VA Benefits On The Chopping Block
February 26, 2018
Recently, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) completed a "think tank" report on veterans' disability compensation. The ranking member on the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs asked for this study, which looks in detail at trends and policy options in regard to future veterans' compensation. Though the study looked at many areas, the report was primarily focused on potential ways to save future budget dollars (2018 through 2024) in regard to compensation by modifying current compensation to all veterans. Listed below are the areas they reviewed:
- Limit the time in which a veteran can file an initial claim for service-connection after leaving the military. The CBO looked at 5-, 10- and 20-year time frames. As expected, the less time afforded to file a claim resulted in the greatest budgetary savings.
- Increase VA reexaminations on veterans already service-connected.
- Reexamine the standards for declaring something a presumptive condition.
- Change the rules about individual unemployability (IU) in that only those veterans younger than the full social security retirement age will be able to receive this benefit.
- Reexamine the rules as to how compensation payments are determined for veterans with service-connected mental disorders.
- Change cost-of-living adjustments.
- Eliminate concurrent receipt for military retirees. This results in the greatest savings in regard to future VA budget dollars.
- Tax VA compensation disability payments.
All of these are ideas that have been bantered about for some time. Just because the CBO released this report does not mean it will become a reality; however, remember the study was requested by the current administration to determine ways to save future VA budget dollars, and streamline spending. Again, none of the above has become law…yet.