Topic

Disabled Veterans

15 petitions

Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, Jackie Speier, John A. Yarmuth, Doug Jones, Nita M. Lowey, Adam Smith

Stop denying earned survivor benefits to military surviving spouses

I am requesting support for over 65,000 military widows/ers whose spouses died on active duty, killed in action or in the line of duty or post retirement of a service caused disability or illness. We are the only widow/er in the entire federal government to be denied our full survivor benefits. Most of us are robbed of over $1,000 a month by the Dept of Defense as a result of an archaic law dating back to 1972. Congress over 20 years has failed to take care of those who sacrificed all.  My husband was serving his 30th year in the Navy when the F-18 he was riding in malfunctioned and crashed.  He was killed, and in a moment, my life changed forever. My three children, our families, and I were devastated and overcome with grief. Then I was horrified to discover that after they handed me the folded flag "on behalf of the President of the US and a grateful nation", that the Dept. of Defense was not very grateful in the least. I sacrificed my husband, my best friend, and the father of our 3 children, our sole provider, and now we were expected to also sacrifice financially!  We impacted surviving spouses need to change the law in order to receive our survivor benefits in full. It would be illegal for an insurance company to deny paying an insurance policy just because the beneficiary had another policy. But our government does this and Congress has failed for 20 years to fix this.  I need your help. 65,255 impacted military widows/ers need your help. Call your Congressman/woman and ask him/her to co-sponsor HR 553, the bill that will eliminate this unjust offset.  My husband’s earned survivor benefit insurance, the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), a insurance annuity, a benefit of employment that he earned, was not paid to me in full. When he died, I was informed that I would only be getting a fraction of the benefit I should have received. When I asked why, it was explained to me that those spouses who also were eligible to receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), an entitlement paid from the Veterans Administration to indemnify or hold the government harmless for causing my husband's death, over 65,000 of us, will have their SBP survivor annuity insurance benefits offset dollar for dollar by DIC.  Full SBP payment is unfairly denied to those surviving spouses. This is known as the SBP-DIC offset, and we must fight to end it. This is a purchased insurance. It is not the norm for one insurance to not be paid just because the beneficiary has another policy. "This is the only insurance one purchases and then is legally prohibited from collecting." Senator Bill Nelson, former insurance commissioner for the state of Florida. When I lost my husband, I lost 78% of our household income. His pay stopped the day of his death. With 3 children, a mortgage, and no job, after moving 26 times, life was difficult. I don't want this to happen to anymore widows. Every widow of every new fallen hero is subject to this same denial of survivor benefits. The Dept. of Defense reduces the Survivor Benefit Plan, a form of insurance that pays a portion of retired pay to the surviving spouse and/or children by the amount I would receive in DIC, which holds the government harmless for causing my husband's death. DoD claims these are duplicative benefits, yet 100% disabled military retirees may receive all their military retired pay plus VA disability compensation. But when they die, their widow is "double dipping". Disability compensation ends with the death. DIC is currently $1319.04 per month. That is what DoD deducts from SBP, leaving most surviving spouses left with zero in SBP and only DIC. This is wrong. Today, most SBP-DIC offset surviving spouses receive DIC and zero in the earned and purchased SBP.  These surviving spouses deserve better from their country. I’m calling on Congress to provide surviving spouses with 100% of the Survivor Benefit Plan promised. Our government is reneging on a voluntarily PURCHASED insurance plan whose entire purpose is to ensure that surviving spouses are taken care of financially should the sponsor pre-decease her/him. When a servicemember makes the ultimate sacrifice, their family shouldn’t have to worry about how they will survive. As a Navy spouse, I was there for countless others who experienced loss. When I lost my husband, I realized how negligent the government bureaucracy is towards families who have paid the ultimate price. I want to be there for those families again. Hopefully, if we can gather enough petition support, the government will not ignore us. Congress will change the law. DoD will be prevented from making a windfall profit off of our spouse's deaths by not paying in full their survivor benefits.  Please sign the petition to end SBP-DIC offset for military surviving spouses and ask Congress to pass House Resolution HR 553, (Rep Joe Wilson, SC) and Senate bill S.622 (Senators Doug Jones, AL introduced with 28 original co-sponsors, the two bills to change the law and end this unjust forfeiture of what our spouses paid for with blood and income. Use the Capital Switchboard number to be connected to your Representative and both Senators and ask them to co-sponsor these bills. toll free: 866-272-6622

Military Widows: SBP-DIC Offset Facebook group
210,067 supporters
This petition won 2 months ago

Petition to Kathy Castor, Nydia Velazquez, Charles E. Schumer

Please help a Disabled Veteran/Father get "JUSTICE" for his Daughter a Corrections Officer

We want an investigation into the Criminal Acts committed by Mr.  Isharaka Gunasinghe, the horrible unavoidable death of my daughter N.Y.S.Corrections Officer Carolyn R. Torres on 12/10/2015, and their Marriage in  which he forced her under duress to stay Marry.   He has committed Federal tax evasion (IRS)  marriage fraud (INS) fraudulent bank accounts,(ICIS)  New York State tax evasion (NYS Taxation) used blackmail, "Death Threats" against my daughter Carolyn and me, her father, has also committed  estate fraud, credit card fraud.  His criminal deeds are the main reason behind the "Death" of  NYS Corrections Officer Carolyn R. Torres on 12-10-2015. He has never lived with my daughter.   By Signing this petition will can open an Investigation from the  UCIS, INS, IRS, New York State Income Tax Revenue, and have this man answer for his Crimes. Officer Torres has lost her life, not a fair outcome for her, however I lost her forever and I will expect her death, but Mr. Isharaka Gunasinghe still has yet to be brought to Justice for all his crimes against my daughter and our Nation.  Since Mr. Isharaka Gunasinghe is her husband /although fraudulently, he still holds the power over my daughter.  Mr. Isharaka Gunasinghe is a Criminal  illegal immigrant,  He and his criminal cohorts have found ways to lie, steal, falsify documents to send to the  INS, IRS. He has  filed false tax returns, opened fake Bank accounts, stole thousands of thousands of dollars in  assets, also in Federal and New York State taxes. (  WE HAVE EVIDANCE - DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE ). There are other unknown  benefits that were obtain by him illegally. He has broken so many Federal Laws, and has threaten  the lives of Americans to gain his Green Card and Permanent status in the U.S. My name is Angelo Torres Sr, a Disabled Veteran  and I only ask to be given a chance to prove his guilt and to get  an Investigation into my daughter death, who I know was killed because of Mr. Isharaka Gunasinghe marriage scam.    

Angelo Torres
1,366 supporters
Started 6 months ago

Petition to United States Congress

Give Disabled Vets the same rights as all Disabled Workers

All workers in the United States are protected if they sustain a workplace injury or illness. This includes civilian federal employees. This does not apply to people actively serving in the Armed Forces, because it would be logistically impossible. But it also does not apply to military Veterans. Military Veterans are not generally deployed outside the United States, so there is no excuse to treat them differently than all other American workers (Citizens, Resident Aliens, Non-Documented Aliens). All these other workers are allowed many rights when dealing with workplace injuries and illnesses that result in disabilities: Timely treatment An injured/ill worker or former employee can seek medical treatment when the symptoms are noticed, and if the injury or illness can be linked to employment, the worker or former employee is covered.  A veteran seeking medical care from the Veterans Administration must first prove eligibility. This can often mean proving a service connected disability. This process can take anywhere from 90 days to multiple years. Treating physician is allowed to diagnose injury/illness An injured/ill worker or former employee can seek medical treatment from any licensed provider. Once the provider decides on a diagnosis, it is considered to be fact, and while it can be challenged by the employer or former employer it is assumed to be correct until disproven. A injured/ill veteran can submit any diagnosis they have, to include a diagnosis from a licensed provider employed by VA healthcare on official VA healthcare records, and can be turned down for benefits unless an additional provider engaged by the VA benefits group approves of the diagnosis. Assumption of innocence An injured/ill worker or former employee with a diagnosis from a licensed provider for an injury or illness that could be attributed to their work or the environment of their work is assumed to have been effected by the current of former employer where the injury or illness occurred based on the workers statement. A veteran seeking Veterans Administration benefits for a diagnosed disability, must prove that the injury or illness was caused or made worse by the veterans service. While the military has some records, and will share them with the veteran, there is often no annotation of incidents unless hospital level medical treatment (often not available) was sought immediately. The veteran is assumed to not have a service connected disability until they can prove it to the satisfaction of the VA benefits organization. Protections against settlement delay An employer or former employer of an injured or ill worker is programatically prevented in delaying case completion by a disinterested third party. Additionally, the injured/ill worker or former worker can take civil action to seek penalties for intentional delay. The Veterans Administration controls the entire process of granting/awarding benefits. There is no penalty to the VA for delays in this process. Delays can result in the termination of the request, from lack of resources, petitioner passes away, etc.  Please do not think that this problem is rampant in the entire Veterans Administration, this problem is specific to the Veterans Administration Benefits Administration (VBA) group. The VBA has an entire manual of rules for dealing with disabled veterans, and yet the system is horribly broken. Claims are delayed by years in many cases. This system cannot sustain itself. Disabled veterans are over-represented in these key areas: Homelessness Less than 10% of the adult US population are veterans More than 12% of the Homeless population in the US are veterans. Suicide Veterans are 150% more likely to commit suicide than non-veterans. Providing these veterans with the validation, healthcare, and benefits that they earned could help reduce veteran homelessness and suicide. The VBA is horribly backlogged dealing with applications for disability benefits, and now that they will be required to reassess the men and women who served on ships during the Vietnam war and have illnesses connected with agent orange exposure, it will just get worse. The process could be streamlined by granting the four rights that everyone else has to the veterans.  Please sign this petition, and let others know about it.

WILLIAM STETTINER
8 supporters
Update posted 6 months ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, Douglas A. Silliman, Joey Hood, Rex W. Tillerson, Donald J. Trump, Sylvia Evans

Help free a disabled U.S Veteran wrongfully imprisoned in Kuwait.

My daughter may never see her father again. Jermaine Rogers has served his country both in the military and as a contractor overseas. He now faces a lifetime in a foreign jail over fake drug charges. I need your help to get the Trump administration to bring him home. U.S. civilians serving to protect our country and in support of our military have been targeted by Kuwaiti police in the past. These charges have often turned out to be false, but only after the U.S. government intervened on their behalf. Jermaine needs that intervention today. Please sign my petition asking the Trump administration to demand the release of Jermaine Rogers so he can come back to the U.S. Death by hanging. That is almost what happened to Jermaine when he was falsely accused of dealing drugs. The death sentence was dropped, but a lifetime in jail isn’t much better, especially when you are innocent and thousands of miles away in a foreign land. I know Jermaine is innocent. He believes in serving America and that means representing our country with pride and the best behavior. Even if you do not believe my pleas, we should all agree a man who has served his country should not get life in prison for the non-violent crimes they claim he committed. So many people are standing up and speaking on behalf of Jermaine — people like U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut. As his family, we can’t thank them enough. We now need you. Please sign my petition today. Your signature will help bring our family together again and ensure actual justice is served for an American hero.

Karina Mateo
119,650 supporters