Over the last few weeks, a chain e-mail started to circulate in military and veterans' circles, purporting that this year's increases in compensation for service-connected disabled veterans would nearly double. However, the e-mail is a hoax.
The e-mail included a mock version of a Congressional bill, H.R. 4667, which was rife with errors. The text included a chart outlining how the rates would supposedly increase "to bring monies in line to the America[sic] middle class." Here is a copy of the phony bill:
The four-page text contains multiple inconsistencies ranging from the type font to erroneous capitalization and syntax errors such as "disable veterans" and "be low." The bill also claims to be from the first session of the 111th Congress, which ended on Dec. 4, 2009.
Recently, Congress did pass a version of H.R. 4667 that will increase COLA rates for 2011 keeping with the standard percentage increases in Social Security taking effect on Dec. 1, 2010. To view a copy of the bill, which is now Public Law 111-247, Click Here.
The hoax bill was forwarded to AMVETS National Headquarters by an AMVETS National Service Officer in Georgia who was suspicious of the e-mail's content, after receiving it from a client. Other service officers soon started to receive similar inquiries into the validity of the e-mail.
AMVETS National Legislative Director Ray Kelley quickly discovered that the e-mail was fake and AMVETS National Service Department informed service officers in the field, providing each of them with the accurate bill to properly inform the veterans they serve.
Stars & Stripes Rumor Doctor also caught wind of the e-mail and published findings on the hoax.
AMVETS leaders supported the real version of H.R. 4667, which ensures veterans' service-connected compensation will increase for 2011, accounting for perpetual increases in the cost of living.