ARMED FORCES NEWS
NEW BENEFITS SET FOR Ex-POWs
August 2, 2002


Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony J. Principi announced on Oct. 2 that the Bush administration will expand benefits to all former POWs with strokes and common heart diseases. "This is an issue that has been studied and debated too long," Principi said. "We have scientific studies supporting the association of these illnesses to the military service of our former POWs." Those veterans automatically will be eligible for disability compensation for those common ailments, and their spouses and dependents will be eligible for service-connected survivors' benefits if the diseases contribute to the death of a former POW. The new benefits will be added to the list of 16 medical problems that VA presumes to be linked to the military service of former POWs. The new rules are likely to take effect today (Oct. 7).
 

ARMED FORCES NEWS
CONCURRENT RECEIPT EXPEDITED FOR SEVERELY DISABLED
October15, 2004
 

The fiscal '05 defense authorization act authorized immediate concurrent receipt, without phase in, for military retirees with a 100 percent disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs. For those affected, this will eliminate the "disabled veterans tax," which refers to a 100-year old requirement for military retirees to forfeit a dollar of retired pay for every dollar of VA compensation received. American Legion commander Thomas P. Cadmus said, "It's a step in the right direction. However, The American Legion will not rest until every retired military veteran with a service-incurred disability receives his or her just due: retirement pay they earned through a full military career and compensation for injuries received while serving their country. Subtracting one from the other is just plain wrong regardless of the degree of disability they suffered."
 

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