Leo Shane talked about the passage of the PACT Act, which will expand health care benefits for veterans exposed to toxins during their military service.
Massive trash fires were used in Iraq and Afghanistan to eliminate a host of military waste, office waste, vehicle parts, human waste, some toxic chemicals, and pretty nasty things. They were used for years in both of those war zones. They were covered in jet fuel and burned to get rid of them. Some folks near the pits war some protective equipment, but those living in myspace breathed in the toxic smoke daily.
If there’s a high rate of respiratory illnesses, of rare cancers coming from these younger veterans, you know, 30, 40-year-olds who all of a sudden are developing brain cancer should not be getting that. So they believe there is a link. Here are some of the things burned in there that caused some of these serious illnesses.
“The Military Times” broke the story back in 2008. We have been going on this for 14 years, but trying to pin down exactly what was in the fires, who is getting sick in what areas, that has been really difficult for V.A. Congress is stepping in and saying, look, we have standards for clear, scientific links for toxins in the military and the benefits.
In this case, the science is a little fuzzy. We can’t keep pushing these folks away and saying, “we can’t help you.” they are going to step in, create some presumptive illnesses, presumptive conditions, at they look if you are overseas and in Iraq, Afghanistan, we are going to start helping you out.
A TREAS 310 unexpected deposit into your checking account may be puzzling, usually, it is good news. Perhaps your VA disability compensation claim was granted, and the deposit made it to the bank before your letter arrived. It happens. To be on the safe side, wait for the letter confirming it. You can also call the VA at 800-827-1000. Or check e-Benefits. Once you log into e-Benefits, you can check your letters and see what percentage is listed.
A few of the codes labeled 310 on your US Government Check:
VACP is for VA disability compensation or pension payment.
Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (Chapter 35 benefits)
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
Don’t throw that money down the drain.
Remember, if you were to win your claim, VA would pay you retroactively from the date you filed the claim. If you filed today and it took them two years to grant your claim, you would receive 24 months in retroactive pay, if you don’t file today, well, then, no soup for you. The longer you wait to file, the more money you lose.
The PACT Act is a new law that expands VA health care and benefits for Veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances.The law will help VA provide the best possible care and benefits to Veterans who have been exposed to these dangerous conditions.
The PACT Act is the largest health care and benefit expansion in VA history. It expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras.
If you have a presumptive condition, you don’t need to prove that your service caused the condition. You only need to meet the service requirements for the presumption.
These cancers are now presumptive:
Gastrointestinal cancer of any type
Head cancer of any type
Lymphatic cancer of any type
Lymphoma of any type
Reproductive cancer of any type
Respiratory (breathing-related) cancer of any type
These illnesses are now presumptive:
Asthma that was diagnosed after service
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Constrictive bronchiolitis or obliterative bronchiolitis
Interstitial lung disease (ILD)
If you served in any of these locations and time periods, VA has determined that you had exposure to burn pits or other toxins. We call this having a presumption of exposure.
On or after September 11, 2001, in any of these locations:
The airspace above any of these locations
On or after August 2, 1990, in any of these locations:
Will the 2023 COLA actually keep up with the cost of living?
This Could Be Huge!
LATEST Sep 14, 2022, From The Hill
“After evaluating the August consumer price data, what I’m finding clearly illustrates the weakness in our inflation adjustment system for Social Security. Johnson wrote in her letter that my COLA estimate has dropped to 8.7%, almost a full percentage point from the 9.6% that I forecast last month.
“That was a significant drop, but the Consumer Price Index, CPI-W (CPI-W), the index that Social Security benefits are based on, has decreased even —by 1.10 percentage point year over year to 8.7%,” Johnson stated.
The 8.7 percent COLA would boost the average retiree’s benefit from $1,656 received monthly to $1,800 by next year, an increase of $144.10. ” Read Full Story
LATEST Sep 13, 2022, From USA Today
The roughly 70 million people – retirees, disabled people, and others – who rely on Social Security could receive an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, next year, according to an estimate by Mary Johnson, a policy analyst for the Senior Citizen League, an advocacy group.
Once the Consumer Price Index is released, currently scheduled for Sep 13, 2022. COLA will then be announced around Oct 13, 2022. If the monthly payments go up by more than 10% it would be the first time COLA has reached double digits since 1982 when it was 11.2%.
There’s lots of chatter about the COLA for the next year, 2023, which might be the biggest since 1980. When it was 14.3 or 1981 when we received 11.2. Anything in the double digits would be huge for us. It would be a first for me. My VA disability started, in 1991 and my SSDI didn’t start until 1998 I think.
Since 1982, there hasn’t been a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) above 10%. The last time it happened was, in 1982 when the COLA went up 11.2%.
What is scary is several sources say Americans will stop receiving their full Social Security benefits in 2035 if lawmakers don’t act.
Opinions on what the 2023 COLA are varied:
Yahoo/Finance The Wednesday Consumer Price Index report showed that June’s inflation surged by 9.1%. According to the Senior Citizens League, the COLA (cost-of-living adjustment) for 2023 will be approximately 10.5%. This is great news for seniors struggling to keep up with the rising living costs.
Fool.com According to Mary Johnson, a Social Security policy analyst at The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a nonpartisan senior advocacy group, the program’s COLA could be as high as 11.4% in 2023 if inflation continues to surge in the third quarter.
Here is a link to Google Search for COLA 2023 so you can keep track of the news on the 2023 COLA as we get closer to its announcement in October 2023.
History of Automatic Cost-Of-Living Adjustments (COLA)
The COLA is designed to keep your Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from losing value to inflation. It’s based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) from the third quarter of the last year a COLA was determined to the third quarter of the current year. If there’s no increase, there can be no COLA.
The CPI-W is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Department of Labor. By law, it is the official measure used by the Social Security Administration to calculate COLAs.
In 1972 Congress enacted Social Security Amendments, and automatic annual COLAs began in 1975. Before that, benefits were increased only when Congress enacted special legislation.
Beginning in 1975, Social Security started automatic annual cost-of-living allowances. The change was enacted by legislation that ties COLAs to the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W).
The change means that inflation no longer drains value from Social Security benefits.
The 1975-82 COLAs were effective with Social Security benefits payable for June (received by beneficiaries in July) in each of those years. After 1982, COLAs have been effective with benefits payable for December (received by beneficiaries in January).
Automatic Cost-Of-Living Adjustments received since 1975
(1) The COLA for December 1999 was originally determined as 2.4 percent based on CPIs published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pursuant to Public Law 106-554, however, this COLA is effectively now 2.5 percent.