Getting Paid Three Times: 60,000 Veterans Get Retirement Pay, Social Security and Disability Benefits - Retirement | Financial Buzz

Getting Paid Three Times: 60,000 Veterans Get Retirement Pay, Social Security and Disability Benefits

Veteran, Retirment, Veteran Affairs, Benefits, Legal, Government, AccountabilityAlmost 60,000 veterans, in a rare three times play of benefits from the government, received approximately $3.5 billion in 2013 in social security disability checks, military retirement pay and disability benefits from the Veteran Affairs. The information was disclosed through a report by Government Accountability Office.

Everything legal

The arrangement is completely legal. However, a few lawmakers are of the opinion that the report highlights the requirement for better coordination among the government programs, which face tough financial constraints.

The review was requested by Tom Coburn, a Republican from Okhlahoma. He says that officials must fulfill the promises made to veterans, but also work to rationalize the duplicate programs.

Response by veteran groups

Veteran groups, however, have a different thought. They opine that the retirement amount was an earning due to many years of military service, and the disability payments are the compensation for injuries sustained when in service. In the majority of cases, veterans who are recipients of numerous benefits are found to be severely disabled.

According to a report by the Government Accountability Office, the veterans who receive multiple benefits have a VA disability rating coming to a minimum of 50 percent. Almost half of the triple payment recipients have crossed 60 years of age. The report reveals  that only 17 percent of benefits that are being paid to veterans, thrice are those who have a disability due to combat.

Veterans who get no money

In the meantime, a number of veterans do not receive any kind of payments. It happens despite having tried to get them for a number of years. In extreme cases, a few veterans tried to get the VA benefits for almost 15 years. The veteran did not succeed. Many such cases include individuals, having served in the Gulf War and other battles across the globe. In the majority of cases, disabilities are deemed as not qualifying by the Veterans’ Administration.

The Veterans’ Administration’s questionable accounting practices and backlogs are well-known. In a few cases, “dead” veterans even reschedule their appointments. The median time for any veteran to make an application and then receive the consequent benefits exceeds 18 months. It frequently takes approximately two years, if not more.

According to reports, it is believed that Social Security Disability Insurance fund will exhaust in 2016. It will balloon to a substantial problem in the near future.

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