Gus Bilirakis’ bill expands retirement benefits for disabled veterans
WE Rep. Gus BilirakisR-Fla., announced that his proposal to extend retirement benefits to disabled veterans is gaining traction on Capitol Hill.
In February 2021, Bilirakis partnered with the United States Rep. Raúl RuizD-California, to bring back the “Act of Major Richard Star”.
Florida’s Republican office presented some of the justifications for the proposal when it first introduced it a year ago.
“In 2004, Congress passed a Concurrent Receipts Act, which allows military retirees with a disability rating of 50 percent or greater to receive both pay and a military retiree’s allowance. This was previously prohibited by law. Unfortunately, those who have retired from the military who have not reached the 20 year mark and who have been medically retired under Chapter 61 due to combat-related injuries do not receive the compensation they receive. deserve. These retirees are having their disability award deducted from their retirement pay, which is wrong,” the congressman’s office noted, insisting that the bill “will allow more veterans who deserve everything so as to receive the benefits to which they are rightfully entitled” by repealing the “unfair compensation and allowing Chapter 61 veterans injured in action (those who were medically retired with less than 20 years of service) to participate in the program of simultaneous receipts, receive their retirement allowance from the Department of Defense and their disability award from the Department of Veterans Affairs. “
“The bill is named in honor of Major Richard A. Star, a father, husband, and decorated veteran who, as a result of his battle-related injuries, was medically retired . Major Star sadly lost his battle with cancer on February 13, 2021,” the congressman’s office noted.
The invoice was sent to United States House Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committees. The bill now has 290 co-sponsors in the House, including the United States Vern Buchanan RepresentativesR-Fla., Matt GaetzR-Fla., Bill PoseyR-Fla., and John Rutherford, R-Fla., all of whom were early proponents of the proposal. WE Representative Alcee HastingsD-Fla., was also an early supporter of the bill before his death last year.
With so many co-sponsors, the bill has been added to the consensus timeline.
“The brave men and women who return from serving our country should be able to receive the benefits they have been promised. The military retirement allowance and the service-related disability allowance are two completely different benefits. One does not diminish the merits of the other,” Bilirakis said late last week. “I am committed to correcting this injustice for all veterans, and passing the Major Richard Star Act will bring us one step closer to our goal of ensuring veterans receive the benefits they have earned and that ‘they deserve.
“I want to thank the veterans service organizations who have been tenacious in reaching out to members of Congress across the country to apply for co-sponsorship. With their unwavering support, we are able to move this bill one step closer to becoming law,” Bilirakis added.
“After serving and sacrificing for our nation, too many veterans face unnecessary barriers to receiving the benefits they need, have earned and deserve,” Ruiz said. “The Major Richard Star Act would repeal the unfair law that prevents veterans from receiving the military retirement pay and service-related disability award they rightfully earned.”
WE Senator Jon TesterD-Mont., is defending the proposal in the US Senate and has attracted more than 60 co-sponsors.