Chapter 61 Veterans Get More Bad News

Veterans discharged from the military with non-service connected disabilities who have less than the required number of years in service to be eligible for benefits are finding that congressional mandated budget cuts are making it less and less likely they will be able to draw both a retirerment (medical discharge) and disability payment. This form of payment known as “concurrent receipt” has been around since the 19th century. Medical disability retirees still have their military retired pay reduced dollar for dollar by any amount received in Veterans Affairs Department disability compensation. This offset will be completely phased out in two years giving veterans with 20 or more years service the full receipt of both benefits. Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees both supported the full funding for Chapter 61 benefits at a cost of about $5.1 billion but funding could not be found. (from Marine Times by Rick Maze and 540 staff reports)