The Veterans Disability Tax

 

The name of this tax and its intent is so callous and uncaring; one must realize that it is wrongful.

 

This is one of those undisclosed and not very forthcoming “military and government veteran’s benefits” (officers and enlisted) receive when you decide to give up all your civilian rights and make the military a career.

 

For over 130 years, the government has literally robbed military retirees of their disability and retirement by applying this “Veterans Disability Tax.”  This tax has pulled billions of dollars out of the Veteran’s pockets and into the government coffers.

 

This “Veterans Disability Tax” offsets the Veteran’s earned retirement by the dollar for dollar amount of the disability.  Two totally separate earned Veteran’s benefits.

 

The only advantage the Veteran has in this dollar for dollar exchange is by exchanging a dollar out of his earned retirement bucket for a dollar from the disability bucket; that dollar is now tax free, or at least it was.

 

No other government employee has this problem and certainly, no company in the United Sates is going to have mandates like this.

 

I am sure you can come up with our own many examples of how wrongful and illogical this is; but let me give an everyday example.

 

An officer or an enlisted puts in their 20 years of military service fulfilling the contract and meeting all the requirements for retirement with our veterans’ disingenuous government.

 

During the 20 years the officer or enlisted becomes disillusioned with staying in the military for any number of reasons.  The Veteran does his financial planning and other employment opportunity searches.  Bearing in mind the Veteran may only be in his late 30’s or early 40’s with plenty of time for a lucrative career outside of the military with huge retirement and medical benefits for a career with a civilian company.

 

The Veteran retires with 20 years of honorable service and maybe even valorous wartime service.

 

Two years after he starts his new career the Veteran is struck down by medical disorders associated with exposures to the herbicide Agent Orange during his wartime service in Vietnam or another era Veteran maybe one of the many disorders caused by the Gulf War I and the exposure to either toxic chemicals, biological toxins, or radiation.

 

The Veteran can no longer fulfill his work requirements and has to leave his second planned career; he is disabled.

 

As previously discussed above, the Veteran can now apply for a VA disability from a “government caused disability.”  For every dollar, the Veteran receives in disability, because of this 130 year old robbing of the Veterans; the “Veterans Disability Tax” is applied.  His already earned retirement is now reduced by the amount of the disability.

 

I for one would like a GAO accounting; and this should be demanded.  When the Veterans Disability Tax is applied how does that money get back to the taxpayer.  What account does this tax money go into?  On the other hand, is the government double dipping in reverse into some slush fund and the citizen thinks he or she is paying for both?  At least on the government accounting books?

 

President Bush in 2002, created a program called “Concurrent Receipt.”  This allowed some Veterans the ability with a 50% disability rating or higher to indeed draw both.  However, the monies drawn for the disability would now be taxable in this new program; once again, robbing the Veterans of earned money.  Only the government by adding a new name to a program can make disability money now a tax burden to the Veteran.  At least some have indicated this new "disability money" is now taxed.

 

This program would be implemented over a 10-year period with a graduated increase of a monthly benefit over this 10-year period to reach a draw of 100%.  With a government promise to review this program in 10 years to apply it to those Veterans with a less than 50% disability.  This was in lieu of doing away with this very questionable and wrong spirited “Veterans only” disability tax.  Even this graduated increase mandate is now questionable as being only a political game.  With the current on-goings with Congressman Steve Buyer (R-Indiana- new chairman) and the coup on Veterans Affairs Committee in the house removing Congressman Chris Smith (R-New Jersey- former chairman), it seems even this new program is in jeopardy of being eliminated.  More than likely as planned anyway, as far back as to when it was actually planned and implemented.

 

Congressman Buyer seems to think the government went to far in this “Concurrent Receipt” program and has a committee to review this impact.

 

Quote: “Congressman Buyer expects a new bipartisan Veterans' Disability Benefits Commission to review whether Congress went too far on allowing concurrent receipt of military retirement and VA disability payments.”  This is in work right now.

 

Of course, the President could put a stop to this but so far is reluctant to do so or even speak out against this development.

 

If it is cancelled then we are back to square one.  I would think that those that have been on the program with the limited increase of two to three years would be grandfathered in with no more increases as promised to buy Veterans votes.  However, I may be giving the congress too much credit for not being “political rats.”

 

Also in question was this mandate of 50% disability.  I think if you check most Veterans are either <40% or >60%.  With the documented adversarial actions of VA claim adjusters, you can bet your bottom dollar this was a consideration for any increase.  This consideration would have been any Veteran at 40% would have played heck getting an increase in disability that would put them over this percentile gate and fit the category of a retired disabled veteran.  Then meet the requirement to be eligible for Concurrent Receipt.

 

In other words, if this “Concurrent Receipt” goes away then the whole thing was a two to three year game played by the White House.  I personally have seen the President at Veterans meetings walk in and then shout, “How did I do on “Concurrent Receipt.”  Of course, this was during the reelection campaigns.   

 

The “Veterans Disability Tax” must be done away with in total and quit letting politicians make voting gains based on these nothing but political games played with the Veterans community.

 

As I recall even the Congressman from Florida that introduced the bill to get rid of the Tax, did not even vote for it. 

 

Never trust anyone in government politics and this applies even more to Veterans and their families.

 

The political process made an example of Congressman Smith since he did not go along with many of the proposed government cuts and changes in Veterans Benefits.

 

It is time we Veterans united and made our voices heard in congress by the only thing both sides of the aisle understand – voted out of office!

 

It is time we as “United Veterans” made some “political examples” of our own; state by state with these disingenuous politicians that say they support Veterans.  Yet, continually vote entirely different and will not address the real issues, particularly, with the now adversarial VA, as directed by the White House.  (Much more to come on this issue.)

 

We know what we have now in congress and with few exceptions, it is not good for the Veteran or his family.  As we have seen, the president can only do what the congress allows.

 

Veterans need to get up off their duffs and get active.  Yes, in the past we have not made noises and accepted what this government does to a point, primarily for the benefit of the nation.

 

This is no longer the Nation it was 60 years ago, handing out “social entitlements” to citizen and 11 to 15 million illegal alike, as if these programs were candy.  Primarily so politicians can stay in office.  While these same politicians say they have reformed these social entitlements, qualified by only breathing the free air provided by the Veteran or in some cases not even requiring a pulse, as cadavers receive these social entitlements.  It is amazing how much food purchased by food stamps that dead Americans can eat. 

 

The facts of social programs doubling every 10 years do not reflect their stated results. 

 

While budgets for Veterans, remain voted on every year and certainly do not double every ten years.

 

No longer should this nation be built on the backs of Veterans and their families; and then not supported by the government they served.

 

Veterans made and keep this nation what it is, not politicians! 

 

Charles Kelley

DMZ Veteran 67-68

Georgia

 

Disclaimer:

 

No, I am not a retired veteran with a conflict of interest, just tired of all the government rhetoric and lies.