_

________

_       
Upcoming
Actions!
 
August 6th: Hiroshima Day Activities in Portland


Dates To Remember:
July 22-25
Veterans For Peace National Convention in Boston.
 
Home
 
About Us ►
 
VFP Events & Actions ►
 
GI Resources ►
 
Resources ►
 
VFP Archives ►
 
Youth Action ►
 
Affiliates ►
 
disclaimer
 

Needed

spending

Proposed

spending

$33.6 b

$29.8 b

(Discretionary in billions, FY2005)

Veterans Benefits

The Iraq War is creating more veterans, yet the veterans benefits system continues to

be under-funded. The Bush Administration’s proposed spending on discretionary

veterans benefits for fiscal year 2005 amounts to $29.8 billion, $3.8 billion below the

amount needed, according to leading veterans’ organizations.1 While the

Congressional budget resolution passed by the House this month includes $31 billion

in discretionary spending for veterans benefits, a funding gap of $2.6 billion would

remain.

In contrast, war spending for Iraq thus far totals

more than $150 billion. The cost of the war to

Maine taxpayers to date is $440.2 million.2

Veterans’ medical care comprises the vast majority

of discretionary veterans spending. Maine’s

veterans health-care facilities would need

$17.7 million more than has been proposed to

meet its veterans’ health-care needs.3

Nationally, 170,000 reservists and National Guard

troops are currently active, primarily due to the

war in Iraq, and many of them will become eligible

for veterans benefits. The war has already led to

more than 4,000 soldiers wounded in action. A

significant number of these soldiers will be

permanently disabled.

Veterans benefits under-funded in

Maine while war costs add up

May 2004

The National Priorities Project creates reliable estimates using data culled from various sources, primarily

the federal government. Much of the raw data are available through NPP’s interactive database,

www.nationalpriorities.org/database.

© 2004 National Priorities Project, Inc. 􀂐 17 New South Street, Suite 302 􀂐 Northampton, MA 01060

413-584-9556 􀂐 info@nationalpriorities.org 􀂐 www.nationalpriorities.org

Maine at War4

Veterans, total 145,440

Veterans, disabled (service-connected) 18,490

Wounded in action during Iraq War as of May 8 36

Reservists and National Guard troops active 1,509

Consequences of funding gap for veterans

Enrollment refused for certain veterans: A VA study in 2002 showed 310,000

veterans waiting for medical appointments, half for more than six months.5 In order

to reduce the backlog, the Bush Administration refused enrollment to one category of

veterans as of January 2003. (Veterans are assigned to categories according to when

they served, their disabilities and income.)

Waiting for compensation: Veterans filing a claim for disability compensation

must wait on average six months6 and sometimes as long as two years before

receiving any compensation. While the Iraq War will result in thousands more

veterans seeking disability compensation,7 the Bush Administration’s funding

proposal for FY 2005 would reduce the number of staff responsible for processing

these claims.

Congress attempted to limit eligibility: Debate over the FY2004 Defense

Authorization Bill included an attempt by members of the House leadership to

redefine eligibility for veterans’ disability compensation. They wanted to replace the

“line of duty” standard for eligibility with a strict “performance of duty” standard,

putting the burden on the veteran to prove that his/her disability was caused by

military duties. While this move was rebuffed, the bill established a commission to

study eligibility.

Cost-of-living increases reduced: During the 1990s, the practice of rounding

down cost-of-living increases on veterans’ compensation was put into place to help

balance the federal budget. That legislation is scheduled to expire. The

Administration now proposes to make this practice permanent, though it erodes the

value of service-connected disability compensation over time and results in lower

living standards.

1Recommended level according to the Independent Budget at http://www.pva.org/independentbudget which is published

by a number of veterans’ organizations including the American Veterans, Disabled American Veterans and Paralyzed

Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Amounts refer to the discretionary portion of veterans benefits

spending. Discretionary spending is debated and decided by Congress each year after receiving a proposal from the

Administration. Mandatory funding, which includes veterans’ pensions and disability compensation, is authorized by

eligibility rules, which then determine the level of funding. 2The total Iraq War spending assumes Congress will pass the

Administration’s latest request for funds. For more on the cost of war, visit www.nationalpriorities.org. 3The state

breakdowns are calculated based on each state’s share of veterans medical care spending, according to the Department of

Veterans Affairs (VA) and the $3.9 billion funding gap. 4Data from the VA and Department of Defense. State figures for

reservists and national guard troops do not include the Coast Guard or Marines. 5Independent Budget, p. 50. 6Major

Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of Veterans Affairs, January 2003, GAO-03-110. 7More than

one-third of conflict Gulf War veterans, more than 200,000, have filed a claim with the Veterans Benefits Administration.

© 2004 National Priorities Project, Inc. 􀂐 17 New South Street, Suite 302 􀂐 Northampton, MA 01060

413-584-9556 􀂐 info@nationalpriorities.org 􀂐 www.nationalpriorities.org

 

 
_______________   _______________

 

uggs black friday jordan 13 bred bred 13s michael kors cyber monday beats by dre black friday uggs cyber monday jordan 13 grey toe uggs black friday jordan 11 legend blue north face cyber monday jordan 13 grey toe jordan 11 legend blue lebron 12 jordan 6 black infrared michael kors black friday north face black friday bred 13s black infrared 6s uggs black friday michael kors black friday jordan 11 legend blue black infrared 6s north face cyber monday jordan 13 barons jordan 6 black infrared coach black friday jordan 6 black infrared north face black friday beats by dre black friday beats by dre black friday beats by dre black friday north face black friday michael kors black friday beats by dre cyber monday north face cyber monday jordan 11 legend blue uggs black friday uggs black friday jordan 13 black infrared 23 beats by dre black friday north face cyber monday uggs black friday jordan 11 legend blue beats by dre cyber Monday jordan 6 black infrared jordan 6 black infrared beats by dre outlet uggs black friday beats by dre cheap beats by dre cyber monday grey toe 13s black infrared 6s north face black friday north face black friday uggs cyber monday uggs cyber monday jordan 11 legend blue jordan 6 black infrared michael kors cyber monday coach cyber monday north face cyber monday michael kors cyber monday north face black friday barons 13s black infrared 23 13s north face cyber monday jordan 6 black infrared north face black friday coach cyber monday jordan 11 legend blue north face cyber monday lebron 12 north face black friday jordan 11 legend blue louis vuitton outlet jordan 13 grey toe jordan 13 grey toe beats by dre black friday coach black friday jordan 13 bred coach cyber monday uggs black friday jordan 13 black infrared 23 uggs cyber monday jordan 13 barons uggs black friday beats by dre black friday black infrared 6s jordan 13 bred black infrared 23 13s north face black friday black infrared 6s jordan 11 legend blue michael kors black friday jordan 13 grey toe coach black friday michael kors black friday michael kors cyber monday beats by dre cyber monday north face cyber monday coach black friday michael kors cyber monday beats by dre cyber monday beats by dre cheap north face cyber monday lululemon black friday uggs black friday bred 13s coach cyber monday beats by dre black friday uggs black friday coach black friday legend blue 11s jordan 6 black infrared jordan 6 black infrared louis vuitton outlet bred 13s beats by dre outlet lebron 12 uggs cyber monday