CBO Proposes Huge Cuts To Veterans Disability Program

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Veterans Disability Program

Benjamin KrauseOn the back of one of the most disgusting scandal against veterans ever, our government took a first look into cutting VA’s veterans disability program.

Yesterday, Washington Times (WT) published a predictable anti-veterans benefits article in a lopsided analysis of VA benefits supported by a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report to cut benefits. The report notes that payouts for veterans benefits have increased since 2000. In response to the findings of the report, CBO proposed draconian cuts to disability compensation. These proposals from CBO are always a first or second step to cuts proposed by Congress down the road.

While no one can deny that the VA budget is increasing, CBO fails to really address why the increases are happening – and WT in turn conveniently overlooks this shortcoming in its analysis. The reason for the increased payments is paid little tribute. And in light of  the overall disgrace our nation is faced with in light of decades of failure in the acknowledgement of our commitments to veterans, the article and CBO report are little more than shameful trash.

[Read the CBO Benefits Summary Report here.]

WHO REQUESTED THE REPORT?

Congressman Mike Michaud (D-ME) is the lawmaker who requested that the Congressional Budget Office review the increase, and that report was released last week. WT thought it would take a crack at promoting anti-benefits rhetoric on the back of the most treacherous scandal in VA history without digging deeper into the issues.

The article pointed out that disabled veterans are “getting 60 percent more in payments than the average in 2000.” Veteran suffering from mental illness are targeted as the leading group causing the jump in payouts.

But what does this mean? Perhaps this move by Democrats will be used to keep VA’s budget at neutral despite the current payout to help VA not kill veterans by violating their rights and the law?

Any way you hack it, statements like these are hooks naysayers in Capitol Hill use to justify breaking promises with those who volunteered to protect our country – United States veterans. Their push is to reduce compensatory programs for veterans, and the push has been going on for some time.

In this instance, the push will be fueled on the faulty premise that the increased payouts is somehow surprising or unwarranted. Instead, the change is likely due to an uptick in web technology, general education about benefits, and higher accountability of VA’s past failures from the courts. So in reality, America is closer to being accountable for the costs of war.

What did WT not mention in the WT article?

THE HIDDEN TRUTH

WT and CBO failed to highlight the reason for the likely increase in certain types of payouts. It failed to mention VA has been wrongly denying veterans for decades with mental health conditions and complicated disabilities by illegally denying benefits while prohibiting oversight by the courts. It also failed to mention that VA has been largely underfunded for decades and the article did not account for the government finally providing proper payouts to Vietnam veterans exposed Agent Orange after 40 years of false denials.

Why would a journalist or policy analyst omit any form of causal analysis? I am not sure why. I am sure Washington Times generally comes out against veterans benefits, fair military pay and related benefits. They usually support anyone or any position that condones pinching pennies on the back of the little guy while in reality the government is increasing handouts for private business.

The reality is that we as a nation have a requirement to abide by our commitments to all people, including veterans. The reality is that we as a nation have shirked our responsibilities and lied to ourselves about the true costs of war, the cost of which tend to be much more expensive after the war is over.

The CBO report is just another example of what our country through Congress does to shirk its responsibilities. What kind of heartless and dishonorable Americans would support such policy changes?  Will these people ever get shipped out of the CBO? Why does the CBO not focus on encouraging Congress to cut down on fighting wars to save even money?

Oh right, there is a lot of money in banking, weapons and other money pots that in turn recycle the war wealth into the pockets of politicians.

DRACONIAN CBO BENEFITS CUTS

CBO presented eight different options to “cut costs” which in my mind is an insult to the nature of being a disabled veteran. Here are the most insulting suggestions from CBO that it wants Congress to consider:

  • Prevent veterans’ concurrent receipt of disability benefits and retirement. So, unlike Federal Employees, lower paid military members who are injured in service will get screwed. This would save $119 billion.
  • Veterans would be prohibited from filing disability benefits applications after five years following separation from the military.  This would save $28 million.
  • Tax disability benefits. This would save $64 billion.

Here is the full list of suggestions for cuts:

  1. Create time limit for initial application for disability compensation.
  2. Require VA to spend more money reexamining veterans to reduce payouts.
  3. Revoke positive association with presumptive conditions.
  4. Restrict Individual Unemployability benefits to those under retirement.
  5. Supplement payments to veterans with mental disorders.
  6. Change the cost of living adjustment.
  7. Eliminate concurrent receipt of benefits.
  8. Tax VA disability payments.

[Download the original full CBO report that CBO deleted.]

[Download the revised full CBO report that CBO reposted.]

What do you think about these proposed cuts?

UPDATE 8/13/14 – CBO deleted the original full report from the below link: http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/45615-VADisability_1.pdf

 

Read More: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/10/government-disability-payments-skyrocketing-despit/

http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45615

http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/45615-VADisability_2.pdf 

 

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59 Comments

  1. I’m a 100% TDIU permanent and total veteran over age 65. This CBO recommendation, if enacted by the Congress would mean that because I’m over the age of 65, my rating would be reduced back to the original 70% rating causing a 55% decrease in my monthly compensation. This rating reduction will also disqualify me from receiving VA dental care at 100%. I would also lose military MWR commissary and PX privileges. All together, this will all lower my already low quality of life, but none of that matters to the politicians up in Washington DC. Also, I was recently diagnosed with a cancer that is a presumptive condition associated with Agent Orange exposure. Well, I was so called boots on the ground three and a half years in ‘Nam. I ate the food and drank the water over there. I sprayed Agent Orange too. So, I “presume” I was exposed to Agent Orange. I also got damage to my teeth in Viet-Nam . Not by enemy fire but by neglect. I didn’t get dental care in Viet-Nam for three and a half years. I couldn’t take care of my teeth over there neither. We couldn’t keep things like toothpaste or tooth powder because they would ruin under the harsh conditions we were in under that tropical climate. I had to brush my teeth with just plain water over there. That all caused dental decay and damage to my teeth and gums that still need to get fixed to this day. But I guess the politicians can say that I was the one that neglected my teeth over in Viet-Nam. The CBO recommends getting rid of presumptive diseases too. They’re really trying to stick it to all of us old guys. They (the politicians) are saying, ” Those old guys just have to die and go away. We’re sick and tired of them Screw ’em!”

    • It looks like we will ALL pay for the genrious $16 Billion Pork barrel
      Bill just past by the Senate.This is not a win-win, it’s a zero sum game .A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero

  2. Wow, that’s pretty damn weak. I don’t think a bill like this would ever come to pass anytime in the near future. Even if it did, Obama would hopefully veto it. The VSOs will be up in arms about this.

    • I don`t think it would ever get to Obama`s desk…with a democrat initiating the action it would be a tough sell but you never know. It will be bucked up to the next administration to handle this tough hot ball.

    • Attack on veterans benefits is uncalled for. I would like for someone to list all the benefits the President, Vice President, Congress, Senators and other federal elected officials who serve one or more term(s).

  3. The CBO should be ashamed for even suggesting that we cut veteran benefits as a way to save money after all the scandals that have already cost our country so much. Start collection action on those executive bonuses if you want some money back! And the Washington Post…. how can they even allow someone to report on something he doesn’t understand and obviously didn’t investigate? That reporter should have mandatory time at basic training and at least six months in a war zone before he even dares to talk about breaking our agreement with those who protect our freedoms. He does not comprehend what they give up in return for very modest benefits.

    Frankly, it is already very difficult to get any benefit from the VA. It took my husband over three years to have all of his conditions evaluated and documented so the military would finally medically retire him. Then when the VA benefits kicked in, we had to reapply for everything he just established (caregiver benefits, CRSC, life insurance, dependent status for eligible students, etc) All that while he is still being treated for a numerous conditions, trying to heal, and raising a family. This stuff doesn’t just get handed over to vets – they work for it even after they’ve earned it. And now being TDRL, they can re-evaluate him and take a chunk of his only income away based on one exam!I just don’t know where people get this image of veterans getting rich off the meager benefits they earned. It’s just a group that is vulnerable and therefore easy to abuse. It is easier to just be homeless in America and rely on the goodness of nonprofit groups than it is to apply for and receive veteran benefits. What is wrong with these people? Thanks for giving veterans a voice!

    • I belive the article was in the Washington Times, not the Washington Post. Many of this person’s specific issues are very accurate- It is a constant up hill battle to get the VA to perform its duties and obligations. I generally don’t place the fault with the medical providers-rather, with the multiple levels of an inept management and administrative hierarchy and the bean counters that are more concerned with form as opposed to substance.

  4. What the CBO recommends for all of us TDIU 100% PT veterans over 65 years of age, not only by lowering our disability rating would also open us up to being called in for re-examinations by the VA where they can low ball us again, therefore further lowering our rating. I know from past experience how the VA can low ball you on an examination!

  5. I Read the article, why are you coming down on the reporter and Washington Times for something a Congressman initiated. The paper and the reporter are just reporting those facts and figures as they were presented by the CBO. I am guessing you don’t really understand the mission of the CBO in the first place and that is why you are so freaked out.

    • The “news” is what conditions the mind. Omitting information is the same as lying.why is a news station lying about facts? Because they are owned by people with an agenda.

    • Tell me Jim, when was the last time a reporter actually reported the facts? Why are you defending the reporter and not the facts that Ben has listed? What’s your agenda? Maybe you’re a reporter yourself, but still prove Ben wrong and not sidestep the questions that he has raised.

      • The anger is at the wrong person, it should be directed toward the congressman for requesting the CBO do their jobs. The reporter and the newspaper reported only what the CBO and the congressman basically already ascertained. I did not dispute the facts just the direction of the outrage. The Washington Times has always been a right leaning newspaper and pro-veteran unlike its cousin the Washinton Post so by saying it does not support Vets is kind of inaccurate to say the least.

      • I have to agree with the posters who question why this is a hit piece on the Washington Times. A reporter is not obligated, nor is it desirable for him to bring forward the many arguments against a report by a government agency. Google, Washington Times veterans opinions and you will see their coverage has been pro-veteran. Sorry, you missed this one Ben.

        As to the information from the CBO, we always need to be aware of what the pencil pushers are doing and I thank Ben for bringing that forward.

  6. This is so very sad. Thank you Ben for providing this kind of information. What can be done about it? Do a march on the capital. Do a Congressional hearing and having veterans write the impact of cutting benefits. It is difficult to fight when you are under the weather. Maybe a counter offer is to expose to America the exact salaries, benefits, and time on the job the Congress men and women enjoy. We pay billions of dollars to help other countries but want to discuss budget cuts for the defense of our nation. People are more important and less expendable that high cost equipment. There should be a mandate that you cannot run for office if you did not serve in the military a minimum of two years.
    Maybe we can go on TV and expose what Congress is up to behind the curtains. Once the benefit is put out there, it should never be touched again. It took forever to appreciate the service of Vietnam veterans. The most costly in terms of casualties with mental health concerns is increasingly increasing in support of the War on Terrorism. And America doesn’t want to employ veterans especially back to their pre-service veterans.
    This hurts and adds to my mental health concerns. I hope and pray the right thing is done by our political leaders. God Bless America! What will wake America up again,,,, another 9/11 tragedy.

  7. Here’s an idea. The CBO estimates that Medicare fraud alone results in a quarter of a TRILLION dollars of misappropriated taxpayer dollars annually. Why not tighter up these loopholes before you come after the little bit we veterans are getting?

    Even better, just tighten up accountability within the agency. Wasn’t it just last week we discovered that the VA couldn’t account for something like 200 billion dollars since the start of the Obama administration?

    Bottom line, though, this legislation will never be brought to the floor of either chamber of congress for a vote. Taxing VA benefits has been a Holy Grail for the Leftists in this country for years, but anyone openly advocating it is committing political suicide.

    • Steve, there are those who are honest and “play by the rules,” and when you work for a couple as they were military officers and I love this, “CONSERVATIVES,” as I had an Obama sticker from the first election, not noticed by me as it was on a side window. I was told I could get shot at where they lived, wait, I am in the same damn state, I could get shot at period for some of my colorful t-shirts, especially to throw people off! Texas, must be in the air, or in the nasty water, or “Gather Here All Yea Liars & Thieves.” Now, please, I am not saying everyone, but just seems to be damn strange that people use strange methods of turning in and tuning out when it comes to Voting and Religion. I take my right to vote seriously, and I do my “Adult Homework.” Religion(s) I have studied many, was encouraged to when I went to do my first holy communion, yes, strange me at 7-8, in a confessional, but just stand back and watch how crazy people get and want to shove it down your throat, no thanks, cool priest from Ireland back in the 1960’s, and doubt it period when the scandalous priests were found out. (,that is not just a Catholic Thing, Trust Me!)
      Of course, this guy knew everything, when it came to military, ( not, I sorta live with a guy who was in “that field?”) but they as a business did NOT HAVE THEIR ACT TOGETHER! I used the same thing most do, talk with your manager and so forth, to get results! Didn’t work.
      My political Muse is an Independent, but this country has this crazy two party system I watched get worse, not better! But having to hear them, and “Faux Pas Views,” ( Fox News) and truly was getting to be an annoyance, but, I PLAY BY THE LEGAL RULES!
      Medicare and for anyone in the field of any type of patient care must comply no excuses, which lord they had a barrel full with HIPAA LAWS. They must have had a patient or a legal care taker, sign the HIPAA consent form, these are home bound services and many are popping up, or were, for medical in home services.
      Now, he liked to brag about his political dealings, really I could care less what Political Butt You Kissed, because they may stop it at a state level, but can I dare say “GAME ON?” Because I mentioned numerous times the things we can do, not do, okay told you grown ups now too many times, sorry, not worth the loss of my certification(s) for you. I considered it an “OXYMORON STATEMENT” when you wish not to give money in any way to the Federal Government but TAKING when NOT COMPLYING FITS ALL KIND OF WRONG? Even when I found out they were not charging a co-pay then were told they needed to but decided what they would do is “notify the patients or care takers” ignore basically the you gotta pay your part.” SCREAMS BLOODY DAMN WRONG!”
      I was annoyed numerous times with calls after hours, but, I have that “crazy work ethic” help out and do the job. ( medical people, we are all kinds of strange!) But, my annoyance and tolerance was being pushed, not only that, they had no Cats, then Three Cats, and I truly love all animals, but hey, after a sinus surgery, my nose was opened up to the wonderful dander and long hair everywhere giving my allergies a fit, not good, they had dogs, that I am fine with, I can no longer tolerate cats.after my “fifth” sinus infection, yes my eyes itched, yes I had to use eye drops, but constantly taking drugs already in my life, I don’t like adding more to it. MY BUTTONS HAD BEEN PUSHED IN MANY OTHER WAYS BY A SARCASTIC YOUNG MAN WHO WAS ALSO A “PROBLEM.”
      Now, do you think I turned them in? As I say, “I have a whistle and I will blow it?” It took a couple of years, but, I think it doesn’t matter, especially since everything is electronic, they will find what is needed, Did I ever meet those who search? I think my whistle and belief of “I OWN IT” should give you a clue. So, remember, yes, there are those that rather be honest, pay taxes, and shall not fear a thing. A gun? Nah, just a “WHISTLE” will do. A West Coast Child born where damn Facebook took over, but moved on down South to be raised, was taught, “YOU OWN IT!” Sorry for the long written reply, you need to see the “new things of this nature” are being watched, hunted and time will reveal who is wronged should have to make it right!

  8. I think most veterans realize the MEDIA are puppets,and depending on who is pulling their strings is how the issues are slanted. Thank you Ben for attempting to keep the public informed of what subversive faction is pulling those strings.

  9. This started in the Boston Globe with an anti veteran article. This was picked up by other papers. So the anti veteran feelings and proposals were out there BEFORE the CBO report.

    The only difference is that yesterday’s article now appears to be more legit in view of the report.

    The idea is old the Support for it is what is new business.

    We must fight this right away. Our people are being asked to send E-mail immediately to their Congressman/woman and both of their Senators asking again for them to say something.

  10. **SHIT LIKE THIS** does nothing but to elevate anxiety/depression levels of Vets already living on the proverbial edge, living with PTSD and just getting by day to day. I am not saying it should NOT be reported rather, these cold-hearted basTURDS in Washington always seem to miss the 800 LB gorilla right in front of them. For starters…people that have worked ALL their lives and then retire on Medicare DO NOT RECEIVE ANY DENTAL CARE…AT ALL!!!! However, anyone on State MediCADE (Welfare) and OBAMACARE, get CARTE’ BLANCHE FREE DENTAL AND ANYTHING ELSE, while we Veterans barely have ANY dental care and that’s even questionable because I stopped counting the number of form letters the VA has sent out INFORMING me that just in case I HAD SEEN ANY DR/DENTIST on list, to go get tested for all the Heps and HIV because yet another shitty foreigner Dr. the VA got on the cheap was going from one Veteran’s mouth to another with bloody unsterilized tools…or a regular Dr./Surgeon doing the same.

    ALSO, regardless of political affiliation, IF every politician were REQUIRED TO USE THE VA HEALTH SERVICES, those self-absorbed basTURDS would finally perhaps be outraged by what is finally coming to the very ugly surface of quality of care and bonuses earned for maintaining the same shitty care.

    I think it would be great IF THE CBO DID A COST ANALYSIS ON HOW MUCH COULD BE SAVED BY TOTALLY ELIMINATING VA EMPLOYEE’S BONUSES…PERIOD!! Because said incentives are NOT helping Veterans, yet these bonuses are the INCENTIVE to keep as dysfunction in the VA ongoing on the very backs and minds of we that have already fought one fight after another, but are forced to fight the VA.

    In my city of Columbus, they are actually TEARING DOWN a barely 50 year old Veteran’s Memorial Building and Offices that houses the County Commissioner’s Veteran Assistance counseling offices….WHY?…..only to replace that whole lot of real estate with A BIKE PATH ALONG THE RIVER as the mayor’s pet project!!! THEY HAVE NOT EVEN MADE A NEW LOCATION FOR THESE OFFICES YET BUT DEMOLITION IS EMINATE AND SOON. These offices are THE ONLY safety net for homeless Vets that have already been screwed by the VA or Vets that fall through carefully orchestrated HOLES in other safety nets.

    Why can’t real money be saved by addressing the REAL PORK FAT IN THE VA such as those still collecting fat salaries even when caught red-handed screwing Vets through scandals uncovered in the last 8 months and eliminating bonuses/incentives to continue such practices?

    We are NOT getting rich off any benefits we happen to be receiving.

    WTF????!!!!

  11. honer, duty, country, is something we live by. they have none of it. who in there right mind would serve anymore. its time to rise up and make them pay the price for there freedoms.maybe then when they are squealing like pigs at the end of a rope, they will get it.

    • It is as if a great curse befell them and all they have left is there, pride, customs, and voices. the last mast.

  12. The country wants to pay College and University Athletes for their service but not Veterans. They say the Athletes need pay for their injuries and school tuition. Sounds like they are trying to take money from Vets and give it to jocks before these kids even get a degree. Maybe they should be required to serve in the Military before tax payers give them any benefits (Coaches too)

  13. Here is a SUPER SIZE BIG POLITICAL ISSUE EVERY WHERE AND BE DAMNED, THE NEO-CONSERVATIVE MENTALITY BLAMES THIS ADMINISTRATION, BUT, GET REAL PEOPLE, THIS GOES WAY BACK!
    The problem right off the bat, “sometimes veterans issues do not show up till later in life.” So this list would validate screw you over veterans one more time, wait, been doing it since the 1960’s!
    For me, I injured my back in 1981, being stubborn and not going then to file a claim, being pregnant which aggravated the condition, and being on a small island in Hawaii, wasn’t exactly what I could do, but I could keep my muscles strong! I also dealt with two other issues, and was very young, I shall tell you, “the mind locks the bad things away.” This is a natural response, however you don’t see it, until that door opens, then you can review it and say, “damn that is so off!”
    George Carlin stated it best, known for his political satire which could be funny, but wasn’t always so funny, “NAILED IT.”
    Why do I say NEO-CONSERVATIVE MENTALITY? Well, you need to realize is that Politicians are “GRAND STANDING” if they wish for higher aspirations, to say see we helped you, yeah, and I saw how that works too.
    Will they wish to open state farms for the Veterans who have no job, who may have missing limbs or worse, brain trauma, and those that suffer with PTSD? It seems the VA put out there how a Captain who has terminal cancer was walking for a state type ranch for Veterans and good “P. R.” to put out there. Well I thanked the Captain, but the VA needs to get rid of the “toxic waste” which are called from the top to the bottom and I do ask, “why do professionals claim you have some other “mental disorder,” and change your responses, not cool, not good, but truly, funny when mentioned my first marriage and the “reason” for divorce! The case will be reopened, I told them, ” she lied, and how can I say legal document trumps her, calling my children liar too?” Not smart VA, hard to get them on the phone, they have responsible we are mentality. All I can say, “think I am bad? Man, I fear the two you deal with!
    THANK YOU BEN! DAMN YOU HAVE “ENLIGHTENED ME!”

  14. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ARE FORCED TO FIGHT FOR A CAUSE THAT IS NOT IN YOUR BEST “INTEREST. VIET NAM, IRAN, IRAQ, ETC HAS NOT HELPED THE “REAL” AMERICANS ONE IOTA, BUT OUR LEADERS KEEP TELLING US WE ARE MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. FOR WHO?

  15. If Congress want to fix the VA in the U.S.A. America pass a Law for 100% DEATH PENALTY for lying workers against Disable Combat Military Veterans. Save Money when a President or Governor, Sheriffs/Polices Officers, City Officials etc. finish their terms in office. This is what they keep doing to the Vets in killing us each and every day to keep from paying what is due to us as Soldiers plus they get bonus for it. Give them the DEATH PENALTY that way you will not have to PAY them any Retirement. This way the Country will SAVE a lot of MONEY from the Corrupt Greedy System. If a man or woman was willing to DIE for this damn U.S. A. He or she should be PAID for their services of honor not a son-of-a-bitch that just LIE and STEAL for a living just sit on their ass to make out like they are doing something for the country or any Vets. If you are a Combat Military Veteran do them the same way they have been doing to us by killing us all off just to keep from paying us anything for our sacrifices that we were force (drafted) to do as young men by a government that really don’t give a damn about us anyway today because we are now old and sickly so they just want to get rid of us anyway just to fill their pockets of greed and power. This is the ONLY thing that will work. 101st Airborne Ranger: To and for ALL Military Combat Vets.

  16. Thank you for the informative, well written, and insightful original article. This article is further proof that there should be a reasonable relationship between the right to vote and electoral representation, the right to vote. Otherwise, the pattern that developed since and during the War in Vietnam of first exploiting the military, then denigrating the military veteran, and, then, granting economic, political, legal, and social preference to those unwilling and/or unable to serve in the US Military, especially the combat arms, will continue.
    I served with the U.S. Army; 4th I.D.; 2/8th Inf.; RVN 1969-1970.

    • AMEN! THIS IS NOT MY COUNTRY! KILLING VETERANS? TREASONOUS ACTS AGAINST THE “POWERS THAT BE AND ARE ALL ABOUT WAR, WAR AND MORE WAR! WHY DID POPPIES ALLOWED TO GROW AGAIN? ” THINK BIG AND THEN THINK SUPER TIMY CHIPS! TRUTH SUCKS FOLKS! TRUMP, DUMP HIM. “I COULDN’T SERVE A (SMALL VERY SMALL) BONE SPUR? FLY TOO TRUMP LIKE A BUSH?) LIAR YOU ARE! IF YOU CAN WALK WITH IT POOR YOU. TRY IT I DID IT FOOL!”
      Article V! TALES FROM A CRYPT NIGHTMARE SHOW? WORSE! THINK!
      LOVE ALL MY VETERANS.

  17. This is the Koch Brothers money in action by having this put in right wing newspapers like the Washington Times which is owned by Sun Yung Moon, the Korean cult wacko. The plan is to get veterans so stressed out and worried that they will end up like Robin Williams, which means one less veteran to pay disability benefits to. This is a conspiracy!

    • To correct myself I am not so sure if this is a conspiracy but it sure seems to be an all out war on disabled veterans by people in Congress who NEVER spent one second in the military. We were there so they didn’t have to get drafted. Nevertheless it has greatly added to my PTSD and depression and I am obsessing over this terrible news.

    • Good point about the Koch Bros. I was a member of several veterans and veterans/motrocycle groups that were eventually taken over by Right Wing Tea Party types of various degree’s. The direction shifted over to just electing Republicans, which does nothing for Veterans anymore than working for Democrats.
      The Washington Post might be better labeled a pro-corporate shill for the Oligarchy than an anti-veteran. They despise EVERYBODY equally who may or may not be veteran.
      Congressman Mike Michaud in my opinion is a front to “float” Trial Balloons for CBO and the anti-veteran Dems and Republican’s (which in the final analysis is ALL of them.

  18. As far as T.D.I.U. goes for veterans over 65 years of age who they are wanting to cut from T.D.I.U. ; this is what Title 38 C.F.R. Subsection 4.17 says: Age may not be considered as a factor in evaluating service-connected disability; and unemployability, in service-connected claims, associated with advancing age or intercurrent disability, may not be used as a basis for a total disability rating. Age, as such, is a factor only in evaluations of disability not resulting from service, i.e. ,for the purposes of pension. This is taken from the NVLSP Federal Veterans Laws, Rules and Regulations 2013 Manual. The question that I have is; if they are using age as the basis for lowering our service connected rating, wouldn’t that be a violation of the law?

    • My understanding is that this administration, hence the VA, is going to deny any clain for Unemployable Disability compensation for anyone over 75 years old who applies. Maybe that`s why my being 78 and filing that claim 30 months ago is still bouncing around between Newark VA regional Office and the Board of Vet appeals in DC.

  19. Similar proposals came from David Stockman, Reagan’s budget analyst. One item was to discontinue compensation for veterans with evaluations under 30%. Two things happened:
    1. it galvanized Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) into seeking a common goal; and,
    2. garnered 100,000 new members for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) for whom I worked for 20+ years. I assume the other major VSO’s were similarly impacted.
    David stockman was vilified and President Reagen silenced him.

    Some of the current proposed changes will require changing law. That will not happen. Tax disability benefits? For as long as I know, all VA benefits have been exempt from taxation. Eliminate presumptive service connection? Require veterans to file their initial disability claim within a time period, or apparently be barred forever from making such a claim. What about survivor benefits? If the veteran didn’t file a service connected claim within the required time period, does that eliminate any entitlement for his/her surviving spouse?

    The CBO proposals have been made by individuals with little or zero understanding of the history of veteran’s benefits in this country. If they want to save money, begin by eliminating non-service connected disability pension benefits. This benefit mirrors SSI payments and can work to a veteran’s disadvantage. Married veterans on SSI have coverage for dependants, including prescription medications. A married veteran who elects VA Pension instead of SSI will have no medical coverage for dependants. The VA healthcare and disability payment programs were set up to care for the “bloody bandage”, which is to say those injured on the field of combat. We have devolved to where the overwhelming number of compensation claims are for non combat-related conditions. We should continue that policy. But, eliminating the non-service connected disability pension plans will free up adjudication personnel to process service connected claims and result in dramatically shortened processing times.

    Times have changed and I Think the only way to improve service to those of us disabled while in combat, or at least while on active duty, is to narrow claims accepted to service connected ones.

    • sometimes non – service is the only thing a veteran can live on, whale he whats on people like you to stop drinking your coffee and process the claim. the best thing that cam down the shit hole is the court of veteran appeals, people like you only take the easy claims. if you won;t to save money start with all the money we give to every piece of shit around the world. love you hate what you have become.

    • How many of these CBO members get some kind of disab. from VA? None, I bet and they could care less about those of us who get disabl and concurrent receipt. I hope they get their ass kicked to hell.

  20. As the common citizen and veteran become more informed, we see example after example that the war against veterans in America is real. When one law is enacted which takes initial steps to right injustices at the VA/VHA, then quickly, we are reminded of the cultural and institutional prejudice by the government against veterans.

    • they won;t us to leave the V.A. to go to the government run health care. that is there end game in all of this.to stand in line with the welfare queens, drug, addicts, illegals. both parties are pushing this. whale the privileged soak up more resources for themselves and there special interest mafioso.I BLAME MY GENERATION for just sitting there and talking about it, but never getting off there asses to do anything.this country was never men;t to be like this. but then again where smarter, better, and jesus loves us more.

  21. These politicians have bent over backwards to try to screw over Veteran’s, Retiree’s and Active Duty personnel. There is a price to pay for wars, deployments and training missions. These Politicians like stuffing money into their own pockets but it is time to pay for the wars. Tax increases on corporations who stash their money overseas and outsource jobs is one way to start. Republicans say they are for Veterans but the actions I have seen indicate they are not for Vets and will throw us under the bus at the first opportunity for a deal. Note the Paul Ryan, Murry deal that cut our COLA. Time to raise taxes and take vets off the table.

    • I’ve got news for you Stephan. It is both sides of the aisle. I have been talking to the fools for years and both will throw veterans under the bus when it is convenient for them. For example this CBO report was requested by a Democrat, Michaud and exploited by a Republican, Coburn.

  22. Look what happened to Democrat Mike Michaud in the end…..we voted his useless ass out of politics here in Maine.

  23. I stated earlier the American Legion says this report is D.O.A. But I have to wonder if that is true or not. I think the politicians have got this sitting on the back burner for future use against us. Right now they’re attacking Social Security Disability for a 20% decrease in compensation payments starting in 2016. Are we next? Who knows yet? All you vets who are service connected for presumptive diseases ( Agent Orange, Gulf War syndrome, burn pits, etc.) are you ready to be cut down to a 0% rating? Us old (65 or older) TDIU vets stand to lose about 55% cut in monthly compensation every month, lose our dental benefits, and then be called in once a year for a re-examination so that they can cut us even furthur. This just goes to show what tax cuts for the wealthy can do for those of us at the bottom. Whenever the wealthy get their taxes cut the revenue has to come from somewhere like the middle class, right? Well, the middle class has almost disappeared. Thanks to the politicians with their trade agreements that have sent good paying manufacturing jobs overseas just so the corporations can enjoy the benefits of having very cheap labor. Whenever the fastly disappearing middle class in this country can no longer share the tax burden, then that means government services have to be cut. That means less government. And whenever a politician says he wants less government, then that means he wants less of me, less of you, less of the next guy, and so on down the line! We’re headed for austerity. BIG TIME! The politicians are putting us there.

  24. I find it despicable that they are trying to cut benefits for veteran’s yet they have no problem funding welfare. The banks all came in private jets to beg for money for a problem that they created. The airlines have been bailed out but gas is at an all time low yet their prices stay the same. So congress votes for their own raises and have the best health care. Veteran’s joined freely as an honor to serve but the politicians who should see serving as an honor do nothing but fund their agenda and pockets. How can someone who has never served look down on the ones that have and say that our benefits should be cut. Why don’t we have our own investigation into the money they abuse with blatant disregard. President Lincolns’ promise to veteran’s is not being honored.

    • Need a soldiers Capital gains tax on all profits from stocks sells, If not let them find a volunteer Army under slave conditions. Won’t be me, and won’t be my kids unless it is on our soil. Tired of feeding the wealthy, just for Greed. Less than 1% of the country’s budget goes directly to the soldier. Munch more than that feeds those who live of the system that’s supposed to be serving the soldier. And they don’t do it properly yet. If they want to save money, They need to use a computer program to take claims so far, then when they reach certain level they get processed by Humans. This way we can get rid of many people at VBA that do nothing but deny on command, and distort facts. That would save the country Billions a year.

  25. Alright let me see if I have this straight. I joined the service because honestly my father was in Vietnam both grandfathers were WW2 Vets. Plus the army needed people for Iraq. They took people that needed waivers and even dropouts. Served with a guy that took his GED and ASVAB the same day. The Department of Education sent his GED and test scores to sand hill. Point is they wanted us poor young kids to go to Baghdad but then all of us got forced out because of downsizing. Then we get shafted with wait times and hajj doctors then using the GI Bill is like pulling teeth. Then my brothers and sisters who have major service ddisabilities are going to get shafted? No. This Cook is getting angrier by the minute with these sizzle dick thieves. Rant Off.

    • Men should refuse military service until there is a reasonable relationship between the right to vote, electoral representation, and military service, especially mandatory military service, the military draft, because of the pattern that developed since and during the War in Vietnam and which continues today of: 1. Exploiting the military; and, then 2. Denigrating the military veteran; and, lastly 3. Granting preferential treatment by law and custom in employment, education, the law, the receipt of social service and otherwise to those individuals and groups which are unable and/or unwilling to serve in the U.S. Military, especially the combat arms. I served with the U.S. Army; 4th I.D.; 2/8th Inf.; Republic of Vietnam 1969-1970.

  26. From my mathematical estimates, the VA actually owes our entire family OVER a million dollars in disability compensation, since my Vietnam vets discharge in 1969…The VA nor the government has an adequate reimbursement for using my husband and then kicking him to the curb after the atrocities he witnessed and was forced to become an unwilling participant in numerous inhumane acts, that were quite common in Nam and ENCOURAGED by the military brass…he has suffered as many others have who served in NAM, for well over 40 years, before he GRUDGINGLY approached the VA for assistance. He told me that he would be seen as weak and had NO Idea how sick he was .he actually hid his illness well, at the cost of our marriage and the emotional abuse he inflicted on our son. After over 40 years of conflict, blame and ongoing marital problems, I finally was able to put the pieces and years of strangeness together..I told him if he did NOT go that I would be filing for divorce. I am so fucking angry.. if you want to save money, I must comment that perhaps our “LEADERS” might want to evaluate the fiscal soundness of becoming involved conflicts that not only cost in terms of human capital, but billions and maybe trillions of tax payer $$$ …if you cannot afford the cost of war (including the very real cost to our soldiers AND their families,including the years of our lives lived in quiet desperation, and years not able to be recovered, then quit sending our young people to WAR).. my husband suffers from PTSD, depression and in the past two years has become legally blind. He suffered multiple concussions and blast trauma, which I believe also has resulted in chronic effects of a TBI.the VA denied this. However an independent evaluation acquired in the private sector, confirmed what I feared..my husband’s judgement is extremely poor (among other problems with executive function ) and extreme paranoia.. I cannot pursue employment outside my home and have assumed the role of his caregiver…He was denied aid and attendance, even though he cannot independently function or leave our home without assistance. Additionally, our legislators chose not to extend reimbursement to the care givers of viet nam vets as they have with the spouses of younger disabled vets.. I am insulted and take exception to the report which implies that older vets sought compensation due to the economic downturn and were less educated.. how dare they make presumptive ridiculous statements.. I might remind these scholarly geniuses that the VA refused to evaluate the very destructive diagnoses that not only were present for decades, but continued to escalate.. due to the constant stress and dysfunctional physical processes that resulted secondarily due to undiagnosed PTSD, he also has HTN, sleep apnea, on the cusp for a new diagnosis of diabetes. I can damn well tell you that their pittance he receives each month, does not and will NEVER compensate for the suffering of not only a soldier, but a wife and son, who did not sign up for service with the Air Force..the VA will never acknowledge that our soldiers more importantly are suffering from moral injuries of their very SOULS… I wonder if they compensate for that?

  27. It pains me deeply to even read the first comment! For I thought I was the only one who had to struggle through what we went through in Vietnam. For I was in Cambodia and we had it very bad there too! We had to build everything we had from discarded rocket boxes from the armory for our living quarters, and get POWs to fill our sandbags for that was our only protection from incoming rocket & motar attacks. And I got soaked by agent blue a d had to spend days in the naval medical
    Facility with fever, blisters, etc and was on bed rest for weeks afterwards but I haven’t came down with any cancer yet. But my teeth, mental health, etc is at a all time tow to say the least. Even worse but I won’t get into that here. And now they want to take back my disability because I lived through hell & was treated with disrespect from the VA & now they get bonuses for it. I fought for duty, honor , & country! There is no honor in the present Democrats! We lost our lives over there
    For this ? And they wait for veterans to loose their lives before paying them disability! And they a bonus for it! If you do this you will have no respect & have a revolt of this nations voters! To get rid of you once and forever! We should have an right to be respected for what we volunteered for
    Defending a nation who respected what we gave up. For none of us will be the same again or have a livable quality of life! I can not respect the establishment we have until we make this nation
    Great again! Now the VA get a bonus for sticking it to us is an last insult!

  28. I can’t even think clearly now. If this scornful action takes flight, it would mean that thousands of Veterans will lose their homes and quality of life. This is shameful and disgusting to say the least. The people who are suggesting these action have never served on the front line. As a 30 year veteran with 100% disability, this is enormously wicked and evil.

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