How would you feel if society scorned you for following the law? It may seem like a silly question to ask, but after hearing about a recent story that was published on the Heritage Foundation’s website, our readers may not find the question so farfetched anymore.
The story we are referring to is the November 6 article regarding disability benefits for disabled veterans. In the article, the writer explains how in 2013, roughly 60,000 disabled veterans were receiving benefits from three separate federal programs at the same time. This statement, as well as the article’s title, seems to suggest right off the bat that these veterans are doing something that should be frowned upon by readers.
But for those who understand the system, this reaction should be very different. That’s because these veterans are not defrauding the system as some may be led to believe but they are actually following the law. Let’s take a look.
The Social Security Administration allows people with disabilities to collect both Social Security Disability Insurance as well as other disability benefits from other programs. Depending on the additional benefit, the amount received from SSDI may be unaffected or decreased.
As true as this is for any resident across the country, this is also true for disabled veterans who are also allowed to draw from their retirement pensions as well in the event that their disability forces them out of service.
As we have said before on this blog, the laws governing Social Security are complex, oftentimes leaving the average person unaware of what they can and cannot do. Sometimes, news stories can paint a skewed picture of the situation, causing some people to scorn their neighbors even though their neighbor may be simply receiving the benefits that have been afforded to them by the law.
Source: The Heritage Foundation, “Triple-Dipping: Thousands of Veterans Receive More than $100,000 in Benefits Every Year,” Romania Boccia, Nov. 6, 2014