Bill to Ensure Retirement & Disability Pay for Veterans IntroducedJanuary 10, 2019, 2:29 PM HST (Updated January 10, 2019, 2:29 PM)
Reps. Tulsi Gabbard and Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure veterans can receive the military pension they’ve earned as well as VA disability compensation. Under current law, veterans receiving 40% or lower rates of service-connected disability compensation are not eligible for full retirement and disability benefits. The Retired Pay Restoration Act would correct this error and allow veterans receiving 40% or lower rates of service-connected disability to receive both military retired pay and veterans’ disability compensation or combat-related special pay.
“Our veterans have dedicated their lives in service to our country, and should not be penalized for that service due to a bureaucratic rule,” Rep. Gabbard, founder and co-chair of the Post-9/11 Veterans Caucus said. “Retirement benefits and disability benefits are two different things, and one should not be counted against the other. Under current law, hundreds of thousands of veterans are being shortchanged, failing to receive their full retirement and disability benefits they have earned. This is ridiculous and cannot be allowed to continue. Our bipartisan legislation will correct this and ensure that our veterans receive the benefits they’ve earned and deserve.”
“Our nation’s veterans have earned and deserve the utmost respect, best possible services and care for the sacrifices they and their families have made to defend this country—especially under the constant threat of global terrorism,” said Congressman Bilirakis. “However, under current law, some military retirees have their disability pay deducted from their retirement pay, which is unconscionable. These are two completely different benefits, and it is wrong for them to count against one another. Plain and simply, it isn’t right to deny Veterans the financial compensation they have earned and deserve. I am honored and grateful to have Representative Tulsi Gabbard working alongside me this year, in a bi-partisan manner, to champion this important cause. I am hopeful that with our combined efforts, this will be the year we are able to finally rectify this injustice.”