In an unprecedented decision Congress has okayed the review of Social Security Disability benefits by the Veterans Disability Commission who is supposed to be reviewing Veterans Benefits, there are some on the committee who feel a disabled veteran getting VA compensation and SSD are being overpaid for being disabled in the line of duty to this nation.
They forget that VA compensation is a payment for two reasons, to compensate you for being HURT, the other is to offset your diminished earning potential. As most of the military view it as the "Promise" of a grateful nation. To then look at SSD as a government give away, it is like any other job, you pay the money every payday, if you never need the disability portion of it, you have still paid the premium every payday, just like life insurance, if you NEED it. Hopefully none of us will, but obviously some do, that is why it was created back in the 60's. For those of you who do not know it, SSD was not part of the orginal plan, it was added in the early 1960's.
The major factor here is, that you pay for that insurance, to ensure your family will have some money in case of disability, does anyone believe that an injured soldier who is getting SSD and VA compensation is getting rich off the combined incomes? No, they can have a comfortable life, but it is not a silver spoon existence. Many disabled veterans require enough care around the home, that their spouses can not work, thus depriving the family of that income, where is the government's responsibility in that arena? Would it be better to break the family up and place the veteran in a nursing home? I doubt it, where is the compassion in that?
The average SSD check is what 850.00 dollars a month, a totally disabled veteran with a wife and one child gets the grand sum of 2626.00 every month. 3476.00 a month, this is for a totally disabled man, less than 40,000 a year, yes it sounds like a great amount of money, and yes a family can live decent off that income, do not our veteran families deserve any less, they suffered while their loved one was off to defend this nation, and then were harmed.
Where was the out cry when this nation compensated the families of the victims of the WTC on 9/11, that cost billions, at once, veterans compensation is paid out over decades, there is no veterans family getting a multi-million dollar settlement. Speaking of settlements, when an employee gets hurt at work, there is worker's compensation, most employee's get a lawyer and sue the company and obtain a large settlement, the veterans do not have that option, nor can their families, you take what the government gives you, and most are grateful.
They understand that the life of a soldier has potential costs, how can they not, that is one reason the nation is having a hard time finding Army and Marine recruits, it's a very dangerous job, expecially in WAR time.
The Veterans Disability Commission is called a bi-partisan committee, it has 9 republican appointed members and 5 democrat appointed members, how "fair and balanced" is that? But to give these men credit, they do appear to be honorable men, the republicans have cracks in their ranks, some of them do not approve of the direction this is veering and have voted to oppose it. The vote on proceeding with the SSD investigation comes on May 19th 2006. Write the veterans commission at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know your opinion of what they are attempting to do, write and call your Congress critters and Senators and let them know your feelings on these issues. If we don't speak up now, we have no one to blame later, it is for us, our families and our nation's future, if they do this, who is going to come when they have the next war? The veterans who are already disabled? Why would a sane healthy man join the military for these options of dying as broke and as penniless that a grateful nation can leave you and your family.
My thanks to Larry Scott at VA Watchdog.org for the article on this issue and all other veteran issues you can find to print, veterans all need to give this man a round of applause, he works tirelessly on our behalf. http://www.vawatchdog.org/old%20newsflashes%20MAY%2006/newsflash05-01-2006-1.htm