Bill to safeguard VA disability and military retirement pay introduced

Matt Saintsing
January 16, 2019 - 11:44 am

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Military retirees could keep both their retirement pay and VA disability compensation if a renewed bipartisan push becomes law. 

Introduced by Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), the Retired Pay Restoration Act would allow veterans receiving 40 percent or lower rates of a service-connected disability to keep all of their income streams. 

“Our veterans have dedicated their lives in service to our country, and should not be penalized for that service due to a bureaucratic rule,” Gabbard, founder, and co-chair of the Post-9/11 Veterans Caucus said in a statement. 

“Retirement benefits and disability benefits are two different things, and one should not be counted against the other." 

She added that hundreds of thousands of veterans are “shortchanged” since they can’t receive their full retirement paychecks and disability benefits they’ve earned. 

“Our nation’s veterans have earned and deserve the utmost respect, best possible services and care for the sacrifices they and their families have made to defend this country—especially under the constant threat of global terrorism,” added Bilirakis. 

“However, under current law, some military retirees have their disability pay deducted from their retirement pay, which is unconscionable.” 

The legislation has been pushed by Bilirakis before, but with Democrats now in the majority of the House, he said he was “honored and grateful” to have Gabbard’s support. 

“I am hopeful with our combined efforts, this will be the year we are able to finally rectify this injustice,” said Bilirakis. 

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