New legislation was recently introduced in hopes of benefiting veterans. Not just veterans but permanently disabled blind veterans. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) initiated a new bill aimed at forcing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to allow blinded Massachusetts veterans to keep their full pension intact. A veteran’s pension is aid given to veterans:
- With reduced or no income;
- Are 65 or over; and
- Are either temporarily or permanently disabled.
The Veteran’s Pensions Protection Act, as drafted by Senator Kerry and if successfully passed, will put a stop to the VA deducting payments veterans rightfully earned from the State of Massachusetts. Currently, all permanently blind Massachusetts veterans receive $2,000 a year. The VA then subtracts this payment from the veterans’ federal pension checks as income. Senator Kerry’s bill is designed to stop this appalling practice and therefore ensure permanently disabled, blind veterans receive everything to which they are entitled.
Senator Kerry is a long time supporter of veteran’s rights and is disgusted at the idea of veterans being denied their owed benefits essentially because of what amounts to red tape. Essentially the VA is reducing the blinded veteran’s pension because they see the $2,000 annuity as income, something veterans are not able to have while accepting a pension.
There are currently 4 other states providing blinded, disabled veterans annuities which are calculated as income. These payments are incomes as opposed to having the annuities being given as gifts and subsequently deducted from the veteran’s pension. A pension is designed to supplement income or completely replace a veteran’s income.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.