Compensation for vets expanded

More than 84,000 Vietnam veterans afflicted with heart disease, Parkinson’s disease or B-cell leukemia are drawing disability compensation today thanks to a decision by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki to expand the list of ailments presumed caused by exposure to herbicides, including Agent Orange, used during that war. Another 74,000 veterans have claims pending, […]

Press release: Udall talks budget, Radiation Exposure Compensation Act

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall talked with radio reporters today about the federal budget compromise that was reached late Friday night to avoid a government shutdown. He also discussed the bipartisan Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) Amendments of 2011, legislation he reintroduced today. For the audio, click here. Below is a time key of […]

Udall PSA urges troops and veterans to claim stop loss compensation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-N.M., today released a 30-second video PSA urging active duty service members, veterans, and beneficiaries of service members who were involuntarily extended between September 11, 2001 and September 30, 2009, to apply for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay.

Press release: Udall urges troops and veterans to claim stop loss compensation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-N.M., is urging active duty service members, veterans, and beneficiaries of service members who were involuntarily extended between September 11, 2001 and September 30, 2009, to apply for Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay. Under the 2009 War Supplemental Appropriations Act, compensation is available to service members of every military […]

DoD launches compensation study

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Military compensation is far different today than it was on Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists attacked America. As U.S. troops surged into Afghanistan and, 17 months later, invaded Iraq, Congress began pumping a stream of piecemeal improvements into pay and benefits. That continues, though the flow of new initiatives has […]

Experts: Military pay gap no longer exists

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Every witness before a Senate subcommittee hearing last week on military compensation — all experts on service pay and benefits — called directly or indirectly for Congress to end its 12-year run of voting for annual military pay raises that exceed wage growth in the private sector. No witness suggested […]

Compensation restored to widows

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist Jacqueline Peters, widow of a retired Army officer, only recently grasped how “ludicrous” the law has become that limits Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) payments to surviving spouses of military members who either die in retirement from service-related ailments or die while on active duty. These survivors qualify for Dependency and […]

Diseases linked to herbicide exposure in Vietnam expanded

By Tom Philpott: Military Update About 86,000 Vietnam War veterans, their surviving spouses or estates will be eligible for retroactive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs — an average of 11.4 years for veterans and 9.6 years for survivors — under a draft VA rule to expand by three the number of diseases […]

Ag workers seek compensation

By Argen Duncan: Freedom New Mexico New Mexico is hearing a debate over whether agriculture workers need to be included in the state-run workers compensation system. A group of civil rights organizations is suing to have New Mexico agricultural workers included. However, many in the agriculture industry have said their employees are already covered and […]

VA not ready to back disabled pay

By Tom Philpott: Military update Monthly compensation the Department of Veterans Affairs pays to veterans with service-connected disabilities is intended to replace average earnings loss due to injuries or ailments. But should VA also pay disabled veterans something extra for diminished quality of life? Two prominent commissions in 2007 said it should. Last week, however, […]