Gus Bilirakis Says 'Bullsh*t' VA System Not Paying Veteran Disability Benefits

Gus Bilirakis Says 'Bullsh*t' VA System Not Paying Veteran Disability Benefits

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
May 21, 2024

US Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) has long prioritized supporting veterans in his time in Congress.  Now the Congressman is trying to extend veteran pensions to those who could not serve longer due to injury, as baked in, or long-standing veteran benefits formula is preventing injured veterans from receiving the full benefits they deserve  Rep. Bilirakis called the current system for these veterans "bullshit."

The Major Richard Star Act (H.R. 1282) fights for disabled military retirees with fewer than 20 years of service.  Rep. Bilirakis' bill would make it so these veterans may concurrently receive, without reduction, veterans' disability compensation and retired pay or combat-related special compensation.

In an interview with The Floridian, Bilirakis explained how he feels about the treatment of these combat veterans.

"They're losing a portion of their pension, either a portion of their pension, they don't get the full 100% or a portion of their VA disability.  They have to choose one or the other, whichever one they take and that's bullshit," said Bilirakis. These people sacrificed so much, we're giving all this money to illegal aliens and our veterans are being cheated out of that."

The rules set up by this standard leaves an estimated 50,000 retirees ineligible for concurrent benefits. The average offset was about $1,900 per month in 2022, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The Major Richard Star Act would remove those restrictions so that all retirees with combat-related disabilities can collect their full retirement and disability benefits.

While the bill has bipartisan support, the legislation has struggled to make it out of the House of Representatives due to its overall cost.  Bilirakis however, is committed to the bill, stating, "We're not going to rest until we pass the Richard Star Act."

According to Bilirakis, Speaker Mike Johnson may see to it that the bill gets pushed along, quite possibly being folded into the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

Bilirakis also accused House Democrats of trying to role back the existing "Community Care"  or "private care" program that allows veterans to seek care outside of the VA healthcare system.

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Jim McCool

Jim McCool

Jim is a graduate of Florida State University where he studied Political Science, Religion and Criminology. He has been a reporter for the Floridian since January of 2021 and will start law school in 2024.

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