Bipartisan Bill To Help Returning Vets Stuck In Congress

With congress so divided on everything, it is hard to imagine what type of bill can pass these days and be signed into law.  However, this great bipartisan bill proposed by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) should hit the spot for both sides of the aisle.  It provides faster disability payments to soldiers wounded in Afghanistan.

Can you take a few minutes and let your representative know that you support bill HR 6445?

Your voice could make the difference!


A bipartisan bill promises to speed disability payments to troops wounded in Afghanistan, but it must clear a Congress so divided that 96 percent of proposed legislation dies on Capitol Hill.

Inspired by chats with wounded troops at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Centre County, has proposed HR 6445, the Recovering Service Members Disability Benefits Act. It would exempt active-duty, Reserve and National Guard service members injured in a combat zone from the customary five-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance payments.

This would help the most vulnerable veterans and their families – those troops transitioning out of the military but too sick to work.

These payments, often shortened to “SSDI,” typically augment benefits from the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs and are provided only to permanently disabled personnel. Social Security expedites claims for wounded troops, but Thompson’s measure would end the waiting period for the disability payments.

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  1. Absolutely this exception Bill should be passed and signed into Law! This waiting period is just as INSANE when you are fighting the VA for your benefits and Soc Sec at same time then get SSDI BUT you have to wait for ONE YEAR to even be eligible for Medicare, let alone 6 months of SSDI income once approved! However, what Soc Sec does is just withhold those 6 months from any back pay if you had to wait a few years through appeals as I did and most people have to. I am GLAD Ben also distinguished FACT you ONLY CAN rec’v. SSDI and VA Disability Pay with NO OFFSET if **you are 100% Permenant/Total with Individual Unemployability** and BOTH are indeed tax exempt and in this scenario you can choose to use Medicare and pay all your own medicare premiums, Part D Drug Plan Premiums, and copays–thus, avoiding even using the VA Health System as I do and just so you know, if you DID use the VA in that scenario and had Medicare, it (Medicare) would be first payer and then the VA would **decide** what and if they would pay as secondary payer. I avoid all that madness because by time the VA gets around half year later perhaps paying their part, you are already sent to collections…kind of way Universities have to deal with the often nightmare of being a semester or so behind paying tuition. I simply avoid this madness and use Medicare and private Dr.s’ and pay it myself, albeit not a cheaper option, but in the end there’s no price to be placed on one’s sanity, right?!!!
    Just sent this to my Senator’s on both sides of aisle…how could anyone deny this passage and have an ounce of compassion? Thanks, Ben!!!

    1. You can be a Veteran receiving SSDI (Or Received SSDI prior to retirement and then switched to regular Social Security at retirement age) and the VA will deny 100% rating due to unemployability and will do so without referencing any Social Security decision records. Now for a real Kick in the head, if you are an ERA Veteran who served on Okinawa where agent orange (A/O) was sprayed at several military bases,(Army Dog school perimiters at Yomitan and Machinato (Makiminato),North Jungle Warfare Training Center, and reportedly at Nike and Radar stations and Kadena Airforce base) the Defense department is still denying that A/O was ever used or stored on Okinawa. This is the same Defense department who has admitted to “moving all 25,000 barrels of A/O (agent Orange) off of the island(Okinawa) and shipping it to the Johnsons Atoll in the South Pacific for final disposition” . Once again the burden of proof falls on the individual Veterans to prove Military use of the A/O. To date, four ERA Veterans of Okinawa service (1965 through 1972) have been awarded benefits for agent orange exposure while serving on the Island of Okinawa. Many claims have been denied, and no rational excuse has been provided for the disparity.

      1. as an addendum I would like to add that there was a chemical Company on Okinawa (267th) who also had sentry dogs and sentry dog handlers at their top secret site, but no Veteran dog handler or Veterinary Tech who served there (1965 through 1972) has spoken out publicly about A/O use there, and since it was a top secret base to begin with, the anonymous claims attributed to some Veterans serving there cannot be listed along with known A/O sites where public testimony of Veterans is available.

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