On January 19, 2017, Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL) introduced H.R. 303, the Retired Pay Restoration Act. This bill would end the unfair policy of forcing many military longevity retirees to forfeit some of their retired pay in order to receive equal amounts of disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The effect of this policy means military retirees are paying for their own disability with their military retired pay. This unfair policy has adversely impacted disabled veterans and their families for more than a century, but was partially repealed by Congress in 2004. Under current law disabled veterans with 20-plus years of active military service who are also in receipt of a VA disability determination of 50 percent or higher may retain both military retirement pay and their VA compensation.
In line with DAV resolution 110, adopted at our most recent National Convention assembled in Atlanta, Georgia, July 31-August 3, 2016, we support the Retired Pay Restoration Act. H.R. 303 would end the longstanding and unfair practice of the government's withholding of military longevity retired pay in exchange for VA disability compensation, regardless of disability rating. DAV believes what is unfair for a veteran rated 50 percent disabled or higher by the VA is equally unfair for a disabled veteran rated 40 percent disabled or lower. Disabled military longevity retirees should not be unfairly penalized by the government for any reason.
This legislation was referred to the House Committee on Armed Services in addition to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. Please use the prepared email, or draft your own message, to request that your Representative support this important bill and ask that it be brought to the floor for a vote and passed as soon as possible.
Thank you for all that you do for veterans and their families. We need your grassroots action to gain Congressional enactment of this important legislation.
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