Issue: Congress needs to fully eliminate the law that makes most disabled uniformed services retirees forfeit part or all of their military retired pay for VA disability compensation.
Background: For decades, MOAA has sought legislation providing full relief from the 19th century law that required a dollar-for-dollar offset of military retired pay for VA disability compensation. MOAA strongly believes retired pay is earned for a career of uniformed service, and VA disability compensation is recompense for pain, suffering, and lost future earning power due to service-connected disabilities.
Since we persuaded Congress to make the first very modest step in 2003 for a small, yet significant, group of disabled retirees, we’ve made steady incremental progress almost every year in broadening eligibility. In the ensuing 6 years, we’ve fully restored earned service-based retired pay for 100% disabled retirees with at least 20 years of service and all combat-disabled retirees without regard to length of service or percentage of combat-related disability.
Additionally, we’ve won a scheduled 10-year phase-out of the disability offset (to be completed by 2014) for retirees with 50% or higher-rated non-combat-related disabilities who have at least 20 years of service or were retired under the Temporary Early Retirement Authority of the 1990s.
Although these major improvements cover 304,000 disabled retirees, or 33% of the total disabled retired population, still 623,000 fund their disability compensation from the VA dollar-for-dollar from their retired pay.