Allow All Veterans To Keep Severance Pay
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The problem is simple.
Veterans that have any manner of reasons to be INVOLUNTARILY SEPARATED, MEDICALLY SEPARATED or otherwise discharged in a manner that is honorable, non-punitive and above all unexpected, CAN NOT receive DISABILITY COMPENSATION until the full amount of the separation pay is paid back in full.
I am not including Voluntary Separation due to the need for Service Members having a choice in taking such a severance Package.
My story is one of many, and I will tell some of it to use it as an example.
"I found out in 2014 that I would be separated from Active Duty Army service after about 11 years of consistent, honorable time spent doing my job. I had recently been married and my wife gave birth to my daughter. With a new wife and newer baby, I was told I had 3 months to find a job and get out of town. Luckily my commander allowed me to ride out my current contract which took me to just under 12 years by a hair. I looked for jobs for that entire time and couldn't find anything I could do knowing my limitations as outlined by my permanent profile. We did what we could to search for a home and a job. We couldn't find anything and were lucky enough to have my Father-in-law let us essentially hole up in a spare room he had under construction in his house. I filed for disability with help from the local County Veterans Service Officer and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. I had no idea that I would have to pay back my Involuntary Separation pay nor how long any of this process would take before I was a) approved for my disability and b) complete with paying the "debt" unknowingly incurred. Most jobs where we are, are not for disabled individuals. one can not find a decent paying job to save their life let alone survive at even a fraction o what was required while on Active Duty. We survived for 5 and a half months on my Separation pay. we took care of all our debt and used the rest for living expenses. Due to my disability and the nature of civilian (generally[bad]) attitude, lack of oversight and relative casual apathy to anyone but themselves, I went through a total of 6 jobs as of the time I'm typing this. Despite my disability I have taken up jobs that exacerbate my injuries and ailments just to keep us barely afloat."
People say that it is hard to change or fight any of this because it is Federal Law.
I say we need to band together for each others sake and do our best.
Laws are living documents that can be modified. There is no sense in bending over and taking this like a champ while thanking the Government for screwing us the whole time.
Is this the only injustice we face as a people? Hell no. ...but it is one that may be easily fixed and lead to further change if the right people listen and take action.
Please sign this and lets get something done. Nothing good comes easy.
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