Care and benefits for Veterans strengthened by $186 billion VA budget


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In his FY 2018 Budget, President Trump is proposing $186.5 billion for VA. The budget request will ensure the nation’s Veterans receive high-quality health care and timely access to benefits and services. The budget also supports the continued transformation of VA to rebuild the full trust of Veterans as a premier provider of choice for their services and benefits.

“The 2018 budget request reflects the strong commitment of the president to provide the services and benefits that our nation’s Veterans have earned.” said VA Secretary David Shulkin. “VA has made significant progress in improving its service to Veterans and their family members.  We are fully committed to continuing the transformation across the department so we can deliver the standards of performance our Veterans expect and deserve.”

This year’s budget request includes 82 legislative proposals that will help enable the department to better serve Veterans.

Highlights from the President’s 2018 Budget request for VA

The FY 2018 budget includes $82.1 billion in discretionary funding, largely for health care, and $104.3 billion in mandatory funding for benefit programs, such as disability compensation and pensions, and for continuation of the Veterans Choice Program (Choice Program). The discretionary budget request is $4.3 billion (5.5 percent) above the 2017 enacted level, including nearly $3.3 billion in medical care collections from health insurers and Veteran copayments. The budget also requests $74 billion, including collections, for the 2019 advance appropriations for medical care, an increase of $1.7 billion and 2.4 percent above the 2018 medical care budget request.  The request includes $107.7 billion in 2019 mandatory advance appropriations for Compensation and Pensions, Readjustment Benefits, and Veterans Insurance and Indemnities benefits programs in the Veterans Benefits Administration.

 

Health Care

With a total medical care budget of $75.2 billion, including collections and new mandatory funding for the Choice Program, VA is positioned to continue expanding health care services to over 7 million patients. Health care is being provided to more than 858,000 Veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn/Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Major categories funded within the health care budget are:

  • $13.2 billion for community care;
  • $8.8 billion for long-term care;
  • $8.4 billion for mental health care;
  • $1.7 billion for programs for homeless and at-risk Veterans;
  • $751 million for Hepatitis-C treatment;
  • $604 million for caregivers’ benefits; and
  • $316 million for treatment of traumatic brain injuries.

 

Expanding Access

The president’s budget ensures that care and other benefits are available to Veterans when and where they need them. Among the programs that will expand access under the proposed budget are:

  • $13.2 billion for community care compared to $11.2 billion in 2017, a 13 percent increase;
  • $505 million for gender-specific health care services for women, an increase of 7 percent over the 2017 level;
  • $862 million for the activation of new and enhanced health care facilities;
  • $855 million for major and minor construction projects, including a new outpatient clinic at Livermore, California, and expansion of cemeteries at Calverton, New York; Sacramento, California; Bushnell, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; Bridgeville, Pennsylvania; and Elwood, Illinois.

 

Disability Compensation Claims Backlog and Appeals Reform

VBA has continued aggressive efforts aimed at bringing down the disability compensation claims backlog, completing a record-breaking 1.3 million claims in 2016 and reducing the claims backlog by 88 percent, cumulatively, from a peak of 611,000 claims in March 2013 to 71,690 on September 30, 2016. In 2016, Veterans waited, on average, 203 fewer days for a decision than four years ago.  In 2018, VBA is projected to complete 1.4 million claims, and the number of claims pending longer than 125 days is anticipated to remain at about 70 thousand claims.  This pending claims status may change as the volume of claims receipts increases or decreases, and as claims processing becomes more efficient.  VBA’s success in reducing the rating claims backlog has also resulted in a growing appeals inventory.

From 2010 through 2016, VBA completed more than one million disability compensation rating claims annually. Approximately 11 to 12 percent of VBA decisions are appealed, with nearly half of those being formally appealed to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (the Board).  While the appeal rate has remained steady over the last two decades, the appeals volume has increased proportionately to the increase in claims decisions.  The average processing time for resolving appeals in 2016 was three years.  For those appeals that reached the Board, average processing time was six years with thousands of Veterans waiting much longer.

VA has worked with Congress, Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), and other stakeholders to develop a legislative proposal to reform the appeals process. The appeals process under current law is ineffective and confusing, and Veterans wait much too long for a decision on appeal.  The new process will: 1) establish options for Veterans, 2) provide early resolution and improved notifications as to best options, 3) eliminate the perpetual churn of appeals inherent to the existing process, 4) provide Veterans feedback loops to VBA, and 5) improve transparency of the process by clearly defining the roles of VBA and the Board throughout the appeals process.

Appeals reform is one of VA’s top legislative priorities, and the Department will continue to work with Congress and the VSOs to ensure Veterans receive the best possible service.

 

Improving the Veteran Experience

National Call Centers (NCCs): In 2018, VA expects the NCCs to sustain the average speed of answering in 30 seconds or less, while maintaining exceptional customer satisfaction.

National Work Queue (NWQ): In 2017, disability compensation claims are moving through the process faster than before implementation of the NWQ process – on average, claims are ready for decision 14 days faster.  In 2018, NWQ will be expanded to other key VBA priorities such as the non-rating and appeals workload distribution.

Veterans Claim Intake Program (VCIP) / Centralized Mail: By the end of 2018, VCIP will relocate the entire file banks of remaining Regional Offices and convert the documents electronically, an integral element of VBA’s comprehensive transformation and modernization strategy. In 2018, Centralized Mail will build upon on sustained progress in disability compensation and expand to additional stakeholders, to include the Board of Veteran Appeals, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, Fiduciary Service, Support Services Division, Debt Management Center (DMC), and Loan Guaranty.

 

Veterans Homelessness

The budget requests $1.7 billion for programs to prevent or reduce Veteran homelessness, including:

  • $320 million for Supportive Services for Veteran Families to promote housing stability;
  • $543 million for the HUD-VASH program, wherein VA provides case management services for at-risk Veterans and their families and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides permanent housing through its Housing Choice Voucher program; and
  • $257 million in grant and per diem payments that support transitional housing provided by community-based organizations.

 

Veterans Choice Program—Community Care

VA is requesting a total of $13.2 billion in 2018 for Veterans Community Care. This consists of a request for $9.7 billion in discretionary funding for the Medical Community Care account, plus an additional $2.9 billion in new mandatory budget authority for the Choice Program. When combined with $626 million in estimated start-of-year unobligated balances from the original Choice Program appropriation, the total Community Care funding level is $13.2 billion in 2018. The budget also requests $3.5 billion in mandatory budget authority in 2019 for the Choice Program. This additional funding will allow VA to continue increasing Veterans’ access to health care services by allowing them to choose VA direct care or community care.

 

Other Key Services for Veterans

  • $306 million to administer VA’s system of 136 national cemeteries, including funding for the activation of three new cemeteries that will open in 2018 and 2019. Funds are also included to raise, realign, and clean headstones to ensure VA national cemeteries are maintained as shrines.
  • $4.1 billion for information technology (IT), including investments to strengthen cybersecurity, modernize Veterans’ electronic health records, improve Veterans’ access to benefits, and enhance the IT infrastructure; and
  • $135 million for state cemetery grants and state extended care grants.

 

  Enhanced Oversight of VA’s programs

  • The 2018 budget requests $159.6 million for the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to enhance oversight and assist the OIG in fulfilling its statutory mission of making recommendations that will help VA improve the care and services it provides.

 

Author

Media Relations

The Office of Media Relations serves as the interface with news media representatives from newspapers and electronic media for the Department. OMR arranges interviews, provides press releases and answers media queries.

Comments

  1. pixie spin    

    Bottom line…will our VA 100% TTL. monthly Disability checks be part of cuts? I have not seen this addressed.

    1. susan alexander    

      Veterans beware- 2018 budget wants to terminate the IU disability benefit received by elderly combat disabled veteransThis is an atrocity!

    2. Janice hutchison    

      This is wrong!! To take away benefits from elderly disabled veterans who have been unable to work for many years and do not have many credits to qualify for social security. Proposal should be withdrawn from the table immediately! So much for trumps statement that he will “take care of our veterans”- bit not true if this happens.

    3. susan alexander    

      URGENT: Regarding 2018 budget cuts for veterans: All veterans please contact your senators and house reps regarding the proposed budget cuts to elderly vets receiving the IU disability benefit. All the veteran advocacy groups, American Legion ,
      Am Vets, DAV, VVA, Paralyzed Vets of America, VFW are against this part of the budget and have testified that they do not support it to the committee of veteran affairs in congress. BUT it will also take outcry from the veteran community to put pressure on congress NOT pass this portion of the budget. I read a statistic recently that said the largest group of veterans getting IU are Vietnam Veterans. So since they now are at the age targeted in this budget they will likely be the largest group to their benefit but no matter what it effects all elderly veterans getting IU and social security. I might add that one of the qualifying mandates of IU is that you are NOT able to regularly work at a due to your service connected disability and therefore you are living at or below the poverty threshold. Therefore, the very fact they were awarded IU should keep them from losing it because social crudity would be minimal.And now that they are 66+ years old and still have their disability most would not be able to make up the montetary difference. All the above veteran groups have letters preprinted on their website that making it easy for you to contact your congressional leaders just by entering your zip code. These groups usually have this under legislation tab or recent testimony. We need Veterans supporting Veterans on this issue . Our country should never abandon any group of veterans especially the elderly .

  2. Sammie Wagner    

    Why do the Veterans Administration Still have waiver of retired pay, and not phase in increases since 2004,?
    VA, should not make retirees forfeit any retire pay in order to receive VA disability compensation.

  3. Victor R Sellers    

    It appears that President Trump is taking care of his veterans just like he promised. Everything he does is the right thing, and I hope those raters looking at my case follow his lead and make it right with me. I won’t go into it, but it was completely and totally wrong, and my health and welfare were never considered, but I hope this has changed with the swamp being drained and the right thing done instead the wrong. Thank you President Trump and Secretary Shulkin.

    1. JR    

      Why is nobody covering the story about Trump cutting Veterans disability payments?
      http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/06/01/proposed-va-benefit-cut-angers-elderly-disabled-vets.html

  4. Cathy Gardino    

    Dear Everyone who knows Ricky,  and those that don’t,  but should….
                      Ricky McKenzie,  is the adopted son of my friend,  Karen McKenzie-Griffith of Palo Cedro,  California.     Karen and her husband Bill Griffith are both retired Sergeants on the L.A.S.D.    Karen adopted Ricky when he was about 4 years old,  along with his older sister,  Nicole.    They were victims of an abusive home and Karen adopted both as a single parent.   She later married Bill Griffith,  and he has been Ricky’s step-Dad for many years.    Ricky is about 40 yrs. old now and has had a very successful life,  mainly in helping others.      Now he needs our prayers as he is facing a very aggressive form of cancer in the form of a tumor that has wrapped around his thigh bone in his leg.      I will tell you about the accomplishments of Ricky McKenzie,   but first you need to know that he is having major difficulty in receiving proper care from the Veteran’s Administration,  and he is running out of time to start treatment.   He has had various scans to know what the problem is,  but no healing treatment.        He is giving the V.A.  until Wednesday for an answer from them (this has been going on for awhile),  and then a letter writing campaign will start,   and I hope you will take time to write the V.A. and your local Congressman/Senator/and yes,  the President about wait lists for the V.A.  
                      Ricky joined the Army at least 20 years ago,   and not only active in various ‘sand pit’  assignments as a medic himself,   he also became a physical therapist,  helping many Veterans himself.      Ricky became a Registered Nurse,  and continued in physical therapy for Los Angeles hospitals.    He married Candy,  who is a physical therapist doctor,  and they have twin baby boys.     You would think that a man with these credentials would be handled well by the V.A.,   but apparently not,  he has been thrown in on the “waiting list!”      He mentioned to one friend,  that he knew of two soldiers with the same condition that died before they received treatment.   
                      A good start is prayer for Ricky,   and his young family,   and for the government to be more organized and compassionate to those that served us selflessly,  just like Ricky did.     Thanks for reading and listening!  
                      Sincerely, Jan Priest

  5. Paul Hardin    

    I read in my AMVETS news letter today that this bill would take away the IU of Veterans 65 and older, because it stated they are eligible to draw Social Security. This would cause great problems for our senior Veterans. It stated around 225,000 IU Veterans would be involved.

    1. david griffin    

      WHAT DOES THE IU STAND FOR IN YOU STATEMENT ?

      1. Gary Hicks    

        Individual Unemployability

    2. Charles    

      Really, you don’t seem to be aware of what this admin is trying to do with this budget. You will be outraged when you know the full story.

  6. Paul    

    This is a statement that I received today in my AMVETS news letter:

    AMVETS National Headquarters, May 24, 2017 – While AMVETS (American Veterans) is thankful for President Trump’s proposed 6 percent increase in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ fiscal year 2018 discretionary budget, AMVETS leadership is deeply concerned by the proposed cuts to earned benefits for perhaps the most vulnerable segment of the veterans population.

    The Trump administration’s budget proposal contains a provision to cut Individual Unemployability (IU) benefits for seriously service connected disabled veterans aged 65 and older. This would steal a large percentage of a wounded, injured or ill veteran’s compensation.

    The argument for this cut is that these senior citizens would be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits at age 65. That argument is flawed because these veterans have largely been disabled, out of the work force and not paying into Social Security for many years before reaching 65. Many have been severely disabled as a result of their military service and unable to work since the day of their discharge.

    Such a misguided move would wrongly take away about $1,200 a month from a single veteran rated at 90 percent disabled and already determined to be unable to work because or his or her military service. The monetary loss rapidly increases for veterans with lower disability ratings. In all, this proposal threatens to strip benefits from more than 225,000 senior citizen veterans who’ve been seriously disabled as a result of their military service.

    AMVETS strongly opposes this proposed cut and calls for its immediate withdrawal.

    This cut, along with cuts to Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) for veterans, is being used to assure funding for a “choice” program that has yet to be adequately developed, let alone tested and proven.

    1. Jeff Blewitt    

      I agree. I would fall in to that category since I have been unable to work since 1988. I do not qualify for Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid. Trump will lose ALL respect from ALL veterans if this proposal passes.

  7. Regina Davis    

    Im the spouse of a disabled Vet who is under the age of 50..He had to medically retire from his job due to his VA disabilities..His health care declined so fast that I had to leave my job to care for him.
    NEVER in my iife have I experienced so many prejudice individuals..No..I dont mean about race..it is strictly about age!!! Is this fair? Must one become a certain age to become ill and disabled?
    Please advise someone? We have lost automobiles
    Almost our home. Bills behind waiting on a claim.

    1. Mary Carol Raines    

      This cut will potentially have negative effects on the dependenta as well. I receive ChampVA benefits due to my disability rating of 70% plus unemployabilty bringing him to 100%. We get State benefits that could also be taken away. My husband is in the last stage of Alzheimer’s as well as his other health issues. If this passes it will be devestating to both of us.

  8. Angel M Solivan Luna    

    I have an appeal since 2009 años I steel waitting for my desicion

  9. Katherine Crowley    

    This is not justified at all. These men and women put their luves on the line for their country men. Gave thier best. Now disabled because if physical oe mental disabilities and you wsnt to take funding away from their pay. Whats wrong with you. This is not acceptable. How can you sleep at night knowing your affecting their way of life they have gotten use to. AND NEED. THEIR DISABLED. Not able to do whst a normal persin can do. They have not psid into SS so thier benefits would be much less. You really need to reavaluate this move.
    These veterans deserve respect and much more. MUCH ,MUCH MORE.
    THEY SHOULD NEVER HAVE TO EORRY ABOUT TSKING CARE OF THIER FAMILIES AND GETYING MEDICAL CARE. THE GOVERNMENT OWES THEM.

  10. Connie Bennett    

    We support our military and our veterans! What a crock! Our government especially our resident in chief and the so called politicians are only out for themselves. They talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. They want to cut our benefits, while they line their own pockets with special interest monies. They make it more and more difficult to apply for benefits and then when you do get them, they now say, we are going to cut them. It makes me so angry and so depressed to think our powers right now have no heart and they sold their soul to the highest bidder. Their so called budget says volumes on where their interests lie. Themselves. How about we strip them of their benefits, health insurance, retirement, and the money they get from special interest groups from all those big corporations who don’t want to pay their fair share. They say support our military and our veterans, but then they do this. Shameful. So many people will lose a big portion of their benefits and I speak for our family, we will lose our home and will have to go bankrupt because of their greed. We need to make sure this doesn’t happen!!!

  11. William P. Holmes    

    But nothing in there about a raise. With prices going up i figure we should get some kind of compensation!

  12. Joseph M. Lacsina    

    I am a U S Army veteran and I am over 74 years old. My appeal pending. It was mentioned it takes at least 5 yrs or longer to wait form the decision. I could be dead before I would know or hear for the result/decision. is this fair?..

  13. Peter Baumgarden    

    Yea trump is taking are of veterans all right. Rounding down COLA, reducing IU benefits and not allowing veterans to receive SSID while on IU. Yea veterans should take the hit to help build the wall. THANKS OBAMA!

  14. Kelvin Smith    

    I have been tirelessly fight this almost never ending war with the VA for the last 10 years. I had an organ transplant about two years ago, and I havent been able to work since. I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2012, ut the VA refuses to give me the sevice connection or the unemployability. Im still fighting…

  15. Chuck Williams    

    The bottom line is the VA needs to keep their promise and take care of us veterans just as we did when called to serve our country. The appeals process is a joke to say the least they want people to get discouraged and not file an appeal is why it takes so long.
    Many veterans have waited for years to get an answer to their appeal but when we were called to serve we didn’t have that
    option of waiting. Veterans should not lose their cars or homes or get behind on their bills waiting for a decision from the VA
    If a veteran has a service connected disability and cannot work their appeal should be processed ASAP not years later.
    Veterans have died waiting for a decision THIS is not right do your job and take care of us veterans all we ask is what we are entitled too.
    Lets get the broken appeals problem fixed VA

  16. Shelby Flores    

    Takeing away our benefits. So much for supporting our Vetetans. Go figure! This is about our lives. Get real Mr President.

  17. REBA C DAVIS    

    Regina this is so heart breaking , if you have time … try to contact the federal veteran service officer located in the nearest federal office bldg, some states also have veteran service officers, DAV also may give some assistance,first contact your us repr.& us senator. also we are dealing with the failure of veteran choice program GOD BLESS YOU

  18. Kathey suarez    

    why do we have to face cuts to the compensation. why do we need to add new buildings to the budget. and oversight money, what is wrong with this picture. my spouse signed to give his life for this country ? became disabled because of his service and now you want to take that away. who is going to hire a 73 year old disabled vet. you think suicide is high now. !!!! wait for this to happen. the United States government told my spouse they would take care of him. he paid into social security all his life even while serving. face it. We as veterans need to get rid of the waste in the VA. look at the budget, nothing is said about giving to the veterans, just paper programs.

  19. Steven LaRue    

    It seem when VA wants to take benefits,from veteran it takes only 30 days, but BVA granted my 70% PTSD benefits back to 8/23/1991 from 8/11/2006 I’m still,waiting 6 months, for reimbursement?

  20. Terry Irwin    

    I think that the VA GPD programs should be re evaluated. Places​ like Aspire Health Care DO NOT provide help to US VETERANS who are homeless. Their programs need to be checked out by Veteran Affairs Officials and closed down. Places like Aspire are milking the VA system.

  21. James Arruda    

    That’s what you get when you trust the Sec VA a Non Veteran figuered a way to screw all the Vet’s whose getting compensation over the age of 65. Also don’t be so quick to applaud Donald Trump our President who said many time’s I’ll take care of our Vet’s. If this is the way he thank’s the older vet’s, don’t forget him 4 year’s from now.

  22. Michael Finn    

    How wonderful. Shame that a proud Nam Vet such as I has to sue to get my benefits. Should be hung up by appeals from my VA until long after I’m gone and buried. That’s what the VA is aiming at, I believe.

  23. John Stewart    

    And you take money away from 60-100% disabled veterans to pay for the defunct Veterans Choice Program. For shame!!!

  24. ismael    

    there was a bill that was given access to all vets px stores. was this bill ever passed

  25. Frank Verso    

    I am a vet and paid around 2,600.00 in co-pays last year because a vet has to make less than 31,000.00 per year. This should be changed. Veterans hospitals were built for vets care but if you make a little more than the means test allows, you pay. I also pay for medi care but the hospital wont accept that. I do not have some specialist care because of the 50.00 co-pay. Oh well, what should I expect. ? I spent 4 years in the Army without being disabled.

  26. Jeff Blewitt    

    I would really like to see a monthly increase in service-connected disability compensation rates.I have been receiving said compensation since 1968 and the only increases have been COLA. Let’s make a service-connected disabled veteran’s life livable. One cannot sustain and maintain a “decent” living on current monthly compensation rates.

  27. Steve Ray    

    I am 70% service connected Vietnam vet (I actually served in country). I get nothing from the VA that all other vet’s have a “right” to. No preference in appointments, etc. I am a member of DAV, they have an agenda other than representing their members. I now have to pay SS medical (turned 65 this year). Suppose to get “free” health, LOL. Here is what I want: Give me access to free health care with a medical card I can use with any doctor paid for by the VA so I can pick a provider that does not treat me like crap like VA does. Give me back my SS medical payments, I should not have to pay that every month. Old Abe would be surprised at what we are doing today. I have no hope it will ever be fixed.

  28. Robert Rush    

    I am receiving UI and at 70, and you just can’t drop this on me. What am I supposed to do? Go back to school and learn to write apps for a phone I can barely use? Or go out for the track team in hopes of a scholarship? There are not that many WWII or Korean War vets still around so this is squarely aimed at Vietnam vets. Why? Because we had it so great the first time around?

  29. David    

    President Trump is stripping retirēd vets of thier pension in the new budget, if they receive disability pay. He is also expanding Choice which is Worthless to most veterans. He is also cutting the budget for Medicaid and Sociäl Security Disability, which after 42 years of workīng is now my only source of income. In other words Trump has NOT kept his campaign promises and is quickly destroying this country that I have fought to defend. What a sad time we live in, with this sad excuse for a President!

  30. Ronald Coleman    

    You know the VA don’t want the veterans Choice program.

  31. Ronald Joe DeShayes    

    I love my VA here in Washington State. They take real good care of me. This new
    VA support will bennefit everyone !!!!

  32. Sta    

    They are saving some money from the pain medicine that gave me some quality of life like others enjoy. We don’t let our animals suffer, why ruin our last years by refusing meds for documented disabilities.The war couldn’t cripple us but our government and their doctors sure did.

  33. BETTYE G. THOMAS    

    MY SON HAS HAD A CLAIM IN FOR YEARS ON PTSD AND HIS HEARING AND THE WATER AT CAMP LEJUENE. HE HAS APPEALED IT AND TO NO AVAIL. SINCE TRUMP IS OUR PRESIDENT MAY HE CAN GET HELP. HE LOST HIS JOB IN FEBRUARY OF 1916. HE IS 52 YEARS OLD AND CANNOT FIND A JOB. HE GETS THE RUN AROUND ON EVERY TIME HE APPLIES. HE NEED HELP TO SUPPORT HIS TWO CHILDREN. 8 AND 11.

  34. Stephen Kavashansky    

    Why isn’t dental care included in medical care for all veterans who utilize the VA hospital facilities. Presently, only those veterans rated at 100 percent disability or greater can receive dental care. This policy is biased, unfair and basically stupid.

  35. Don Lanktree    

    (redacted) trumpf. All that he cares for and protects are his Brand and his family and friends. When will people open their eyes and see the deception in his statements. You will start to see it soon if all his (redacted) makes it through a Senate full of people worried about their political career, and not putting our Country first in their heart and mind.

  36. Brad Lee    

    I am a 67 year old Vietnam veteran w/80% UI. I received this in December of 08′. T 58, I was then able to get off the streets, get my first home, get established. I just receive the results of my THIRD(3rd) C&P in 5 years. They now want 2/3 of my disability pay. which will leave me around 1K per month.
    My wife and I were just looking for our first new home together, and I bought a new car a month prior to all of this. If they take away my UI disability, I will be back on the poverty street again. When I got the news, I relapsed, and had to go to my local Psychiatric unit, for a stay just to try and grasp the reality of all of this.
    I am now in constant flash backs, and going through hell every day. I finally got the opportunity to get ahead, and am now looking at the possibility of spending more time in the hospital due to this ULTIMATE BETRAYAL…!!
    I am truly saddened…

  37. Kerry Carter    

    I wonder when I will get my back pay

  38. Kerry Carter    

    I wonder when I will get my back pay for hypertension 8 years

  39. James Marsh    

    You list what you are doing for homeless vets. You fail to mention the proposed cuts in Individual Unemployability benefits for approximately 225, 000 elderly vets will leave some of them in poverty and possibly even homeless. I guess creating impoverished and homeless vets is one accomplishment you don’t want to blow your horn about…

  40. Harold Sheinman    

    OUR commander in chief The president of the United States Donald Trump has signed off a bill of full funding needed to carry on the offices and management for Veterans medical and other all necessary veterans care issues. On One hand
    the president is filling his promises ,given along and after his election to the office of President….then he gets on the media
    saying he will have to cut veterans compensation the was earned by the veteran for various injuries incurred during the combat for his country ….so veteran law states that various grades of compensation based on the types of combat injuries are earned benefits awarded within the guide lines of the veterans laws and the constitution….yet President trump would take the compensation away rom these desiring and needy Honorable warriors ! How un-American can a president get!

  41. Don Burt    

    Adding more money to the VA budget will not totally solve the problem/s!

    1-What really is needed is that you have in place COMPETENT people who can work with
    what they already have and then present a budget that will cover short falls.

    2-Have someone who can hire and fire when and where there is a need for it especially when
    you have a whistle blower who is making known serious problem/s and make sure the whistle
    blower is not let go or reduced in position!

    3-Finally, fire each and every person who was hired by obama and/or his czars! You must get
    the cancerous weeds out so the grass can be nurtured and grow properly!!!!

  42. Chaplain R. Hartley    

    The VA budget as proposed will have severe adverse
    effects on the elderly veterans of our nation, but
    as always it’s the Vietnam War Veterans who will
    be the cuts pushe’d and supported by the current
    Secetary of Veterans Affairs. This is the first such
    Secetary that is not an Advocate for the disabled
    veteran. It is time for him to be sent packing.

    If you are not an advocate for all disabled veterans,
    not justi the young ones, when you do not deserve
    any support from the veteran population period.

  43. Larry J. Hirsch    

    Why should it take 3-6 years to hear an appeal. Many of us are elxsdly veterans with disabilities. We served our country at its beck and call. Why can’t it treat us the same. Frustrating inequitable situation.

  44. ill    

    If the VA is resigned to adjusting TDIU payments, they would do well to consider future candidates rather than “messing” with retired Vets who deserve and depend on these payments, Too many extraordinary circumstances to eliminate this for disabled Vets without a means test which I thought they eliminated for health care.
    Let Congress adjust their pensions so as to assist Vets not the heartless, greedy bureaucrats.

  45. Bill Cox    

    Screw the old veterans
    Listed as the biggest offset for Choice program funding is a new restriction on which veterans are eligible for the VA’s Individual Unemployability benefit.
    Veterans eligible now for the program have a 60 to 100 percent disability rating through the VA and are unable to secure a job because of their disability. It allows them to receive the highest compensation rate. For 2017, the monthly rate for a veteran living alone is $2,915.
    The budget proposes to stop the higher payments once a veteran who is eligible for Social Security payments reaches the minimum age to receive them. Veterans who have already reached that age and receive Social Security would be removed immediately.
    If a 60 percent disabled veteran living alone is removed from the Individual Unemployability program, their payments could decrease from the highest rate of $2,915 monthly to $1,062.

  46. liz    

    VA Health Care Centers Want the Choice Program $$; but they do not want to give Veteran’s the Choice to use it. That money that does not get used by Veteran’s because the VAHC system will deny our requests to Access will be turned into Discretionary Spending at each VA Hospital. Bottom line, that $13.2 Billion will be used to give Administrators, Directors bonuses because they did not give access to deserving Veterans who wish to be seen by competent Non-VA Community care.

  47. mable benson    

    My dad is a Korean war vet and is in a VA nursing home and has to pay a hefty co-pay, how will this bill affect him, looks like we are going to be out of more money than he has. I cannot afford to pay for his care

  48. Bruce Richards    

    Being IU my vote for Trump is going to cost me over 1200.00 a month. My vote in 2020 will change. I served 72-78 . So much for taking care of vets.

  49. Michael Bruce    

    I am a 69 year old Nam combat vet with a 70% ptsd award upgraded to 100% IU.I would lose $1600/month with Trump’s proposal.

  50. Dave Miars    

    I voted for Trump. He promised to take care of us Vets. But I see in his budget he wants to take our monthly disability award away once we start getting social security. Mr. President how is this taking care of Vets? The 22 Vets that committ suicide each day will increase. We have made our lives around having that money. I for one would not know what to do. Mr. President, I can guarantee you that if this passes you will lose the support of the Vets, guaranteed. You will lose some support already for even putting it in the budget. Live up to your promise. DAV, American Legion , VFW and other Vet organizations need to rally together to stop this. Contact your Congressman for support, let them know how we feel. Tell them if they support this budget as it stands, they will lose the support of Vets.

  51. Marilyn Paulsen-Tomaszewski    

    • Eliminate the “magic math” Combined Ratings Table or, at least, add Disability Percentages Secondary to a disability, rather than list as a standalone. Example: Diabetes: 40%; Neuropathy Secondary to Diabetes L side 10%; Neuropathy Secondary to Diabetes R side10%. Include the 10% and 10% to the 40% rating to result in 60% in order to better reflect Diabetes disability, rather than lower total overall rating. Example: My husband’s total rating of 150% disability, but once the “magic math” is applied, he is rated at 90%. Having met the criteria for Individual Unemployability he is paid and granted benefits at the 100% disabled rate.
    • Halting the Disabled Veteran Individual Unemployability rating for Vietnam Veterans will NOT result in substantial savings to the United States Government as these veterans are rapidly dying from Agent Orange chemical poisoning and it is not a pretty sight. Example: I am watching my husband rapidly failing health due to the raving effects of Agent Orange chemical poisoning while fighting in the War in Vietnam. My husband was also wounded in battle in Vietnam and awarded the Purple Heart.
    • Loss of benefits will be suffered by the entire family of the veteran. Spouses are granted health care and prescription benefits; imagine the costs to acquire at today’s rates. Currently, there are shared costs, but likely not as substantial as obtaining private health insurance. State benefits are granted to veterans and their spouses; Commissary and Base Exchange shopping privileges; and MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) benefits are provided to authorized veterans and dependents. Numerous private companies provide discounts to veterans and their spouses. I cannot speak to the benefits of dependents, but imagine additional benefits will be lost as well.
    • Elimination of the Disabled Veteran Individual Unemployability rating is just another governmental lie to the veterans that have sacrificed so much. This benefit was provided to sick and disabled veterans; and it is now suggested that it will be taken away. Veterans serving in Vietnam who fought in Cambodia were lied to by the government by denying for approximately 30 years that the military was not in Cambodia. Vietnam veterans were spit on at airports and never welcomed home. Does the disgrace to our veterans ever end? And, what about the families of the disabled veteran?
    DISABLED is DISABLED….

  52. robert gieringer    

    the va should give us all a 100percent rateing if they want to do away with ie

  53. Debra Ann Irby    

    Shame on Secretary Shulkin for not supporting Disabled Veterans. Preferring to hold hands with the private company VA Choice.Who truly has a questionable service record. I thought the Secretaries job description was to help Veterans. That is obviously not the case. Secretary Shulkin, due to your attitude towards Veterans, and in particular disabled veterans I believe you should resign this week.
    Disabled is Disabled. Social Security has nothing to do with military service It seems to be a hard concept for you to grasp.
    There are plenty of things to be done in the budget and make it balance. Stealing from disabled veterans should not be one of them. RESIGNATION

  54. Glenn Smith    

    Remember “IMPEACHMENT”.

  55. Chad Gill    

    I wanted to let you know about a We the People petition and ask for your support. Will you add your name to mine? If this petition gets 100,000 signatures within 30 days of its creation, the White House will review it and respond! You can view and sign the petition here: Keep Individual Unemployability benefits for our Veterans https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/keep-individual-unemployability-benefits-our-veterans Thanks for raising your voice!

  56. Steven LaRue    

    It seem when VA wants to take benefits,from veteran it takes only 30 days, but BVA granted my 70% PTSD benefits back to 8/23/1991 from 8/11/2006 I’m still,waiting 6 months, for reimbursement? As I under stand it, VA back off of the UI, so VA will make more cuts elsewhere. The Accountability Act is signed by President Trump 6/20/2017. The White House Hotline help me faster than VA, I just recieved my back pay for 165 months to 1991 for 100% Service Connection. Maybe I raised the debt ceiling? I still have 2 appeals remaing for Housebound and TBI and Parkinson Disease.

  57. Deborah Dilbon    

    Just saw a press release of Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee (dated June 15) that Secretary David Shulkin “indicated his willingness to reconsider the budget’s proposed cuts to IU benefits.” In the Legion web magazine an article saying that Shulkin reversed cutting funds for IU program but was taking money from community care programs to pay for Choice Program. Maybe IU is safe for a few weeks this time but it still seems to me that funding for a program that has not proven it works in the past and probably will not work in the future is insanity.

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