Murray: 5 Million Vets face No Benefits on Nov 1

131005 Murray- 5 Million Vets face No Benefits on Nov 1

This Saturday I thought it’d be a good idea to forward along articles from VA. Every day, VA sends a list of newsy articles to VSO’s across the country. The links below are what VA sent the past two days.

As you know, this week, the government shutdown is getting a lot of attention from veterans. The reason for the attention is because VA is allowing politics to interfere with benefits.

For three years, VA, the President, and Congress all knew a likely shutdown was coming. The Senate refused to approve a budget and instead allowed the President to spend by raising the debt ceiling.

As the shutdown approached, VA held a position and reported to VSO’s that no benefits would be impacted.

On Friday, VA released a report to veterans on what to expect. That report said disability benefits would go on without impact. On Monday, the day before the shutdown, VA released a new report. The new report said VA disability benefits would be impacted if the shutdown did not stop after a few weeks.

Interesting, right? VA could have hired a guy with a $5 calculator to figure out which benefits would be impacted and when. They either decided not to do that or someone in the Executive Branch is playing politics by unnecessarily freaking out veterans.

When it comes to VA, I like to assume the worst. Let’s assume VA failed to use a $5 calculator and in fact our disability benefits will get cut. This way, if they do get cut, we will be ready. If we focus on the notion of “playing politics,” we may get caught with our pants down.

So, here are a couple articles VA has sent VSO’s across the country this morning.


Murray: 5 million vets face no benefits on Nov. 1.

Hyperlink to Article Army Times: 

About 5 million veterans may not receive benefits “they earned and rely on” on Nov. 1 because of the partial government shutdown, the Senate Budget Committee chairman warned Friday.


American Legion: Lawmakers Using Veterans as Pawns.

Hyperlink to Article ABC News (AP): 

Officials at the American Legion are accusing the White House and members of Congress of using veterans in their efforts to win over the public during a partial government shutdown — and ask that they stop and get a deal done.


Hundreds of veterans descend on annual “Stand Down” services forum for military members.

Hyperlink to Article The Republican: 

Ninety-two-year-old Lloyd Askew, a World War II Army veteran, got his official discharge papers and a chance for discounted dental care. Thirty-year-old Shaheem Rochester, also an Army vet who left in 2011, was looking for a new lease on life. Organizers worked to help both, and many others, at the annual “Stand Down” forum in Springfield for veterans.


Shutdown Torpedoes VA Efforts to Cut Claims Backlog.

Hyperlink to Article NextGov: 

Before Tuesday, when agencies were forced to shut down unfunded operations or those otherwise exempt from the effects of the Congressional budget impasse, the Veterans Affairs Department had planned to continue mandatory overtime for claims processors until Nov. 16 and voluntary overtime until Dec. 31. But those plans have changed, a VA spokeswoman told Nextgov.


House passes shutdown exemption for VA.

Hyperlink to Article Army Times 

The government shutdown exemption for the Veterans’ Affairs Department passed Thursday by the House of Representative does not resolve all of VA’s potential problems.

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  1. I want everybody in the 101st Airborne Ranger; 82nd Airborne; 75th INF; all Hell Angels; all Mongos; all Glapsion Gooses; Texas Raiders; 101 Airborne Rangers and the leader of the 13 Dakota Indians. If they think the movie First Blood was something. I want America to look like a 5 years old kid’s birthday party. I had a brother the day he turn 18, he had 5 years in the United States Army and he died at 28 and he had 15 years of your Unites States Army and I had an Uncle that 52 years in the United States Army and the Air Force and I had 3 brothers in the Army at the same time before I was drafted and went in. I seen all colors in combat and everybody’s blood was red. Everything from the Screaming Eagles don’t give a damn what day they die. When we stood under the American Flag and sworn to protect the United States of America we sworn to give them 10,000 and 10%. Everybody that I know in the 101st gave them a 100 million percent.

  2. It is Obama, the CINC-wannabe, that is deliberately manufacturing a crisis in order to exploit our military service members for political gain.

    Our troops overseas are forbidden to watch the Armed Forces Network for most of their news, entertainment, and sports needs.

    This abuse of process is centered squarely on Obama and those progressive political hacks who would bully our own troops with this unnecessary government shutdown.

    The shameful behavior of Obama, Democrats, and RINOS demonstrate that they believe they were not sent to Washington to serve their constituents, but instead to rule over them and mandate rules that require submission and fealty.

    Veterans should never have to kneel before a politician!

    1. So this is strictly on Obama and everyone wearing a ‘democrat’ label? How about this being a failure on both ends of the aisle. I refuse to get into partisan bickering here with fellow veterans. Not all of us hold the same views you do so I’m willing to meet you halfway and say ‘Government’ has failed you as a veteran (and as a citizen).

      1. Conservatives in Congress have a bill ready to fund the VA; meaning, you, me, and our fellow veterans will get paid their disability checks that we earned with our blood sacrifice.

        The only people standing in the way from us putting food into the mouths of our children next month are Obama, Democratic Senator Harry Reid, and RINOS.

        Tell these anti-veteran politicians to pass this VA funding bill NOW! Enough with these childish games that use veterans as innocent political hostages!

  3. I could not agree more with what Ben Krause said: “Both parties are ragingly incompetent. It’s ridiculous. Shame on them all.” My words of advise is for veterans to support each other during this time. See if banks will give you a short term/low interest loan until your disability starts up again. You all have to have direct deposit for your S/C disability payments. TALK TO YOUR BANK! That is what veterans the last time this happened.

  4. Good and Informative Article. It really brings to mind all of the VA benefits some of us have received as well as so many more we were promised when we Volunteered during the 60’s and 70’s, Such as complete medical, dental, and eye care Free for LIFE. These didn’t show up on our DD214’s so they were all lies. I served in the Navy in the Vietnam Era. I am a Blind Veteran.

  5. I served during Operation Desert Saber (the 100 Hour War). I can remember so clearly the jubilance and how proud I and my fellow military brethren felt in the immediate aftermath of the first Gulf War.
    I remember once stateside and on my way home (Southern California) in April of 1991 not being able to buy my own drink whilst I and my buddies had a three hour layover at Hartsfield Jackson airport in Atlanta Georgia.
    Well little did I know then that I would also be a part of another 100 Hour War. What’s even worse is I could have NEVER imagined that the next 100 Hour War would be waged not only by my own government, but waged against a new enemy……….ME and my fellow Disabled Veteran brethren of the US Armed Forces.

    You see, just yesterday the government had been shutdown for a total of exactly 100 hours, the same amount of time that we not so long ago needed to conquer the Iraqi Army and Republican Guard.

    I am at a loss for these events……………………………………….

  6. An open letter to the United States Congress,
    my grandfather US Army Sergeant First Class Charles A. Robinson served his country during WWll, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War. My grandfather was a young Army private and did his Basic Training at Schofield Barracks in Honolulu, Hawaii. My grandfather was there during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and survived the day. On that day his son, my father Harold D. Robinson, was only 13 months old. My grandfather fought in the Pacific theater throughout World War 2 as well as fighting in the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. It was in that era that my father answered his country’s call and joined the United States Army. My grandfather was the proudest of all fathers when his own child joined the ranks of America’s fighting men.
    The thing was, as it is now, an only son of an only son has the option to OPT out of any COMBAT whilst serving their country. The reasoning is that the bloodline of a family would end should service member be killed in combat. My father REFUSED to OPT out and served anyway.
    Around this very time, the US Congress promoted my grandfather to the rank of Sergeant First Class (as with all Non-Commissioned Officers, to be promoted from Staff Sergeant to SFC requires an act of congress). My grandfather retired from the US Army after 30+ years of Honorable service
    My father served proudly and honorably during the Vietnam era and he was Honorably discharged from the United States Army a few years before I was born in 1969.
    From my grandfather’s and father’s example, I too followed in their footsteps and joined the United States Army in 1990. Both my father and grandfather were tremendously proud when I enlisted. It wasn’t but a few months later whilst I was in Infantry School in Ft. Benning Georgia when OUR country went to war, the first Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) As my father was, I too was given the opportunity to OPT out of any combat role being the only son of an only son.
    PRIOR to making that decision, my father wrote me a letter telling me how proud he was of me but he begged me to OPT out and take the option to NOT fight…………Well, I did NOT OPT out and I declined to sign the waiver. It was an easy decision because of the example set before me by my grandfather and father.
    My grandfather passed away in 2004 at the age of 82 and he given full military honors during his funeral. My grandfather gave 30 years of his life dedicated to protecting the United States and OUR way of life.

    Yet here we are today, SFC Charles A. Robinson’s ONLY grandson Specialist Harold D. Robinson ll, (this is me folks) a disabled Army veteran medically in 1992. I receive a lifetime Pension and lifetime medical care from my injuries. As a veteran, I am enrolled in Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation and am in my Senior year towards a Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management. My tuition is paid for by the US Government as well as a living allowance whilst I am in school.

    Well today Tuesday 01 October 2013 you folks in Congress decided to shut down OUR government. As of today, my schooling and living allowance stops whilst you folks bicker back and forth. (UPDATE, my schooling and pension and living allowance are OK for now. IF this nonsense goes longer than 2 weeks, then these monies will cease)
    Where I come from, if you are hired to do a job and are unable to do so, you get FIRED and someone who can do the job takes over.
    At the end of the day, you can take away my pension, you can take away my living allowance, my schooling. I will be OK, I will survive because my grandfather and father taught me about honor dignity and perseverance.

    My father, Specialist Harold D. Robinson, passed away this weekend at the age of 72. This man, MY HERO who served his country honorably during a time when so many fled to Canada, who protested the WAR, who dodged the draft, will be buried………WITHOUT a single Military honor. WHY?
    My father will be buried without being honored and remembered by a government who has shut down over petty BULLSHIT!!
    There is NOBODY to answer the phone when I called for my father’s DUE.

    1. Harold, you should contact the local veterans organizations such as VFW, DAV, American Legion, who have honor guards, Rolling Thunder, an organization made up primarily of Nam Vets would also show to honor him, American Legion Riders/Patriot Guard Riders, that’s what they do honor veterans in there passing.
      Don’t let your father be buried without honors…

      Mark “Sarge” Hutchens, USAF 77-80

  7. My husband and I are already trying to decide how to handle it if I don’t get my disability check since neither of us is employed despite trying for several years to get a job. We will not be able to handle all of our obligations if they hold back the 1 Nov. Check. I am worried, but hope it gets resolved. My credit cards are already maxed out so that isn’t an option for me. I think both sides are at fault but don’t know what can be done to make them work together and get their job done.

  8. In my earlier post I meant to put INCLUDING “NOT EXCLUDING”. This kind of crap pissed me off for I am a VIET NAM VET but I am getting the Shaft just like every other VET is getting.

  9. This is crazy. The house needs to do its job and stop letting one bully section of our party (republican) run the rest of us who know that we have to compromise. I don’t believe that Ronald Reagan would be happy with us at this point. How are we gonna regain the oval office if we ruin the overall economy just to get our way.

    1. Pat its people like you who have put this country in the position that’s its in, You can not run a country without a budget, laws and fines should not be rammed down peoples throats, trying to get rid of the constitution and bill of rights can not happen, Trampling on peoples freedoms also can not be allowed. See there is much more to this fight than you might think, of coarse if you was not a leftist, you might be able to step back and look at the larger picture instead just yourself.


  11. Okay, I am going to be the one to ask this: Let’s say our disability payments are not deposited on November 1– what nobody mentions is the aftermath, and how/when/would we get that compensation in-fact owed to us? The following month? Would it take a whole separate act of Congress to actually pay “retro-owed payments” as it apparently in-fact requires for furloughed workers, even THOUGH they are considered on a yearly salary?
    Don’t you just LOVE the convenient irony of time with the VA stating their claims processors “were PLANNING on working MANDATORY overtime up TO October 16 to handle backlog of disability claims”???

    You can bet on fact those claims processors will get an even beefier bonus this year and paid timely! Why the hell does ANYONE at the VA get a BONUS anyway?? Is this motivation to do their jobs as ineffectively as possible so they can get a $200 Billion Budget next year??

  12. The Senate needs to pass the funding bills being passed in the House. The Democrats are doing everything they can to hurt the American people in the hopes of a backlash against the Republicans.

  13. Being unemployed for just about a year now, I rely on my disability to barely scrape by. I don’t have much to get me by if that payment stops. It sickens me that thousands of vets may lose their earned disability while billions are sent overseas to “allies”. I have no idea what can be done. Like Benjamin said, both parties are to blame. In my mind, there is nobody to turn to and petition.

    Short of the entire country going on strike, literally, I don’t know what can be done to put overwhelming pressure on the politicians to get their act together. The “my way or highway” mentality needs to end.

  14. Interesting articles; especially from ARMY Times. Those articles are conjucture and not fact. Only the VA know how and where it stands on continued benefits. The Army Times article even states “MAY” not receive benefits. Wait for the facts as the VA is scrambling with all of this to get the correct information to all of us veterans.

    1. According to Tom L, VA is still scrambling to find out whether or not they will cut benefits after 3 weeks of a shutdown. Veterans wishing to hold their breath for VA to inform us of what will happen are welcome to do so. The rest of us will plan for the worst and hope for the best.

      VA had 3 years to figure out what would happen and they told the veteran community our benefits would be fine. Now they are telling us to worry. Meanwhile, VA’s public relations department is all furloughed – so I would not hold my breath waiting for a public statement about VA’s position. Make a contingency plan.

      Beyond this, I wonder how a $150 billion agency can not know its own budget. We would be hard pressed to find a private company with that kind of money with the same level of budgetary incompetence.

      Here, I think VA is playing politics and the Executive (Democrats) is trying to ramp up the issue to turn veterans against Republicans. However, if we do in fact have our disability cut, I want to make sure my readers are ready for the worst. Both parties are ragingly incompetent. It’s ridiculous. Shame on them all.

      1. I honestly don’t know how to plan except to max out all my credit cards. I have a college son and I am 100% disabled.

      2. I think we should cancel all government pay for executive,legislative, and judiciary pay and VA employee pay and redirect it to the veterans and send them a medicare card good for at least two years at 95% of the cost incurred for medical treatments, and have the other agencies in the government shut down and send the money to the veterans. Pull a Reagan and through out the government unions in all governments in the USA. The taxpayer should not have to pay more because of government unions; period. The only parts of the government which can continue to operate with pay, will be the ones authorized by the US Constitution.

  15. This is a very good article. Keep it going all Veterans are depending on this site to keep us informed. A job well done! Thanks.

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