Boulder City Magazine® August 2007 Issue
by Senator Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader
Supporting Boulder City's Veterans
Veterans continually make sacrifices to promote the well-being of our country. We must honor them for their dedication to America’s security. Throughout my career, I have worked hard to ensure that the veterans living in Boulder City and throughout Nevada have the benefits they so desperately need and deserve.
Boulder City Magazine®
|Recently, I offered important legislation to the Department of Defense (DOD) Authorization Bill. These bills address issues that veterans face regarding the care they receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The first amendment I submitted to the DOD Bill aims to restore earned military pay for disabled retirees deemed 100 Percent Unemployable. The Administration created two categories of disabled veterans: “totally disabled,” who do not have to wait and get 100 percent of their benefits and “unemployable,” who unfortunately have to wait to get their benefits. In 2005, I submitted legislation to eliminate the 10 year phase for “unemployable” veterans, but the conference committee chose not to enact it until 2009. This current legislation will amend the 2005 law with an effective date of December 31, 2004 instead of 2009, allowing entitlement pay in arrears through December 31, 2004, thus providing back pay. It will align this group of veterans with their colleagues included in the original 2004 legislation.
My second amendment addresses Concurrent Receipt by allowing disabled veterans to simultaneously collect their military retirement paycheck and VA disability compensation, which is currently prohibited by a law passed in 1891. If passed, this legislation will affect more than 500,000 disabled military retirees, including veterans from Boulder City. It will allow all veterans, regardless of their disability rating, to draw from their retirement pay and disability compensation.
I also introduced the Combat-Related Special Compensation Act, which is already a part of the underlying bill. This will ensure that soldiers who are forced into medical retirement by combat injuries before attaining 20 years of service remain eligible to receive their combat-related disability and retirement benefits, proportional to their length of service. This legislation will affect the more than 23,000 injured personnel returning from war.
Contact Harry Reid at http://reid.senate.gov/
P.O. Box 61901
Boulder City, Nevada 89006
Phone (702) 294-1392 Fax (702) 294-1392
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