(Updated May 12, 2016) Action on this issue has moved to the Senate after the House of Representatives disappointingly failed to include the full repeal in this year’s FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Senate Armed Services Committee is now considering their version of the NDAA and we are doubling down on our efforts to get this included in the final bill. Please contact your Members of Congress requesting their cosponsorship and support for the full repeal of this unfair penalty on this nation’s disabled veterans.
(March 24, 2016) Veterans provide the backbone of liberty for our nation. Our gratitude for their sacrifice is immense. The freedom we enjoy today is a direct result of their sacrifices. The retirement benefits that military retirees receive are but a small portion of the debt this nation owes them. VA service-connected disability compensation is another.
But for more than 100 years before 1999, all disabled military retirees were required to fund their own veterans’ disability compensation by forfeiting one dollar of earned retired pay for each dollar received in veterans’ disability compensation. Since 1999, Congress has enacted legislation to progressively provide relief for this unfair offset between military retired pay and disability compensation. However, Congress has not yet provided all disabled military retirees this relief. This is patently unfair and The American Legion has long supported measures to correct this unfair situation.
The American Legion calls this unfair practice by the federal government the ‘Disabled Veterans’ Tax’, and we adamantly oppose this unfair ‘tax’ on our wounded, injured, and ill retired veterans who suffered their disabilities because of their military service to this country.
This is why we support the Retired Pay Restoration Act, H.R. 303 in the U.S. House of Representatives and S. 271 in the Senate, in the current Congress.
You can help us by contacting your Members of Congress and asking them to co-sponsor these bills. The Senate is on recess March 19 – April 3. The House is on recess March 24 – April 11. We need veterans’ advocates around the country to take advantage of the opportunity to meet and call while they’re on recess working in their state or district.
The American Legion Family is also encouraged to use the TAL Action Center to contact their Senators and Representative to ask their cosponsorship and support for these proposals.
The American Legion will not rest until all of our retired, service-disabled warriors receive both of the benefits they earned due to their selfless sacrifice and duty to our nation.