VSOs gather to discuss various issues

On March 15, National Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Division Director Barry A. Searle attended a joint VSO meeting with Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of American, Blind Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Vietnam Veterans of America. The meeting was hosted by the American Federation of Government Employees.

Topics of the meeting were the large VA claims backlog, the 2012 budget, and the GI Bill and how the various organizations plan on addressing these issues in upcoming testimony on Capitol Hill. Searle will be involved in a claims summit roundtable on Thursday.


  1. You can bet that the American Legion is the only true veteran service organization who is trying to end the Veterans Disability Tax. The presidents proposal covers only 103,000 Chapter 61 retirees, who did not complete twenty years of service. The presidents proposal does not include 450,000 retirees, under 50% disabled, who each served twenty or more years, who each month have their disability payment deducted from their retirement pay. These 450,000 retired disabled veterans all have a service connected disability. If their disability was "combat related" they would be receiving concurrent receipt, even with a disability of under 50%. Many thanks to the American Legion who is fighting for the interests of retired disabled veterans. Representative Marshall is a champion for the issue of the veterans disability tax, and he deserves all the respect and appreciation and thanks from all veterans. He like the American Legion have been true to the issue of concurrent receipt.
  2. The issues of the Disabled Veterans' Tax (concurrent recript) was on The American Legion Legislative Priority Sheet distributed to every congressional office on Tuesday, March 2 and was also addressed by Representative Marshall (GA) during the Commander's Call. Total repeal of the Disabled Veterans' Tax continues to be a major legislative initiative. Last year, the House passed a partical fix for Chapter 61 military retirees with less than 20 years of service, but it was dropped in conference. The American Legion National Commander wrote to the congressional leadership and asked that it be readdressed in the Second Session. It is included in the President's budget request for FY 2011. The work continues.
  3. It is interesting that the issue of concurrent receipt is ignored. This should be the "major" issue. VA claims have always had a backlog. Each of the 450,000 retired disabled veterans under 50% disabled, having their disability deducted from their retirement pay, represent a claim that is not taken care of. The American Legion is an excellent organization. As a member of the Legion, and as a lifetime member of the DAV, do not let the DAV dupe the legislative agenda into their non legislative way of working with the government. The DAV has not been for concurrent receipt for years, but likes to give the appearance of working on issues. The GI Bill, and other issues, are issues that are already passed. Work on an issue like concurrent receipt which is totally ignored. American Legion, 450,000 retired disabled veterans paying the veterans disability tax, are counting on you. DAV and other VSO groups have not supported the issue since 2003.
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