My concern for treatment of those who have served honorably is now in danger of, in my mind, a criminal disrespect for their service.
On December 13th, 2018 the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued their “Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2019 to 2028”. ( As part of this report, their recommendations for treatment of our veterans is an insult to every veteran who has served in any theater and a travesty of the faith and gratitude we owe them for the service and sacrifice our veterans deserve.

Option 35 on page 109 of the report suggests “End VA’s Individual Unemployability Payments to Disabled Veterans at the Full Retirement Age for Social Security”

The suggested option states “This option consists of two alternatives, both beginning in January 2020. Under the first alternative, VA would stop making IU payments to veterans age 67 or older (the full retirement age for Social Security benefits for those born after 1959). That restriction would apply to both current and prospective recipients. Therefore, at age 67, VA disability payments would revert to the amount associated with the rated disability level. Under the second alternative, veterans who begin receiving the IU supplement after January 2020 would no longer receive those payments once they reach age 67. In addition, no new applicants who are age 67 or older would be eligible for IU benefits after that date. Unlike under the first alternative, veterans who are already receiving IU payments and are age 67 or older after the effective date of the option would continue to collect the IU supplement.”.
The CBO states: “About 48 percent of veterans receiving the IU supplement were 67 or older in September 2017, up from about 40 percent in September 2010. That rise is attributed largely to the aging of Vietnam War veterans”. What a disgrace to generations of veterans who have already been ignored, denigrated and generally forgotten by our government since the “war” was over.
The CBO states “Disability payments for those who lost eligibility would be reduced by an average of $1,300 per month in 2020, increasing to $1,600 by 2028”. This is an unmitigated disgrace to those who have sacrificed so much for our country.

Additionally, the report suggests that the government” Reduce VA’s Disability Benefits to Veterans Who Are Older Than the Full Retirement Age for Social Security” Again an affront to those who have served honorably and faithfully.

The CBO also suggests the government “Narrow Eligibility for VA’s Disability Compensation by Excluding Veterans with Low Disability Ratings”.

To my mind it is disgraceful, unpatriotic and an affront to all who have served including their families to even consider these “options” to decrease the oftentimes meager pittance that many of our veterans receive for their service, their sacrifice and their unquestioned commitment to stand on the wall of freedom so we and many like us throughout the world can live free.
I encourage everyone who reads this and views the facts to contact their elected representatives, Veteran’s Service Organizations, friends, veterans and others to stop this travesty.

Ben Marich
Vietnam veteran 1967-1968

To find your elected representatives, go to
Veteran Service Organizations
Disabled American Veterans (DAV):
American Legion:
Veterans of Foreign Wars:
Vietnam Veterans of America:
Paralyzed Veterans of America:
Wounded Warrior Project:


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