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Fri Jun 16, 2017, 06:04 AM

VA secretary backs off plan to cut elderly vets' benefits

http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/shulkin-backs-off-individual-unemployability-trump-budget

VA secretary backs off plan to cut elderly vets' benefits

By: Leo Shane III, June 14, 2017

WASHINGTON — Administration officials are backing away from plans to slash tens of thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits from elderly veterans after an outcry from advocates who warned the move could cause significant financial harm to vulnerable veterans. During a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said that he wants to avoid any policy changes that “hurt veterans” and is considering other options to the proposed changes.
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At issue is a provision in President Donald Trump’s $186.5 billion VA budget for fiscal 2018 that would dramatically change eligibility rules for the department's Individual Unemployability program. Up to 210,000 veterans over the age of 60, at least 7,000 of whom are over 80, could be impacted by the change. Under current rules, the IU program awards payouts at the 100 percent disabled rate to veterans who cannot find work due to service-connected injuries, even if their actual rating decision is less than that. It amounts to an unemployment benefit for veterans not officially labeled as unable to work.

Administration officials want to stop those payouts once veterans are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits, arguing that retirement-age individuals should no longer qualify for unemployment benefits. Veterans who cannot collect Social Security would be exempt. The move would save $3.2 billion next year alone. Last month, Shulkin told lawmakers the IU changes were “a hard decision” but added that “I don’t think we can continue to only expand services and not look at the ones we are delivering.”

For veterans who aren’t already retirement age, the change could largely be offset by their new Social Security payouts. But for veterans already receiving both, the move would mean a sudden loss of a significant income source. The IU payouts can total almost $20,000 a year.

Veterans groups have strongly opposed the proposal. On Monday, officials from AMVETS sent a letter to Shulkin blasting the changes as “gutting critical benefits for our veterans.” Representatives from the group canvassed congressional offices on Tuesday, building support for dumping the IU changes. “These cuts would throw senior citizen veterans in poverty, homeless and even more susceptible to suicide,” said Joe Chenelly, National Executive Director at AMVETS. “Our message was that while the budget process is long, these scared veterans need real assurance now that this proposal is a non-starter. We cannot subject these veterans to a long, stressful summer.”
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Reply VA secretary backs off plan to cut elderly vets' benefits (Original post)
nitpicker Jun 2017 OP
niyad Jun 2017 #1
The River Jun 2017 #2
beemer27 Jun 2017 #3

Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Fri Jun 16, 2017, 12:14 PM

1. we know what hateful bastards they are--the fact that they even considered cutting

those earned benefits is disgusting.

may they receive everything they deserve.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Fri Jun 16, 2017, 12:24 PM

2. The News of the Cut

Had the entire veteran community in a panic. It would caused severe damage to them. The Repubs only like vets as photo ops.

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Response to nitpicker (Original post)

Sun Jun 18, 2017, 09:26 AM

3. The proposal was not surprising.

We have a "business man" at the helm, and decisions will be based on "business" practices. Targeting over 200,000 old people who don't have political clout, or the money to hire lobbyists, was an easy tactic for them to save some money. Everything that they do will be governed by the "bottom line". The only good to come of this will be to shut up those morons who insist that having a business man in office will make our country great again. With this bunch it is anything for a buck, if they end up with that buck.

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