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New rules speed concurrent receipt.

Military retirees who receive disability compensation for individual unemployability can now receive their full military retirement pay and disability compensation effective from Jan. 1, 2005, under new rules published March 19.

The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act provides veterans who receive disability compensation based on a VA determination of individual unemployability are no longer subject to a phase-in period for concurrent receipt of both payments.

"The new rule clarifies that veterans who are rated 100 percent disabled because of individual unemployability are entitled to both payments of retirement benefits and disability compensation," said National Service Director Randy Reese. "Any benefits due based on the termination of the previously enacted phase in period are payable from Jan. 1, 2005."

In 2004, Congress authorized concurrent receipt of retirement pay and VA disability compensation for a limited number of veterans, which was to be phased-in from Jan. l, 2004, through Dec. 31, 2013.

Congress eliminated the phase-in period in 2005 for retirees who were 100 percent disabled. But veterans rated 100 percent due to individual unemployability were excluded. Those veterans remained subject to the phase-in period until Sept. 30, 2009. The 2008 law eliminated that inequity.

"The change is another small step forward in the incremental process Congress has employed to permit earned compensation benefits and military retirement pay to our veterans," said Reese. "The DAV remains steadfast in its goal to allow full concurrent receipt of military longevity retirement pay and disability compensation to all eligible disabled veterans."

Most disabled retired military veterans with less than a 100 percent disability rating remain subject to the phase-in requirements imposed by Congress in 2004. Some with 50 percent disability ratings and higher or with combat-related disabilities currently receive full concurrent receipt of retirement benefits and disability compensation.

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Title Annotation:Veterans News
Publication:DAV Magazine
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2009
Words:293
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