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View Poll Results: What do you think is fair and reasonable regarding 100% disabled VA pay?
Increase 100% disabled veteranís pay to the US median household income Ė adjust yearly 2 12.50%
Increase 100% disabled veteranís pay to what a member of Congress makes Ė adjust yearly 2 12.50%
Keep 100% disabled veteran pay what it currently is with only minor COLA adjustments 12 75.00%
I have another fair and reasonable suggestion benefiting vets that I will explain in the comment section 0 0%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-04-2018, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Somewhere Over the Rainbow
26,007 posts, read 10,701,132 times
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The maximum SSDI payment is $2642 a month that is $31,584 but the average SSDI payment is $1197. I don't think any pension, disability or otherwise is expected to provide you with the equivalent of the median US income
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Old 05-04-2018, 09:26 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
593 posts, read 294,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txbullsfan View Post
Few would argue against the concept that our military veterans served and took care of us, we should take care of them. When I looked at the pay of 100% disabled veterans and compared it to a few things I was shocked.

As of 2018:

The Median household income of the US is: $59,039
A US member of Congress: $174,000

A 100% disabled veteran makes: $35,686

Based on the above numbers:
A 100% disabled veteran makes $23,353 per year ($1,946/month) less than the average median household income
A 100% disabled veteran makes $138,314 per year ($11,526/month) less than a member of congress

I am considering starting a petition regarding increasing veteranís pay to get it at one of the following levels. I would like to know what people in general/you think is fair and reasonable:

1. Increase 100% disabled veteranís pay to the US median household income Ė adjust yearly
2. Increase 100% disabled veteranís pay to what a member of Congress makes Ė adjust yearly
3. Keep 100% disabled veteran pay what it currently is with only minor COLA adjustments
4. I have another fair and reasonable suggestion benefiting vets that I will explain in the comment section

Please vote above and/or provide your vote number and comment in the comment section below.

So why do you think this and are you taking in to account that disabled veterans that are married and have kids make more than single guys. I am a 100% disabled veteran with a wife and 4 kids, I am now making $3500 per month tax free.

You do know that the $35000 you are you quoting is tax free right?
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Old 05-05-2018, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,636 posts, read 4,357,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberfx1024 View Post
So why do you think this and are you taking in to account that disabled veterans that are married and have kids make more than single guys. I am a 100% disabled veteran with a wife and 4 kids, I am now making $3500 per month tax free.

You do know that the $35000 you are you quoting is tax free right?
I am so with you. I am surprised this thread even got to the second page. I honestly didn't understand what the point of comparing VA disability pay to members of the population or members of congress. Rated disabled veterans are getting compensated for their injuries. In fact some are getting more than they deserve but I wont go any further with that one. However if you wish to have some activism for veterans then as your congressman to vote yes on H.R 303. This bill will address the fact that a retired veteran with a disability rating with pay of 10% to 40% to not have to have pay off-set while a retired veteran that has 50% or greater with pay rating gets to keep the entire retirement pay. Seems to be kind of a kick in the pants. Just because a vet didn't get big enough hemorrhoids he gets penalized. Hmmmmm I like that fight better. Seems to me more legitimate.
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Old 05-06-2018, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
275 posts, read 217,821 times
Reputation: 494
Interesting topic. I couldn't decide which to pick from the options given. I suspect, if it was a disabled veteran voting in your poll, he would want more money. Common sense says to choose the option that nets the most money for yourself. Who turns down a pay raise?
If you're asking the general public, the folks that pay the taxes and don't benefit from increased disability pay, then those folks would more often choose the option that costs them the least.
As is almost always the case, I believe the answer lies somewhere in the middle.
Pay received is usually for compensation for services (work). So I suppose I would have to conclude that a disabled veterans benefit (pay) is compensation for their disability sustained while serving.
The average person will work for fair pay. If the pay is not fair compensation for the work done, the person will seek a different job for better pay (or easier work for the same pay). If they want a better, higher paying job they can choose to get more training or a college degree to secure a better paying job. They can choose to improve their pay and their position in life.
A disabled veteran doesn't have this option to change jobs; he can't choose to become less disabled.
Lets look at a hypothetical disabled veteran. Let's say our hypothetical
soldier was injured by an IED and lost a leg. He also suffers from PTSD and depression. So, our hypothetical soldier now receives $3,500 per month tax free as compensation for his injuries. The question is, is that fair compensation? It may be for some and not for others. I think you'd have to ask our hypothetical soldier... "If you could, would you give up your disability pension forever if you could have your leg back and no PTSD and depression?"
If he answers yes, then the compensation may not be fair. It may not be enough.
If he answers no, then the compensation is enough, or too much.

(edit, added): How much would you need to be paid to allow one of your legs to be amputated, and the accompanying psych issues if any?

I read somewhere that the suicide rate among veterans is five times higher than the general population. How many of these vets were receiving disability pensions? Would they still be alive if they had more money? No way to know, there are no do-overs.

Last edited by Neosec; 05-06-2018 at 06:55 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:31 AM
 
17,256 posts, read 9,398,952 times
Reputation: 16533
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsoldier1976 View Post
I am so with you. I am surprised this thread even got to the second page. I honestly didn't understand what the point of comparing VA disability pay to members of the population or members of congress. Rated disabled veterans are getting compensated for their injuries. In fact some are getting more than they deserve but I wont go any further with that one. However if you wish to have some activism for veterans then as your congressman to vote yes on H.R 303. This bill will address the fact that a retired veteran with a disability rating with pay of 10% to 40% to not have to have pay off-set while a retired veteran that has 50% or greater with pay rating gets to keep the entire retirement pay. Seems to be kind of a kick in the pants. Just because a vet didn't get big enough hemorrhoids he gets penalized. Hmmmmm I like that fight better. Seems to me more legitimate.
Yes, as it now stands, the actual compensation for less than 50% disability is only the tax benefit of not having a portion of retirement pay counted as taxable.
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Old 05-06-2018, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,636 posts, read 4,357,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
Yes, as it now stands, the actual compensation for less than 50% disability is only the tax benefit of not having a portion of retirement pay counted as taxable.
yup and if you ask us that have 40% or less rating we think it is a penalty because we didn't get more than half broke before we retired.


I have written my congressman 9 times on this subject. I have talked to one of his staffers about it for a period of about an hour. My congressman has said he is on board but he has not signed it. But there are only 91 congressional signatures on it now.

It has grown in the last month. I think 2 more people signed on board. Maybe my message is getting out to people. If your congressman is not one of the signatures write them.
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Old 05-06-2018, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Yellow cottage, green doors.
16,272 posts, read 12,410,405 times
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Thanks to all the veterans I don't need to vote publicly.
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Old 05-06-2018, 02:28 PM
 
297 posts, read 162,164 times
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I am just checking in after making the original post.

For all the patriotism and "pro vet" a good portion of this country is, I must say I am a bit disappointing in the majority of votes at this point. Hopefully things change.

I don't personally think that a vet should make what a congressman does as what a congressman makes I believe is quite unreasonable but that could be a different thread topic in of itself. The point of using a congressman's pay as an option was to show that they make a lucrative amount of money and they make the rules/laws and influence pay on other subgroups so they may not comprehend struggles of subgroups of lower pay. With this in mind, they may enact policies such as COLA adjustments that don't truly reflect true yearly cost of living increases. Looking back, perhaps I shouldn't have used congressman pay as an option in the poll but just stated the amount in the OP.

However, with that said, I personally believe pay of a 100% disabled veteran should be bumped up to what the average/median American is making at a bare minimum; as if they were not disabled with service connected injuries, little argument could be made that they statistically would most likely be making an amount of the average American. Right now, this is not how it is. Because VA pay is tax free I believe 100% DAV pay should reasonably increased to $41,328 (as of 2018) and readjusted yearly based on median American base pay or true COLA increases (which ever is higher).

Why an increase to $41,328 (tax free) from $35,686? Because I think its fair and reasonable that someone 100% disabled who served our country deserves to make, at a very minimum what the average American makes. Let me explain further:

The Average American makes: $59,040 (current as of - 2018)
There is a national average of aprox 30% of taxes off of that $59,040 - some pay less because no state tax.
$59,040 (base pay) x .30 (tax rate) = $17,712 (is paid in taxes)
$59,040 (base pay) - $17,712 (taxes) = $41,328 (take home pay)

So average person makes $41,328 (take home) after taxes.

This take home pay of an average American is probably more then $41,328 due to the fact that, according to the IRS, about 77% of Americans get a tax refund. But regardless, lets throw that fact out for a minute and say that no one gets any yearly tax refunds.

A 100% disabled vet makes $35,686 (tax free). That is a difference of about $5,642 less per year or almost about $500 less per month compared to the median base pay (after taxes) of the average American.

I think increasing a 100% disabled veteran's pay to the average American's pay and adjusting to meet this rate yearly, or true COLA inflation (which ever is higher) is the very least that can be done in regards to 100% disabled Vet pay.

Few would argue that the cost of everything is going up on a national average level:
Rent, home ownership purchase prices, property taxes, food prices, gas prices, insurance prices, phone bills, electric bills, water and sewer bills, medication prices etc. True cost of living is increasing.

I think even those that voted to keep 100% disabled veteran's pay where it is will agree that the true COLA increases are not truly keeping pace with true inflation of everyday living expenses. This is not just true with Vets but with SS recipients (or any other group that relies on COLA increases) as well.

If one believes that COLA increases are not keeping pace with true cost of living increases (and most do according multiple polling over multiple years), then that means that every year, the yearly pay of people most affected by COLA adjustments is falling behind true cost of living. Basically, a person's income (in this case disabled vets) income is worth less and less and their paycheck is stretched more and more. There comes a point where there is "no fat" left to cut out of a persons living living expenses and one begins cutting tissue and bone. Where vets who are 100% disabled and can not work just can not meet basic living expenses.

If everyday American's are struggling on making $59,040 per year and the continually rising cost of living (as evidenced by increasing homelessness and multiple other factors), how much more do people think veteran's, who make less then that and are 100% disabled are struggling?

Yes, I think increasing a 100% disabled veteran's pay to the average American's pay and adjusting to meet this rate, or true COLA inflation (which ever is higher) is the very least that can be done in regards to disabled Vet pay.
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Old 05-08-2018, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
275 posts, read 217,821 times
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If COLA actually kept up with inflation this thread probably wouldn't exist. Have a look at the following chart(s) that track 100% Disabled Veteran Compensation...

Back in the 80's and early 90's a 100% disabled vet could qualify for an average American home mortgage at less than 30% of his income. Today it requires 60% to buy an average home... he can no longer qualify for the mortgage.

What changed? 100% Disabled veteran's pension used to track average income, right up until 1996, then the split you see below started. What changed in government policy in 1996?





Source is federal government official data.

{Edit... Added Chart...}

For comparison, here's a longer-time chart.



Last edited by Neosec; 05-08-2018 at 07:27 AM..
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:38 PM
 
12,296 posts, read 11,743,494 times
Reputation: 16733
That $59,000 number is household income, not individual; disability compensation is for the individual. So the 100% disabled veteran is getting $5600 less than the household income, not individual. Income per capita is around $31,000 gross.

For the COLA topic; COLA for every industry, private sector, federal government, etc, has not been keeping pace with, well, the cost of living, in numerous markets, this of course due to the rapid increase in housing costs.
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