RAO Davao City

United States Military Retiree Activities Office Davao City, Philippines

VA COMP PAYMENT DISPARITY UPDATE – 1 May 2008

Posted by Service Officer on April 30th, 2008

Ohio ranked second-to-last in compensation for disabled veterans, and federal lawmakers are looking at why cases in other states collect thousands of dollars more. More than 85,000 veterans in Ohio receive disability payments, and they routinely trail their peers from other states, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs survey from 2006. Only Indiana’s disabled veterans earned less.

Rep. Zack Space (D-OH-18) is pushing for the VA to have a national standard for payments. Veterans in Ohio receive as much as $4,800 less than those in New Mexico. Veterans in Oklahoma receive $4,185 more than their Ohio peers, and those in West Virginia earn $3,857 more. Space and his colleagues on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs are looking into the disparity.

Part of the reason for the gap is that each state’s veterans’ system sets its own standards for disability. For instance, a soldier in one state might be classified as only partially disabled and thus eligible for small payments. The same veteran could be seen as a more serious case in another state and eligible for greater payment.

Towards this Rep. Space introduced H.R.5709 on 3 APR which would instruct the VA to watch over the system and evaluate how states rate disabilities. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and presently has no cosponsors.

VA spokesman Steven Westerfeld said the department has started training workers who decide each veteran’s level of disability. He also said the VA is considering consolidating the grading system. [Source: ArmyTimes AP article 14 Apr 08 ++]

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