Gus Bilirakis continues efforts to extend pension benefits to disabled veterans


United States Representative Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., The former vice-president of the United States House Veterans Affairs Committee, brought back its proposal to extend pension benefits for disabled veterans.

Last week Bilirakis partnered with United States Representative Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., To bring back the “Major Richard Star Act”.

The Florida Republican office presented some of the rationale for the proposal when it first introduced it a year ago.

“In 2004, Congress passed a Simultaneous Receipt Act, which allows military retirees with a disability rating of 50 percent or more to receive both military retirement pay and compensation. This was previously prohibited by law. Sadly, those who have retired from the military who have not reached the 20-year mark and been medically retired under Chapter 61 due to combat-related injuries are not receiving the compensation they deserve. . These retirees are having their disability pay deducted from their retirement pay, which is wrong, “the congressman’s office noted, insisting that the bill” will allow more veterans who deserve it all. as much to receive the benefits to which they are legitimately entitled “by repealing the” unfair compensation and allows combat wounded veterans of Chapter 61 (those who were medically retired with less than 20 years of service) to participate in the concurrent receipts program , by receiving their retirement allowance from the Ministry of Defense and their disability allowance from the Department of Veterans Affairs. “

“The brave men and women who return from serving our country should be able to receive the benefits promised to them. The military retirement benefit and the service-related disability benefit are two completely different benefits. One does not diminish the merits of the other, ”Bilirakis said. “I am committed to rectifying this injustice for all Veterans, and passing the Major Richard Star Act will bring us closer to our goal of ensuring Veterans receive the benefits they have earned and deserve. “

“I am proud to reintroduce the bipartisan Major Richard Star Act this week,” Ruiz said. “Major Star tragically passed away this month far too early at the age of 51. This bill honors his service and his life by repealing the unfair law that prevents veterans from receiving military retirement pay and service-related disability pay. legitimately earned.

“The bill is named in honor of Major Richard A. Star, a father, husband and decorated veteran who, due to his combat-related injuries, retired for medical reasons. Major Star unfortunately lost his battle with cancer on February 13, 2021, ”the congressman’s office noted.

“It is with great gratitude that I thank Representatives Bilirakis and Ruiz for introducing the Major Richard Star Act and their continued commitment to assisting our American soldiers, our veterans and their families,” said Tonya Star, the Widow of Major Starr. “Before Major Richard Star lost his long-standing battle with cancer just days ago after 29 years of service, he made me promise to continue working with members of Congress to get this bill through. law and help the 42,000 families who desperately benefit from it. It is an honor for me to continue this effort in his memory.

The invoice has been sent to United States Armed Services and Veterans Commissions Last week.

There are more than 55 co-sponsors in the Chamber, including United States Representative Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., Bill posey, R-Fla., And John rutherford, R-Fla.

In recent years, Bilirakis has defended the “Retiree Remuneration Restoration Act“, A similar bill to” ensure that veterans can receive both their VA disability award and military pay upon retirement, thereby eliminating the unfair compensation between the two benefits. “

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