Seeking common ground on benefits

On Thursday, American Legion Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Division Director Barry A. Searle Director, along with VA&R Assistant Director Ian de Planque, met with several veterans service organizations (VSOs) - including the Military Order of the Purple Heart, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Veterans of Foreign Wars - to discuss common ground on how the system of veterans benefits can be amended to improve the system for veterans.

With a congressional roundtable on the topic next week scheduled for March 18, it is important for VSOs to find common ground where a unified front can be presented to strengthen support of measures before Congress and maximize the support efforts the VSOs provide. Common themes have included a focus on quality of decisions over quantity and replacing VA's ineffective work credit system.


  1. The topic should be discussed for Concurrent Receipt for All Retired Disabled Veterans. The Presidents proposal only covers 103,000 Chapter 61 retirees who receive disability, but no military retirement. The presidents proposal does not cover 450,000 retired disabled veterans who retired with twenty years of service, who have their disability deducted out of their retirement pay. These veterans in essence receive no disability payment since it is deducted from their retirement pay. The exact opposite of what the Chapter 61 veteran experiences. It should be noted, that by research from the Veterans Disability Benefit Commission, over 72 percent of the cost for concurrent receipt has already been passed into law, by different measures enacted since 2003. It should not be that difficult, for the government to cover the remaining 28% of funding necessary to complete concurrent receipt for "all" retired disabled veterans. Dr. Chu's replacement is sounding anti veteran. Be Careful!
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