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UPDATE ON DISABLED VETS SCREW JOB
The Retired Officer Association
Posted on 06/21/2002 10:33:22 AM PDT by advocate10
This is TROA's legislative update for Friday, June 21, 2002.
Issue 1: Senate Approves Concurrent Receipt Amendment. The Senate has
adopted an amendment to the FY 2003 Defense Authorization Bill which would
fully eliminate the VA disability compensation offset to military retired
pay for all disabled retirees with 20 or more years of service, effective
October 1, 2002.
Issue 2: Administration Issues Veto Threat. A letter released by the
Office of Management and Budget on June 19 said the President's advisors
would recommend that he veto the FY2003 Defense Authorization Bill if it
includes a plan for partially or fully eliminating the disability offset
to military retired pay. See below for a suggested message to the
Issue 1: Senate Approves Concurrent Receipt Amendment
On June 19, the Senate adopted an Armed Services Committee amendment to
the FY 2003 Defense Authorization Bill that would eliminate the VA
disability compensation offset to military retired pay for all disabled
retirees with 20 or more years of service, effective October 1, 2002.
Many thanks to all the people who sent more than 17,000 messages to
Congress on this subject through TROA's Web site this week.
As originally drafted, the Senate bill contained a provision similar to
that passed by the House in May, which would phase out the offset over
five years, but only for retirees with 20 or more years' service and
disability ratings of 60 percent or higher.
The new "full concurrent receipt" amendment, sponsored by Senate Armed
Services Committee (SASC) Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) and the rest of the
SASC, was adopted by voice vote.
Senate leaders hope to complete action on a long list of other defense
bill amendments by the end of next week, before leaving for the
Independence Day recess. That will set the stage for the real test in
July, when House and Senate leaders will sit down to resolve the
differences between their two versions of the bill-with the House's
phase-out plan as the floor and the Senate's "full" concurrent receipt
plan as the ceiling.
TROA is very grateful to many in the Senate for helping pave the way for
Wednesday's successful vote. Special thanks in particular go to Chairman
Levin and Ranking Republican John Warner (R-VA) and Senators Tim
Hutchinson (R-AR), Harry Reid (D-NV), John McCain (R-AZ), Bob Smith
(R-NH), and Max Cleland (D-GA). You can find a list of all of the members
of the SASC at http://www.senate.gov/~armed_services/members.htm
Issue 2: Administration Issues Veto Threat
TROA was extremely disappointed, to say the least, at the contents of a
June 19 letter sent to Congress by the Office of Management and Budget,
which threatened a possible veto of the FY2003 Defense Authorization Act
if that legislation proposes eliminating the VA disability compensation
offset to military retired pay. The letter asserted that the President's
advisors would recommend a presidential veto if the final Authorization
Act includes either the Senate plan to eliminate the offset immediately or
the House plan to phase in partial elimination for severely disabled
The Administration's opposition to this long-overdue initiative is nothing
new. No Administration of either party has ever supported providing any
relief from the current unfair, in large measure because of the cost.
But threatening to veto the defense bill if it provides any relief to
disabled retirees is a new low.
TROA shares Sen. Harry Reid's view of the letter, as he expressed them on
the Senate floor Wednesday. "I know President Bush as well as most
members of the Senate," Reid said, "and this wasn't written by the
President. It doesn't say he would veto the bill over the concurrent
receipt issue. It says his advisors would recommend a veto. This was
written by staff bureaucrats. If the President were to veto this, he'd
have to be a much different person than the George W. Bush I know. Here's
what I'm doing with this staff letter." and he folded it up and put it in
When Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) asked how Congress was expected to pay for
this initiative, he was answered promptly by Senators Levin and Reid.
"We're going to pay for it the same way we pay for everything else
Congress approves," said Sen. Levin. "Congress always has to make
difficult decisions on spending priorities," Sen. Reid added. "But one of
the priorities we must take care of is treating our disabled military
It's precisely because the Executive Branch has failed to seek a fix for
the current gross inequity that Congress has seized the leadership role.
At a time when the country has been particularly sensitized to the
sacrifices of those who serve in uniform, TROA finds it difficult to
conceive that the President would veto the defense bill for the express
purpose of denying disabled military retirees their earned retired pay.
Should this actually occur, TROA and all other military and veterans
associations would expect the 83% of senators and 90% of House members who
have signed their names as cosponsors of this important legislation to
back up those signatures and override any such veto. But any possible need
for that is still at least a month away.
In the meantime, we urge TROA members and others to write the White House
to let the President know how far wrong his advisors have gone on this
issue. You can send a TROA-prepared message via TROA's Web site
( www.capwiz.com/troa/home/ ). Just click on the "Don't Veto Concurrent
Receipt" action alert link, then click the "Go" button.
TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Announcements; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: disabeledveterans; militarypay; veterans
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As a former member of the 82d Airborne Division, three tours, and a hundred jumps, 4-miles a day in the morning, 30-miles running a week for over 12-years of my 20-years, plus one or two 2-3 hour stints a week with a 45-60 pound pack, plus rifle, helmet, etc., I would tend to beleive that the "average" veteran has some hard miles on their bodies also. Most people on active duty actually have to perform "athletic level" physical fitness routines, routinely. This aspect alone makes military service extra hard on a person, not to mention the dangerous type of work many are involved in to start with; not everyone in the military is a clerk or civilian wearing a uniform - and those who do 20-years in any branch have been rode hard and put away wet too many times. Military folks normally work 12-hours a day and miss out a lot of weekends to boot. I'd say your average 20-year retiree did more damage to his body than a 30-year civilian ever could; then you image someone who does more years - the ratio is 1.5 military years to one civilian year in wear and tear. Of course, I know there are some civilians who work in harsh conditions, firefighters, law enforcement, construction, farm workers, and some factory jobs, but your normal couch potato"e" doesn't have a clue.
posted on 06/21/2002 2:21:53 PM PDT
Disability payments are not retirement benifits but disability benifits. It's not double dipping by any means. They like you have paid for their Socical Security dues and disability coverage in case this unfortunate event should occur.
First I am not a disabled Vet and don't know all the details of this story but I can tell you about mine. I am disabled and get SSA and private insurance. I worked for the State of Arizona before getting ill. I paid into SSA, a retirement plan, and half the cost of long term Disablity insurance. They offset my private insurance by 64% of my SSA amount. So instead of getting $1366 from my insurance I get $811. Plus I get the joy of paying taxes on half of my insurance payment.(I pay taxes on some of my SSA benefits too, but that is a different story) So this offset isn't just happening Vets. I don't mind it as I feel I being treated fair. The only thing I don't like is paying taxes on any of my SSA.
BTW: This is zanarchist, Marajade's husband. I don't dare log her out so I can log in until I figure out how to log her back in after I post.
To: advocate10; Militiaman7; MistyCA; 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub
Thanks advocate10, I sure will.Thank you for pinging me.And please ping me to anything about this topic that you do in the future too.
On May 15, I did a disabled Veterans thread and I wish I had had this then.There will be another one in the future with more information so thank you soooo much.
Apparently, you didn't even read the article you posted. Anything to bash President Bush, I guess.
To: Snow Bunny; advocate10; Militiaman7; MistyCA; All
I'm a little tired of Jeb myself. Dubya needs to remember what he said in the campaign regarding vets!
I live in SW FL, too.
To: Republican Wildcat
Done. Thanks for making it easy with a link.
posted on 06/22/2002 8:09:46 AM PDT
There is also a WH link in the main article.
WH crap!<P> Concurrent Receipt
The Administration strongly opposes Section 641 of the current version of the bill, which would phase in full concurrent receipt of military retired pay and veterans disability compensation for military retirees with disabilities rated at sixty percent or higher. The Administration also believes that our current deficit projections necessitate strict adherence to fiscal discipline to ensure the quickest return to a balanced budget. The Administration is concerned that an amendment may be offered on the Senate floor that would expand this objectionable provision even further. Should the final version of the bill include either provision affecting concurrent receipt of retirement and disability benefits, the President's senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.
Section 641 as currently drafted is contrary to the long-standing principle that no one should be able to receive concurrent retirement benefits and disability benefits based upon the same service. All Federal compensation systems aim for an equitable percentage of income replacement in the case of either work-related injury or retirement. The Administration's preliminary estimate is that Section 641 would increase mandatory outlays by $18 billion from 2003 to 2012 and would also increase DoD discretionary costs for retirement accrual by $11 billion from FY 2004 to FY 2012, an impact that would necessarily require tradeoffs with war fighting capabilities. The Administration also strongly opposes any further expansion of Section 641 and understands that the amendment that may be offered would provide immediate full concurrent receipt. This expansion would have an estimated mandatory cost of $58 billion ($42 billion associated with the additional payment of retired pay, and $16 billion associated with payment of additional VA disability compensation under claims that would not otherwise be submitted) and DoD discretionary costs of $20 billion over 10 years.
To: Uff Da
BUMP TO THE TOP
Good on 'ya? C'mon FReepers, let congress know how you feel. The WH, too!
posted on 06/23/2002 7:25:45 AM PDT
As someone who works in a mixed civilian/military organization I have seen first hand some of the scaming that goes on when retirement time comes. There are alot of games played to get compensated for normal aging that occured while on active duty. I have no problem with those injured during actual military operations/combat getting well taken care of. However this has become like the SSI program where somehow money is expected for things that the rest of us just accept as part of getting older/living. Further more where is the money to pay for this going to come from? All those in favor of having their taxes raised put your hand up. Then again whats a few hundred billion more in debt passed on to those yet unborn. Let them worry about it right?
posted on 06/23/2002 7:45:00 AM PDT
If you were well enough to serve your full twenty and get retirement just how disabled were you? If an injury forces a early termination of a career or inability to work later that is different. As for civil service retirees just remember that almost all of their Social Security benefits are taken away. Is that fair? What does one have to do with the other?
posted on 06/23/2002 7:49:33 AM PDT
Comment #39 Removed by Moderator
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