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Friday, May 12, 2006

LEGION VOWS FIGHT IN COMMISSION ATTEMPT RELEASE.......................

From: The American Legion
Public Relations Division
May 10, 2006

LEGION VOWS FIGHT IN COMMISSION ATTEMPT TO TAP SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS FOR VETERANS' DISABILITIES

INDIANAPOLIS (May 10, 2006)---The board of directors of the nation's largest veterans organizations today unanimously authorized its national commander to take all "appropriate actions, with other organizations or singly, up to and including authorizing litigation, "to ensure that the Veterans Disability Benefit Commission does NOT attempt to erode veterans disability benefits by offsetting them with the Social Security disability system.

Members of the National Executive Committee of The American Legion passed a resolution giving National Commander Thomas L. Bock full authority to work with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and other organizations to block a blatant attempt by the commission that could propose termination of veterans' disability benefits when a veteran obtains a job despite a militarily incurred disability.

"Disability benefits are and should remain totally seperate and subject to seperate rules because Social Security benefits are the result of insurance premiums which constitute part of the Social Security tax and veterans benefits are earned for taking up the burdens of the nation," Bock said. "Veterans subjected themselves to the mental and physical hazards, as well as the economic and family detriments, which are unique to military service."

The Veterans Disability Benefits Commission is considering whether Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) should or should not be included in its analysis of benefits provided under current federal laws to compensate veterans and their survivors for disability or death attributable to military service.

"Making veterans' benefits subject to the rules and laws pertaining to the Social Security system or similar rules allowing the end of benefits because the veteran has found a job, offsetting veterans benefits with Social Security Disability payments or turning veterans benefits into a transitional assistance program is flat-out wrong," Bock said. "The American Legion will work with DAV and any other organization with a common goal, jointly or seperately as appropriate, to accomplish The American Legion's traditional goal of preserving, protecting and enhancing veterans benefits and preventing the erosion or destruction of these hard-earned benefits."

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