Mar 07 2023
Fischer Joins Bipartisan Legislation to Deliver Combat-Injured Veterans Full Military Benefits
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently cosponsored the Major Richard Star Act. This bipartisan legislation would extend full disability benefits to combat-injured veterans with less than 20 years of military service. U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) led the reintroduction of the legislation.
“Our military men and women put themselves in harm’s way to keep our great nation safe. The federal government has a fundamental responsibility to ensure all veterans injured during combat receive the full care and benefits they deserve. The Major Richard Star Act is a commonsense bill with broad support on both sides of the aisle, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this legislation signed into law,” said Senator Fischer.
“I appreciate Senator Fischer taking a stand on this issue and becoming a cosponsor on this important change in legislation. I hope the Major Richard Star Act is just the start of correcting this egregious policy directed at veterans drawing both retirement pay and disability pay. This particular bill looks to ensure a veteran severely wounded in combat can receive a medical retirement and also be compensated by the VA for their combat-related disability without having that disability deducted from their medical retirement pay. These payments (retirement and disability) are two separate and distinct allowances and each were earned by the veteran. Our hope is that another bill goes further because there are a great many other retired veterans who have service-related ailments and receiving VA disability who fall prey to this unfair ‘veteran tax,’” said Nebraska American Legion Department Adjutant David Salak.
“Disabled veterans who are entitled to VA compensation due to their service-connected conditions and retired military pay for their service to this country deserve to receive both, without any offsets. The DAV Department of Nebraska supports the Major Richard Star Act to repeal the offset between VA disability compensation and DoD medical retirement pay. We thank Senator Fischer for her support of this legislation and her dedication to the men and women wounded, injured or made ill during their service to this nation,” said Disabled American Veterans, Department of Nebraska Associate Legislative Director Jim Shuey.
Currently, only veterans with disability ratings above 50 percent and more than 20 years of service are eligible to receive the full amount of their U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) retirement and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability payments, leaving behind medically retired combat veterans with less than 20 years of service. The Major Richard Star Act will fix this policy for medically retired combat veterans—providing them their full VA disability and DoD retirement payments.
The bill is named in honor of Major Richard A. Star, a decorated war veteran who was forced to medically retire due to his combat-related injuries. Major Star tragically lost his battle with cancer on February 13, 2021.
Click here to read the text of the bill.
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