Thursday, July 3, 2014

Disabled veterans’ pay stays on the cutting floor
Some that maintain a sense of humor wear caps embossed with the words, “Dysfunctional Veteran – Leave Me Alone,” but the government won’t leave them alone; because it’s about money.
Others are fitted for prosthesis, feel their bodies deteriorate from Agent Orange, or live in a mindless prison due to what they have seen and cannot process. The government does not want to leave them alone either — because it’s about money.
One of the tasks of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is to come up with ideas to lower deficits or redirect entitlements that at least give the impression deficits are reduced. The CBO, as a think tank, spews out “budget options” — without fear of retaliation. This agency is not concerned with the difficulties their “options” create, regardless of the personal costs to forced donors. However; as a CYA, or omen, CBO does claim, “These are not recommendations – only options to inform lawmakers.”
Over 100 options are in a Nov. 14, 2013 study: “Options for Reducing the Deficit 2014 – 2023. In addition to costly changes in Social Security and Medicare there is a lesser known option suggesting a reversal of a law that had corrected a discriminatory denial of benefits for disabled veterans.
This “option” calls for the reversing of a “concurrent receipt” order that allows retired disabled veterans to receive both military retirement and Veterans Administration disability payments.
For over 120 years retired military members were the only faction of the federal government ineligible to receive their rightful concurrent receipt. Doesn’t it seem strange that FBI and CIA Agents were eligible for concurrent receipt although these are not the groups most likely placed in harm’s way? It’s about money.
In 2003, after virtually 20 years of lobbying and presenting its case to the Supreme Court the “Uniformed Services Disabled Retirees” (USDR) was able to get Congress to phase out this discriminatory ban on “concurrent receipt,” but only for retirees with disability ratings of 50 percent or higher.

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