Thursday, May 11, 2006

VDBC sux on SSD

Subject: Veterans Disability Commission speaks out on SSDI review/crossoverVeterans Disability Commission speaks out on SSDIreview"VVA Government Relations Department" Date: Tue, 9 May 2006 17:04:57 -0400 (EDT)*Veterans Disability Commission speaks out on SSDI review*Press Release Source: Veterans' DisabilityBenefits CommissionVeterans' Disability Benefits Commission - AQuestion Is RaisedMonday May 8, 1:31 pm ETWASHINGTON, May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Veterans' Disability Benefits Commission isconsidering whether Social Security DisabilityInsurance (SSDI) should or should not be included inits analysis of compensation and earnings ofservice-disabled veterans.During its March 2006 meeting, the Commissiondiscussed the Congressional intent of Public Law 108-136, which created the Commission. Specific focus was on interpreting the intent of the law andwhat that means in terms of the Commission'sauthorities. Also discussed by the Commission members was how data could be acquired from the SocialSecurity Administration (SSA) andhow it could be matched to administrative data fromthe Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as well as how results could be interpreted, ifSSA data were collected. Some veterans in receipt ofVA disability compensation also receive SSDI; some forthe same disability, some for a combination of service- connected and nonservice-connecteddisabilities, and some for disabilities unrelated totheir service. The frequency and amount of benefitsreceived is not known. At issue iswhether the Commission should include this informationin its assessment of the appropriateness of the level of benefits providedto veterans for disabilities resulting from military service.Allegations have been made that the Commissionintends to propose off setting benefits or reducingbenefits. This definitely is not the intent of theCommission.In January 2006, the Commission contracted withthe Center for Naval Analyses Corporation (CNAC) togather data and assist with the analysis of certain aspects of disability andsurvivor benefits related to military service. Theeffects of disability on average and individual loss of earning capacity, quality oflife, and individual unemployability are some keyquestions to be addressed by CNAC's research. CNAC'sdata gathering will include both surveying disabled veterans and survivors and an economic analysiscomparing earnings of disabled veterans to a sample ofveterans with no service related disabilities.A decision on SSDI was deferred until the nextmeeting of the Commission. In the interim, theCommission staff has been researching the relevance and usefulness of the SSDI data, andthe Chairman offered the Armed Services and VeteransAffairs Committees of the House and Senate anopportunity to comment on the issue. The Chairman's offer and the Committee responses areposted on the Commission website: .Anyone interested in the SSDI or other veterans'benefits issues is invited to attend future Commissionpublic meetings and present oral statements to the Commission. Oral presentationswill be limited to no more than five minutes. Interested parties are also encouraged to provide written comments for review by theCommission prior to the meeting by e-mail>or by regular post to Mr. Ray Wilburn, ExecutiveDirector, Veterans' Disability Benefits Commission,1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20004.For more information about the Commission and itsactivities, please visit the website at

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