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UPDATE ON DISABLED VETS SCREW JOB
The Retired Officer Association | Today

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
President.

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
military retirees.

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
a wastebasket.

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
retirees fairly."

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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Please contact the WH with the link provided.
1 posted on 06/21/2002 10:33:26 AM PDT by advocate10
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To: Snow Bunny; Lazamataz
Please contact the WH with the link provided above. The letter is already written for you!

I am writing to urge you not to veto the FY 2003 Defense Authorization Bill over Congress' support for concurrent receipt of military retired pay and VA disability compensation. Military retired pay and veterans' disability compensation are two entirely different things. Each is earned in its own right--retired pay for a career of arduous service and disability compensation for the pain and suffering, and lost future earnings, resulting from service-connected disabilities. In many cases, military members with decades of service must forfeit most or all of their earned retired pay to receive the same disability compensation paid to a similarly disabled member with just a few years of service. 90% of House members and 83% of senators recognize the right answer and have made it a national priority to fix this major inequity. In this time of heightened national awareness of the sacrifices inherent in military service, I cannot conceive that you would veto the defense bill for the express purpose of denying disabled military retirees their earned retired pay. I urge you most strongly to ignore any such misguided advice and to help bring closure to the great disservice our disabled military retirees now suffer. Sincerely,

2 posted on 06/21/2002 10:41:22 AM PDT by advocate10
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To: kayak; rintense; Brad's Gramma; homeschool mama; NordP
Ping!
3 posted on 06/21/2002 10:43:35 AM PDT by advocate10
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To: advocate10
Done

You can do the same though the DAV at Disabled American Veterans

Press the Go button in the TAKE ACTION NOW box.

4 posted on 06/21/2002 10:44:28 AM PDT by Militiaman7
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To: advocate10
Whitehouse contact numbers

A phone call is worth many emails so I've been told.

Give GWB a call and let him know you support Retired Disabled Vet and for that matter all vets.

5 posted on 06/21/2002 10:48:27 AM PDT by Militiaman7
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To: Militiaman7
Good idea!

Thanks!

6 posted on 06/21/2002 11:04:23 AM PDT by advocate10
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To: advocate10
Thanks for the heads-up!
7 posted on 06/21/2002 11:09:24 AM PDT by old school
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To: advocate10
Done deal, I sent a letter yesterday when I first heard of this, From what I have read, the veto threat did not come from the White House on this issue, The White House has said it would veto the bill if the "Crusader" weapons system was included.
8 posted on 06/21/2002 11:16:32 AM PDT by MJY1288
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To: advocate10
I must be missing something. Military retirment pay and veterans' disability compensation should both be generous, and a person eligible for both should get more money than a person only getting one, but why should anyone get full benefits under both programs at once? Most of us are both Patriots and Taxpayers here at FreeRepublic. I guess I should go back to work.

Before I put the gas can down and let the flames ignite, I better remind everyone that this anniegetyourgun started a "Complement Week" thread this morning so that we could be nice to each other.

9 posted on 06/21/2002 11:19:31 AM PDT by Kaisersrsic
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To: advocate10
Wonderful News! It is sad that many of the Nation's most deserving Vet's, the one's who fought WWII and Korea, will not ever see a penny of this much deserved Compensation.

The Retired Military are the only people who pay their own disability; my DOD Civil Service coworkers who served a few years draw both their full Civil Service Pay Checks and their VA Disability and have the nerve to think a Retiree is double dipping.... I sometimes feel that it would be only fair to endorse taking Civil Servant's pay to offset their VA Disability Compensation just to shut them up.

10 posted on 06/21/2002 11:24:13 AM PDT by Jumper
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To: MJY1288; All
The actual OMB message, which contains the threat to recommend to the President that he veto the bill if concurrent receipt in included is linked here - http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/ legislative/sap/107-2/S2514-s.html/

The Crusader is also discussed.

11 posted on 06/21/2002 11:34:44 AM PDT by surely_you_jest
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To: surely_you_jest
My mistake; the link does not include the final "/" mark, therefore

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/ legislative/sap/107-2/S2514-s.html
12 posted on 06/21/2002 11:37:10 AM PDT by surely_you_jest
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To: surely_you_jest
Thanks for the link
13 posted on 06/21/2002 11:44:54 AM PDT by MJY1288
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To: surely_you_jest
I read the "Concurrent Receipt" crap on the WH site. Did Bush mean what he said about veterans benifits during the campaign, or not!

I guess he is just another candidate who will say anything to get elected!

Am I disappointed in him?!

14 posted on 06/21/2002 11:51:07 AM PDT by advocate10
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To: Kaisersrsic
I must be missing something. Military retirment pay and veterans' disability compensation should both be generous, and a person eligible for both should get more money than a person only getting one, but why should anyone get full benefits under both programs at once? Most of us are both Patriots and Taxpayers here at FreeRepublic. I guess I should go back to work.

What if you put in your 20 years at the Ulcer Factory in your town? You had retirement benifits earned with a potential to work another 20-30 years but an injury disabled you at 20 years to where you could not work those remaining 20-30 years either at the Ulcer Factory or the Heartburn plant across the road. Now do you think it is right for your pay to stop and for you be told to live on the 20 year retirement pay at the Ulcer Plant? Especially when you had the potential to earn 20-30 years more wages there or elsewhere? That's what this is about. Military Retirement like any other retirement is a condition of employment.

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.

15 posted on 06/21/2002 11:55:46 AM PDT by cva66snipe
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To: advocate10
Additional threads on Concurrent Receipt.

Senate Oks pay for Disabled Vets

Let's End Inequity to Disabled Vets

Administration Threatens Veto Over Concurrent Receipt

16 posted on 06/21/2002 12:02:03 PM PDT by Militiaman7
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To: advocate10
While I suspect that this thing was written by some military-hating bureaucrat in some flyspecked cubicle somewhere in DC, responsible adult leadership should never have allowed this to go out. (I'm attempting to be charitable here.)

My wife and I were on active duty during the last election (since retired) and cast two of the now-famous Florida Military Absentee ballots, in favor of Dubya. We are, to say the least, very disappointed.

What is really interesting is what a firestorm this has started down in SW FL, where I live, which is normally very solidly Republican. In the last 24 hours, I have been into my VFW, DAV and American Legion posts. Those guys are sorely PO'd about this. As are some of my TROA brethren in other states. The local guys are threatening to take it out on Jeb at the polls, who is up for re-election this fall, just to get Dubya's attention, and so on. I believe that this OMB letter has managed, at a stroke, to create a sizable number of one-issue voters amongst folks who normally try and see the big picture.

One this is for sure - this is going to be interesting.



17 posted on 06/21/2002 12:05:33 PM PDT by surely_you_jest
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To: surely_you_jest
It isn't only Florida. DAV'S in Virginia are fired up too.

Any Pubbie running will feel the pain.

18 posted on 06/21/2002 12:27:56 PM PDT by Militiaman7
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To: cva66snipe
You should not compare the veteran's disability payments to private sector disability insurance because in almost any private sector disability plan benefits would cut off completely after only two years if the person could hold any job. The VA plan sounds alot closer to Worker's Compensation, which is no picnic because employers actually fight claims.

You said: Now do you think it is right for your pay to stop and for you be told to live on the 20 year retirement pay at the Ulcer Plant? Especially when you had the potential to earn 20-30 years more wages there or elsewhere? That's what this is about

Even if the 60% limitation were put in place, that does not mean that a vet eligible for both retirment and disability benefits will not also find good work. If this was really just about vets who can no longer work then Congress then I would agree with you. Congress should write a bill that fixes that problem rather than throwing together two programs that were specifically designed to have an offset.

19 posted on 06/21/2002 1:09:14 PM PDT by Kaisersrsic
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To: Kaisersrsic
Many 60-100% DAVs are unemployable and therefore cannot earn a living.
20 posted on 06/21/2002 1:50:14 PM PDT by Militiaman7
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To: Kaisersrsic
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.
21 posted on 06/21/2002 2:21:53 PM PDT by Jumper
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To: cva66snipe
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.

22 posted on 06/21/2002 2:50:10 PM PDT by sabe@q.com
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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.

23 posted on 06/21/2002 8:47:27 PM PDT by Snow Bunny
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To: advocate10
Apparently, you didn't even read the article you posted. Anything to bash President Bush, I guess.
24 posted on 06/21/2002 8:51:06 PM PDT by Republican Wildcat
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To: Snow Bunny; advocate10; Militiaman7; MistyCA; All
"On May 15, I did a disabled Veterans thread":

Here is your thread Snow Bunny.

USO Canteen FReeper Style..Honors Disabled Veterans....May 15,2002^
25 posted on 06/21/2002 10:22:05 PM PDT by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
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To: surely_you_jest
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.

26 posted on 06/22/2002 6:31:29 AM PDT by advocate10
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To: Republican Wildcat

Administration Threatens Veto Over Concurrent Receipt


27 posted on 06/22/2002 6:34:02 AM PDT by advocate10
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub
Ping!
28 posted on 06/22/2002 7:58:05 AM PDT by advocate10
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To: Militiaman7
Done. Thanks for making it easy with a link.
29 posted on 06/22/2002 8:09:46 AM PDT by d4now
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To: d4now
There is also a WH link in the main article.
30 posted on 06/22/2002 9:31:26 AM PDT by advocate10
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To: surely_you_jest
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.


31 posted on 06/22/2002 9:37:10 AM PDT by advocate10
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To: Uff Da
Ping.
32 posted on 06/22/2002 9:40:28 AM PDT by advocate10
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To: advocate10
Shameless bump.
33 posted on 06/22/2002 12:13:07 PM PDT by advocate10
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To: advocate10
BUMP TO THE TOP

34 posted on 06/22/2002 1:47:10 PM PDT by Militiaman7
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To: Militiaman7
BTTT
35 posted on 06/22/2002 4:40:56 PM PDT by surely_you_jest
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To: MJY1288
Good on 'ya? C'mon FReepers, let congress know how you feel. The WH, too!
36 posted on 06/23/2002 7:25:45 AM PDT by matrix
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To: Kaisersrsic
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?
37 posted on 06/23/2002 7:45:00 AM PDT by willyone
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To: Jumper
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?
38 posted on 06/23/2002 7:49:33 AM PDT by willyone
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: advocate10
http://www.freerepublic.com/fo cus/news/704632/posts/, 24 Billion (a year)for Illegal Immigrant Health Care)

More than enought to pay for Concurrent Receipt BTTT.
40 posted on 06/23/2002 9:36:30 AM PDT by Militiaman7
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To: willyone
Medically boarded at the end, held 3-months past 20-years and then given voluntary retirement which was already requested. Back surgery 10-months before retirement release and never really "healthly" (military medicine sometimes is not the greatest); limited light duties, and still in pain every single day of my life since 1992.... How about 60% for sciatic never injury, 6 disc damaged, 2 crushed, 2 post operative; 3 more ratings of 10%, and 6 additioanl for 0% (recognized for treatment at a VA center at 0%). VA opened a second claim as a result of my records and pending a decision on a separate rating for additional back injuries - Jumping out of airplanes is tough business, heavy equipment, night time, trees and other jumpers in the air - and then you get pavement or stone when you hit - was knocked unconscious 3-times; one of them was the one that did me in!

How bad? I don't know - I hurt every day and take medication for pain frequently; am on arthritus med's daily which helps, have used all every single day of my sick leave and vacation time in past 7-years for medical absence and been out without pay about another 12-weeks during that span - so you see my vacations are all "laid up". You be the judge but I wouldn't do a darn thing different if I had to do it all over again - Paratroopers and being a professional soldier was something most people will never understand, something most people could/cannot do.

Ouch:) But proud and willing to help anyone with anything.

41 posted on 06/23/2002 12:15:01 PM PDT by Jumper
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To: advocate10
bump!
42 posted on 06/24/2002 7:19:16 PM PDT by dalebert
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To: willyone
I'm sure scamming goes on in all government programs, but given a choice I perfer to be scammed by a few service men, than an immigrant, legal or illegal and the Elected officals that support and promote that scam.
43 posted on 06/24/2002 7:26:24 PM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: willyone
Tell ya what...Agent Orange doesn't appear until years after the exposure...that's hoe disabled! Cancers from AO are rampant as is Hep C, etc.

Remember...any draftee can and does claim and get full comp. for SC illness/injury...the ONLY ones who do NOT are retired mil.

44 posted on 06/24/2002 9:39:54 PM PDT by NMFXSTC
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To: MissAmericanPie
I have first hand knowledge of the system. I don't see how "scamming" could have taken place in my case, and probably very few others.
45 posted on 06/25/2002 2:27:05 PM PDT by advocate10
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To: advocate10
I agree with you, I'm not saying there is scamming going on, I don't really care if there is. A few scammers is a sorry excuse for denying all our disabled veterns the assistance they need and deserve.
46 posted on 06/25/2002 2:31:42 PM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: Militiaman7
In the meantime, we urge everyone 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.


47 posted on 06/27/2002 5:20:49 AM PDT by advocate10
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To: MissAmericanPie
Ping!
48 posted on 06/28/2002 8:17:20 AM PDT by advocate10
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To: advocate10
Thanks for the heads up, emailed and sent.
49 posted on 06/28/2002 8:35:01 AM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: surely_you_jest
Thursday afternoon, following a week of debate, the Senate voted 92-to-2 to approve its version of the FY2003 Defense Authorization Bill (S. 2514).

As previously reported, S. 2514 would provide various pay and benefit improvements, including:
*A 4.1% to 6.5% pay raise for active duty, Guard and Reserve forces, depending on grade and longevity.
*Elimination of any TRICARE For Life preauthorization requirement for inpatient mental health treatment when Medicare is the primary payer.
*Acceptance of any willing Medicare provider as a TRICARE provider (eliminates some of the paperwork requirements that discourage doctors from participating in TRICARE).

Amendments added to the bill over the last week include provisions to:
*Authorize full concurrent receipt of uniformed services retired pay and VA disability compensation for all disabled retirees with 20 or more years of service, effective October 1, or the first day of the month after enactment, whichever is later.
*Increase service manpower ceilings for FY2003 (by 5,000 for the Army; 3,500 for the Navy; 3,500 for the Air Force; and 2,400 for the Marine Corps).

Now we have to get Dubya on board!

50 posted on 06/28/2002 5:45:22 PM PDT by advocate10
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