Former Prisoners of War - VA Caribbean Healthcare System
Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

VA Caribbean Healthcare System


Former Prisoners of War

Prisoners of War

Since World War I, 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).  More than 9pct. of living former POWs were captured and interned during World War II.

VA Compensation for Former POWs

In 1981, Congress passed Public Law 97-37 entitled "Former Prisoners of War Benefit Act."  This law 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. VA’s Secretary later added additional diagnoses to the list of presumptive conditions.
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 at


The  VA Caribbean Healthcare System has dedicated staff serving our former POWs. For more information, contact the San Juan VAMC’s FPOW Advocate, Richard Cabrera Colon at (787) 641-7582 Ext 11292 . You can also visit

Contact Info


  • VA Caribbean Healthcare System

Contact Number(s)

  • 787-641-7582 Ext. 11292

Hours of Operation

  • Monday to Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm