Hello readers! My name is Terry Vance, and I am the Program Manager at Operation Welcome Home. I’m stepping in for Tiffany this month to share some information that has been useful for the veterans I see on a regular basis.
Disability and retirement pay is not a new topic among the veteran community. For decades, past attempts to improve benefits made by Congress have been to no avail. Times could be changing with the passage of the PACT Act in 2022. The benefits expansion now made available was the easy part, but now it’s getting those same lawmakers to ensure the veterans entitled to the benefits are receiving them. It is the hope of this veteran that Congress will pass further legislation to reform specifically, veteran’s disability & retirement pay.
Dating back to 2004, according to the Military Times, veterans who have a disability rating of at least 50% have received their full military retirement pay & disability benefits. The combination of both can be several thousand dollars each month for the veteran & his/her family. However, flip the coin & your rating falls below 50%, the veteran is subject to dollar-for-dollar offsets, which simply converts to a loss of several hundred dollars a month for some individuals.
Why is this important? If a veteran is forced to leave the military due to injury, the options when returning home are greatly reduced. Employment opportunities & financial income can be drastically reduced, so receiving benefits the veteran is entitled to can be a life changer for them & their family.
These benefits can change the landscape of those with needs, especially housing, nutrition, and health. These benefits have the potential to reduce the number of veterans who complete suicide, where one is too many. These benefits ensure that the men and women who gave their all, are taken care of, by simply providing what they have earned.
I can say this, from my personal experience of working with veterans over the past several years. veterans are not looking for an easy way out or trying to avoid what everyone else endures to make a living. veterans are simply asking for an even playing field that removes the barriers, the obstacles, the financial concerns, so they can live life to the fullest, support their families, and be a productive member of their community. It is difficult to climb any ladder if just a few rungs are taken out. At Operation Welcome Home we are here to assist veterans who are curious if they have unrealized benefits.
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Good to know: Your life is worth it. Keep fighting and never give up. Every day, responders at the Veterans Crisis Line help people going through a crisis. Dial 988 then Press 1 to reach qualified, caring responders who are ready to listen.
Operation Welcome Home is here to serve veterans and their families in the greater Morgantown area. Let us know how we can assist you by visiting www.welcomehomewv.com or by calling 304-816-4854. See you all next month.