Retro pay reaches $31,000, averages $1,500

By Tom Philpott : Military Update Two months into a year-long review of pay records and disability compensation histories for 140,000 military retirees have produced a total of $45 million in back pay to 31,000 disabled retirees, say officials in charge. The lump-sum payments average about $1,500. Ten retirees have received more than $25,000 each, […]

Lump sum payment may be improvement

By Tom Philpott: Military Update The Veterans’ Disability Benefits Commission has examined and rejected a proposal that the VA begin offering veterans with lower-rated disabilities a lump-sum payment instead of lifetime monthly compensation. The 13-member commission reached its decision unanimously last week at a public meeting in Washington, D.C. It did so after being briefed […]

Disability helps specialist relate

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By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Instead of settling into retirement and putting up his feet after 26 years in the Air Force, John Prater headed to the college classroom. However, somewhere along the way he began to suffer the effects of memory loss brought on by a chemical imbalance in his brain. Extensive time at […]

Choice can work against veterans

By Tom Phillpot: Military Update The Senate voted on Aug. 3 to allow paid attorneys, for the first time in over a century, to represent veterans in filing disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs. “It’s like inviting the wolf into the chicken house,” said retired Air Force Lt. Col. Charley Burch. Burch, 74, […]

Veteran compensation needs overhaul

By Tom Philpott: Military Update The Department of Veterans Affairs mismanages its program for rating disabled veterans as “unemployable,” according to a new report by congressional auditors. Because of weak oversight of Individual Unemployability (IU) benefits, some veterans get more compensation than warranted, and the VA is ineffective in moving seriously disabled veterans toward productive […]