterans'  preference, an applicant must submit the following documentation:
 
a. An applicant claiming veterans' preference shall provide a copy of report of separation DD-214.
b. An applicant claiming disabled veterans' preference shall provide a copy of report of separation DD-214 and a letter less than one year old from the veteran administration indicating the veteran's disability status.
c. An applicant claiming veterans' preference as an eligible spouse of a deceased veteran shall provide a copy of the marriage certificate, the veteran's report of separation DD-214, and the veteran's death certificate.
d. An applicant claiming disabled veterans' preference as an eligible spouse of a disabled veteran shall provide a copy of the marriage certificate, the veteran's report of separation DD-214, and a letter less than one year old from the veterans' administration indicating the veteran's disability status.
 
2. When a veteran applies for employment to a position that is not being filled through a competitive personnel system, the officer, board, or person whose duty it is to employ  an individual to fill the available position shall investigate the qualifications of the veteran. If the veteran is found to possess the qualifications required for the position applied for, whether educational or by way of prior experience, and is physically and mentally able to perform the duties of the position applied for, the officer, board, or person shall employ the veteran. A disabled veteran is entitled to a preference  superior to that given other veterans under this section, which preference must be  accorded in the manner provided in this section. If the group of eligible individuals  includes either veterans or disabled veterans, the employing authority of that  particular agency or governmental agency shall make a selection for the available position as follows:
 
a. A disabled veteran is first entitled to the position and, in the absence of justifiable cause, documented in writing, for not making that selection, must be so employed. If the list includes two or more disabled veterans, then the employing authority shall fill the position from the group of eligible individuals to be considered. The employing authority may further inquire into the qualifications of each eligible individual from within that group through means including interviews, background checks, and skills testing. A disabled veteran from the group of eligible individuals is first entitled to the position and, in the absence of justifiable cause, documented in writing, for not making that selection, must be so employed.
b. If the group of eligible individuals does not include one or more disabled veterans and consists only of veterans, then the employing authority shall fill the position from the group of eligible individuals to be considered. The employing authority may further inquire into the qualifications of each eligible individual from within that group through means including interviews, background checks, and skills testing. A veteran from the group of eligible individuals is first entitled to the position and, in the absence of justifiable cause, documented in writing, for not making that selection, must be so employed.
c. If the group of eligible individuals includes nonveterans and veterans, but not disabled veterans, then the employing authority shall fill the position from the group of eligible individuals to be considered. The employing authority may further inquire into the qualifications of each eligible individual from within that group through means including interviews, background checks, and skills testing. A veteran from the group of eligible individuals is first entitled to the position and must be employed unless there is justifiable cause that is documented in writing for not employing that veteran.
 
3. When a veteran applies for employment to a position that is being filled through a competitive personnel system, the officer, board, or person whose duty it is to employ an individual to fill the available position shall investigate the qualifications of the veteran. If the veteran is found to possess the qualifications required for the position applied for, whether educational or by way of prior experience, and is physically and mentally able to perform the duties of the position applied for, the officer, board, or person shall employ the following:
 
a. No distinction or discrimination may be made in the administration of the competitive personnel system examination because the applicant may be a veteran.
b. Upon receipt of proof required in subsection 1, on a one hundred point scale, the examiner shall add five points for a veteran and ten points for a disabled veteran to the examination grade of the applicant. The total is the veteran's examination score. If a scale other than a one hundred point scale is used, the examiner shall add five percent of the scale used for a veteran and ten percent of the scale used for a disabled veteran to the examination grade of the applicant. The total is the veteran's examination score.
c. The employing authority shall designate a prescribed number of eligible individuals to be considered from the top number of the group of eligible candidates in rank order, from highest to lowest, based on the applicant's final score. 
d. The employing authority shall fill the position from the group of eligible individuals to be considered. The employing authority may further inquire into the qualifications of each eligible individual from within that group through means including interviews, background checks, and skills testing.
 
4. This section does not apply when the position to be filled is that of a superintendent of schools, teacher, administrative head of a department required by law, or the chief deputy or private secretary of an elected or appointed official; the chancellor and vice chancellors of the board of higher education; and presidents or executive deans, vice presidents, assistants to the president, provosts, instructors, and athletic team coaches of board institutions. Temporary committees and individual or group appointments made by the governor or legislative assembly are also excepted from the provisions of this section. If an exempt position is advertised, the advertisement must state that veterans' preference does not apply to the position being advertised.
 
5. An employee of a state agency is not eligible for preference when applying for a different job within the same state agency or other state agencies. An employee of a political subdivision is not eligible for preference when applying for a different job within the same political subdivision.

 

1. The unremarried spouse of a veteran who died while in service, or later died from a service-connected cause or causes, is entitled, if the person is otherwise qualified, to the employment preference given to a veteran under section 37-19.1-02 in the manner provided therein.
 
2. The spouse of a disabled veteran, who has a one hundred percent service-connected disability as determined by the department of veterans' affairs, or who has an extra-schedular rating to include individual unemployability that brings the veteran's total disability rating to one hundred percent as determined by the department of veterans' affairs, is, if the disabled veteran is unable to exercise the veteran's right to a veteran's employment preference due to the veteran's disability, entitled, if the person is otherwise qualified, to the employment preference given to a veteran under section 37-19.1-02 in the manner provided therein.

1. If a veteran, or a qualified veteran's spouse, hereafter known as the applicant, is not given the preference provided in section 37-19.1-02 or 37-19.1-03, the applicant, within fifteen calendar days after notification by certified mail that employment has been refused, may request a hearing as provided in subsection 3. The notification from the employer must include the reasons for nonselection, inform the applicant of the right to an appeal hearing, inform the applicant of the requirement that the request for a hearing must be filed by certified mail within fifteen calendar days after the notification, inform the applicant that a request for an appeal hearing must be made to the commissioner of veterans' affairs at the included commissioner's mailing address, and inform the applicant that if the applicant requests an appeal, the applicant must mail a copy of the request for an appeal hearing to the employer or employing agency.

The applicant's request for a hearing must be in writing, must include a copy of the employer's notification that employment has been refused, and must be mailed to the commissioner of veterans' affairs by certified mail. A copy of the written request must be mailed to the employer or employing agency by certified mail. The applicant is entitled to immediate employment in the position for which application was originally made, or an equivalent position, together with backpay and benefits from the date the appointment should have been made less amounts otherwise earnable through due diligence, if the hearing officer finds in favor of the applicant.

2. Any person who has exercised the right to an employment preference under this chapter, and who, within one year after exercise of that right:

a. Is discharged;

b. Has had compensation reduced; or

c. Is otherwise subject to action by the employing agency designed to cause the veteran or qualified veteran's spouse to resign or quit employment, is entitled to a hearing if the person believes that the employing agency took any of the above-described action due to the exercise of employment preference. The hearing must be held before a hearing officer as provided in subsection 3. If the hearing officer finds that the employing agency took any of the actions described in subdivision a, b, or c due to the person's exercise of the right to an employment preference, the hearing officer shall order the employing agency to cease and desist from such action or to reinstate the veteran or qualified veteran's spouse. The request for a hearing under this subsection must be in writing addressed to the commissioner of veterans' affairs. The request for a hearing must identify the employer or employing agency that took any action described in subdivision a, b, or c and describe the action taken. A copy of the written request must be mailed to the employer or employing agency. The request, addressed to the commissioner of veterans' affairs and the copy to the employer or employing agency, must be made by certified mail within fifteen calendar days after any action described in subdivision a, b, or c is taken by the employing agency.

3. Within fifteen calendar days after receiving a request from an applicant or person under subsection 1 or 2, the commissioner of veterans' affairs may request the director of the office of administrative hearings to designate a hearing officer to hear the grievance arising under subsection 1 or 2. The commissioner shall notify the employer or employing agency that a request for a hearing has been made. The office of administrative hearings is entitled to be reimbursed by the employer or employing agency for all hearing officer services rendered and expenses incurred in performing these duties. The hearing officer shall hold the hearing within thirty calendar days after the hearing officer request is received by the director of the office of administrative hearings. Notwithstanding the time limitation, the hearing officer may postpone or continue the hearing for good cause, at the request of a party. At the hearing, both parties may be represented by counsel.

If the hearing is requested pursuant to subsection 1, the employing agency has the burden of proving that the veteran or the qualified veteran's spouse did not possess the qualifications required for the position. If the hearing is requested pursuant to subsection 2, the employing agency has the burden of proving that any action which was taken was not taken because of exercise of the right to an employment preference. The hearing officer shall issue findings of fact, conclusions of law, and an order within fifteen calendar days after the hearing is concluded, briefs filed, and arguments closed. The order is binding on both parties, subject to appeal.

4. Any party aggrieved by the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order of the hearing officer may appeal in the manner provided for in chapter 28-32, except that the appellant need not execute an undertaking.

1. If a veteran, or a qualified veteran's spouse, hereafter known as the applicant, is not given the preference provided in section 37-19.1-02 or 37-19.1-03, the applicant, within fifteen days after notification by certified mail that employment has been refused, may request a hearing as provided in subsection 3. The notification from the employer must include the reasons for nonselection, inform the applicant of the right to an appeal hearing, inform the applicant of the requirement that the request for a hearing must be filed by certified mail within fifteen days after the notification, inform the applicant that a request for an appeal hearing must be made to the commissioner of veterans' affairs at the included commissioner's mailing address, and inform the applicant that if the applicant requests an appeal, the applicant must mail a copy of the request for an appeal hearing to the employer or employing agency. The applicant's request for a hearing must be in writing, must include a copy of the employer's notification that employment has been refused, and must be mailed to the commissioner of veterans' affairs by certified mail. A copy of the written request must be mailed to the employer or employing agency by certified mail. The applicant is entitled to immediate employment in the position for which application was originally made, or an equivalent position, together with backpay and benefits from the date the appointment should have been made less amounts otherwise earnable through due diligence, if the hearing officer finds in favor of the applicant.
 
2. Any person who has exercised the right to an employment preference under this chapter, and who, within one year after exercise of that right:
 
a. Is discharged;
b. Has had compensation reduced; or
c. Is otherwise subject to action by the employing agency designed to cause the veteran or qualified veteran's spouse to resign or quit employment, is entitled to a hearing if the person believes that the employing agency took any of the above-described action due to the exercise of employment preference. The hearing must be held before a hearing officer as provided in subsection 3. If the hearing officer finds that the employing agency took any of the actions described in subdivision a, b, or c due to the person's exercise of the right to an employment preference, the hearing officer shall order the employing agency to cease and desist from such action or to reinstate the veteran or qualified veteran's spouse. The request for a hearing under this subsection must be in writing addressed to the commissioner of veterans' affairs. The request for a hearing must identify the employer or employing agency that took any action described in subdivision a, b, or c and describe the action taken. A copy of the written request must be mailed to the employer or employing agency. The request, addressed to the commissioner of veterans' affairs and the copy to the employer or employing agency, must be made by certified mail within fifteen calendar days after any action described in subdivision a, b, or c is taken by the employing agency.
 
3. Within fifteen days after receiving a request from an applicant or person under subsection 1 or 2, the commissioner of veterans' affairs may request the director of the office of administrative hearings to designate a hearing officer to hear the grievance arising under subsection 1 or 2. The commissioner shall notify the employer or employing agency that a request for a hearing has been made. The office of administrative hearings is entitled to be reimbursed by the employer or employing agency for all hearing officer services rendered and expenses incurred in performing these duties. The hearing officer shall hold the hearing within thirty  calendar days after the hearing officer request is received by the director of the office of administrative hearings. Notwithstanding the time limitation, the hearing officer may postpone or continue the hearing for good cause, at the request of a party. At the hearing, both parties may be represented by counsel. If the hearing is requested pursuant to subsection 1, the employing agency has the burden of proving that the veteran or the qualified veteran's spouse did not possess the qualifications required for the position. If the hearing is requested pursuant to subsection 2, the employing agency has the burden of proving that any action which was taken was not taken because of exercise of the right to an employment preference. The hearing officer shall issue findings of fact, conclusions of law, and an order within fifteen days after the hearing is concluded, briefs filed, and arguments closed. The order is binding on both parties, subject to appeal.
 
4. Any party aggrieved by the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order of the hearing officer may appeal in the manner provided for in chapter 28-32, except that the appellant need not execute an undertaking.

A private, nonpublic employer in this state may provide a preference to a veteran for employment. Spouses of honorably discharged veterans who have a service-connected permanent and total disability also may be preferred for employment. This preference is not considered a violation of any state or local equal employment opportunity law.

As used in this chapter:
 
1. "Adjutant general" means the adjutant general of North Dakota.
 
2. "Beneficiary" in relation to a deceased veteran, means, in the order named:
 
a. The surviving unremarried husband or wife as of the date of signing the application;
b. The surviving child or children and the lawful issue of a deceased child or children by right of representation;
c. The surviving person standing in loco parentis; or
d. The surviving parent or parents.
 
3. "Domestic service" means service by a veteran during the period of service which is not foreign service.
 
4. "Foreign service" means service by a veteran during the period of service anywhere in the Persian Gulf theatre.
 
5. "Honorable and faithful" means service evidenced by:
 
a. An honorable discharge, or its equivalent;
b. In the case of an officer, a certificate of service; and
c. In the case of a veteran who has not been discharged, a certificate from the appropriate service authority that the veteran's service was honorable and faithful.
 
6. "Period of service" means the period of time beginning August 2, 1990, and ending June 30, 1993.
 
7. "Resident" means a person who:
 
a. Was born in and lived in the state of North Dakota until entrance into the armed forces of the United States;
b. Was born in, but was temporarily living outside the state of North Dakota, not having abandoned North Dakota residence at the time of entrance into the armed forces of the United States; or
c. Was born elsewhere but had resided within the state of North Dakota for the last six months before entrance into military service and had prior to or during that six-month period:
 
(1) Voted in the state of North Dakota;
(2) Was an emancipated minor during such period of residence or had lived with a parent or person standing in loco parentis who was a resident; or
(3) Was not registered for voting in another state after being a resident.
 
d. "Resident" also means a veteran who was a bona fide resident of the state of North Dakota at the time of entering the armed forces, as determined under the rules of the adjutant general and the laws of this state. A person is not a resident of North Dakota for the purpose of receiving any benefits under this chapter if the person was on continuous active duty in the armed forces, immediately prior to August 2, 1990, and has not established actual abode in North Dakota prior to April 18, 1991.
 
8. "Veteran" means a member of the national guard or reserve component who was activated under 10 U.S.C. 673 or 10 U.S.C. 673(b) and who completed honorable and faithful service of more than thirty days on active duty in the armed forces of the United States at any time during the period of service, who was a resident of the state of North Dakota, and who has not received bonus or adjusted compensation from another state for the period of service.
Each veteran is entitled to fifty dollars for each month or major fraction thereof for domestic service and one hundred dollars for each month or major fraction thereof for foreign service. If the veteran received a purple heart for foreign service, the veteran is entitled to a payment of two thousand five hundred dollars in lieu of monthly payments for adjusted compensation. If the veteran is deceased, the veteran's beneficiary is entitled to any payments under this chapter to which the veteran would have been entitled. Applications for adjusted compensation may be filed with the adjutant general after April 1, 1991, but not later than six months after the end of the period of service.
In the case of a veteran who died as a result of active service during the period of service, the beneficiary of such veteran is entitled to a payment of two thousand five hundred dollars in lieu of any other compensation under this chapter.
Each veteran or veteran's beneficiary entitled to payment under this chapter shall make application to the adjutant general of the state of North Dakota upon a form prescribed by the adjutant general. If the veteran is incompetent or the veteran's beneficiary is incompetent or a minor, application may be made by the guardian of the veteran or beneficiary, and if there is no guardian, the person determined by the adjutant general to have assumed the major responsibility for the care of the veteran or beneficiary and to be a proper person to receive payment for the veteran or beneficiary may make the application.
 
If a veteran is hospitalized in a state, county, or federal institution and no application has otherwise been approved by the adjutant general, the person in charge of such institution may make the application with the approval of the adjutant general. For the purpose of this section, the word "minor" does not include the unremarried spouse of a veteran. Each application must be accompanied by a certified copy of honorable discharge or other evidence of honorable and faithful service. Each application must be subscribed and sworn to by the applicant in such manner as may be prescribed by the adjutant general. The adjutant general shall provide by rule for an endorsement of the evidence of honorable and faithful service if application for payment has been made.
Upon submission of satisfactory proof that the applicant is entitled to payment under this chapter, the adjutant general shall compute the amount of payment due the applicant, make a record thereof, and forward a voucher for the payment to the office of management and budget, which shall cause the warrant-check to be issued for the amount of the claim. Payment must be made from funds appropriated by the legislative assembly. If the veteran or the applicant for payment under this chapter is indebted to the veterans' aid fund of the state of North Dakota, the adjutant general shall determine the amount of such indebtedness and certify such determination to the office of management and budget together with the record of payment due. Within the limits of the payment due, the amount of such indebtedness must be paid to the veterans' aid fund and the applicant must be paid any remainder to which the veteran is entitled.
Payments under this chapter are exempt from all state and local taxes and from levy, garnishment, attachment, and sale on execution. Any pledge, mortgage, sale, assignment, or transfer of any right, claim, or interest in any claim or payment under this chapter is void and payment to the veteran may not be denied because of any sums owed to the state or any political subdivisions, except as provided in section 37-26-05.
The adjutant general shall administer this chapter. The adjutant general shall prepare and distribute application blanks and investigate all claims and applications filed. If the adjutant general is satisfied of the proof of a claim and application, the adjutant general shall approve and direct payment of the claim. The adjutant general may adopt any rules necessary to the efficient administration of this chapter. The necessary books, papers, records, cases, and equipment used in the administration of this chapter shall become a part of the permanent records of the office of the adjutant general. The adjutant general may determine any claim in any case if doubt arises as to the eligibility of an applicant to receive payment and the decision of the adjutant general in such case is final, except on questions of residence which are subject to review by a court of competent jurisdiction. The adjutant general shall authorize payment for prisoners of war upon their release and return.
Any person who willfully makes a false statement in the application for benefits under this chapter is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
As used in this chapter:
 
1. "Adjutant general" means the adjutant general of North Dakota.
 
2. "Beneficiary" in relation to a deceased veteran, means, in the order named:
 
a. The surviving unremarried spouse as of the date of signing the application;
b. The surviving child or children and the lawful issue of a deceased child or children by representation;
c. The surviving person standing in loco parentis; or
d. The surviving parent or parents.
 
3. "Honorable and faithful" means service evidenced by:
 
a. An honorable discharge, or its equivalent;
b. In the case of an officer, a certificate of service; and
c. In the case of a veteran who has not been discharged, a certificate from the appropriate service authority that the veteran's service was honorable and faithful.
 
4. "Period of service" means:
 
a. For the Persian Gulf War, the period of time beginning August 2, 1990, and ending June 30, 1993;
b. For the Grenada armed conflict, the period of time beginning October 23, 1983, and ending November 21, 1983;
c. For the Lebanon armed conflict, the period of time beginning June 1, 1983, and ending August 1, 1984; or
d. For the Panama armed conflict, the period of time beginning December 20, 1989, and ending January 30, 1990.
 
5. "Qualifying service" means service by a veteran during a period of service anywhere in a theatre or area of armed conflict as evidenced by award of an armed forces expeditionary medal or other campaign service medal.
 
6. "Resident" means a person who has filed a resident North Dakota income tax return for the year prior to May 3, 1993, and who:
 
a. Was born in and lived in North Dakota until entrance into the armed forces of the United States;
b. Was born in, but was temporarily living outside North Dakota, not having abandoned North Dakota residence at the time of entrance into the armed forces of the United States;
c. Was born elsewhere but had resided in North Dakota for the last twelve months before entrance into military service and had prior to or during that twelve-month period:
 
(1) Voted in North Dakota;
(2) Was an emancipated minor during the period of residence or had lived with a parent or person standing in loco parentis who was a resident; or
(3) Was not registered for voting in another state after being a resident; or
 
d. Was a bona fide resident of North Dakota at the time of entering the armed forces, as determined under the rules of the adjutant general and the laws of this state. A person is not a resident of North Dakota for the purpose of  receiving any benefits under this chapter if the person was on continuous  active duty in the armed forces for a period of seven years or more, I  immediately prior to the qualifying period of service, and has not established actual abode in North Dakota prior to May 3, 1993.
 
7. "Theatre or area of armed conflict" means any area the president designated a combat zone by executive order for the Persian Gulf War or the Grenada,  Lebanon, or Panama armed conflicts.
 
8. "Veteran" means a member of the regular active duty armed forces of the United States who performed honorable and faithful service at any time during a period of service in the theatre or area of armed conflict, who was a resident of North Dakota, and who has not received a bonus or adjusted compensation from another state for the same period of service.

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