Magazine article VFW Magazine

VA Budget Calls for Cuts to Veterans Benefits

Magazine article VFW Magazine

VA Budget Calls for Cuts to Veterans Benefits

Article excerpt

The Trump Administration's proposed $186.5 billion FY2018 VA budget would bolster VA's Choice Program, which offers veterans a private care option if they have to wait too long or travel too far for a VA appointment. The proposal allocates more than $13 billion for medical care outside the VA.

The budget also includes some $8.4 billion for mental health care and $1.7 billion for homeless vets assistance programs.

One controversial section of the proposed budget would cut veterans benefits, including the Individual Unemployability (IU) program. That IU program awards payouts to vets with VA disability ratings who cannot work due to service-connected injuries. The program currently allows them to get paid at the highest compensation rate.

In 2017, a 100 percent rated disabled vet living alone receives $2,915 per month.

The idea would be to stop the payouts once vets are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits. …

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