Reid Meets With Southern Nevada Military Officers Association Of America
April 2, 2008
Washington, DC – Nevada Senator Harry Reid met today with Michael Cameron, President of the Southern Nevada chapter of Military Officers Association of America, to discuss issues affecting service members and their families, such as protecting veterans from unfair medical fee increases and benefit penalties.
"I appreciate Michael taking the time to meet with me about the needs of service members and their families," said Reid. "Military benefits and health care are key issues, which is why I worked to pass legislation in the budget resolution to end the remaining five year phase-in period of concurrent receipt and allow all eligible disabled veterans to receive disability and retirement pay simultaneously. Our veterans, those who are currently serving, and their families deserve nothing but the best from our government. I will continue fighting to ensure that veterans receive the retirement and health care benefits that they were promised when they enlisted. After working for eight years to implement concurrent recipient, I successfully passed a budget amendment last month allowing veterans to receive their benefits."
"I'm 100 percent disabled. If it weren't for Senator Reid and this legislation, I wouldn't have the quality of life I have now," said Cameron. "I thank Senator Reid for what he has done. He is helping me live a better life".
Last year Reid restored equity for disabled retirees that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has rated as unemployable. This provision allows the 100 percent unemployables to draw concurrent receipt and their retirement immediately (they do not have to wait for the 10 year phase-in anymore). The amendment also backdates their entitlement to December 31, 2004, to align them with the original 100 percent disabled legislation that Reid passed that year. This provision was adopted and passed into law.
Reid was also successful in including Combat-Related Special Compensation in the 2008 defense authorization bill, to allow monthly combat-related special compensation pay to any military retiree who is entitled to retired pay and has a combat-related disability. Currently, a retiree must meet those requirements and also have completed at least 20 years of retirement-creditable military service. This also provides a special compensation rule with respect to retirees with fewer than 20 years of service.