The official blog of American Veteran Magazine, the national quarterly publication of AMVETS.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Informational Alert #13 - 1

Newly Introduced Concurrent Receipt Legislation H.R. 303, H.R. 333, S234

This alert is related to AMVETS Resolution 13-21, which calls for enactment of legislation that would provide full and immediate concurrent receipt for all disabled military retirees.
Issue: Congress needs to fully eliminate the law that makes most disabled uniformed services retirees forfeit part or all of their military retired pay for VA disability compensation.
Background: For years, AMVETS has fought for legislation to provide relief from the antiquated law that requires a dollar-for-dollar offset of military retired pay for VA disability compensation. AMVETS wholeheartedly believes that retired pay is earned during a career of uniformed service, and VA disability compensation is recompense for pain, suffering and lost future earning power due to service-connected disabilities.
Since 2003 when Congress took the first, yet limited step towards eliminating this injustice for a small, yet significant, group of disabled retirees, steady incremental progress has continued to be made. Over the last six years, AMVETS has been involved in the battle which fully restored earned service-based retired pay for 100 percent disabled retirees with at least 20 years of service and all combat-disabled retirees without regard to length of service or percentage of combat-related disability.
Perhaps most importantly, AMVETS fought in the battle, which won a scheduled 10 year phase-out of the disability offset (to be completed by 2014) for retirees with 50 percent or higher-rated non-combat-related disabilities who have at least 20 years of service or were retired under the Temporary Early Retirement Authority of the 1990s.  
AMVETS has been and continues to be committed to ending the disability offset for all disabled retirees.  AMVETS strongly believes in the precept that career military members earn their retired pay by service alone, and that those unfortunate enough to suffer a service-connected disability during their time in service should not have any VA disability compensation subtracted from their retirement pay.  AMVETS does not support any distinction between service members disabled for combat versus non-combat-related causes, since the impact on their quality of life and future earnings ability would be equivalent.
Key Bills/Status: Congressman Gus Bilirakis, R-S.C., has reintroduced H.R. 303, the Retired Pay Restoration Act, would expand concurrent receipt for all length of service retirees regardless of disability rating.
Congressman Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., has introduced H.R. 333, the Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act, which includes elements of H.R.303 and expands concurrent receipt to Chapter 61 retirees with less than 20 years of service.
Senator Harry Reid, D-Nev., recently introduced S 234 which is a bill to permit certain retired members of the uniformed services who have a service-connected disability to receive both disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs for their disability and either retired pay by reason of their years of military service or Combat-Related Special Compensation, and for other purposes.
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  3. Its time to compensate veterans with the retirement they earned and the VA benefits they earned. Both were earned by sacrifice.

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