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February 2018 Archives

DOD illegally took taxes from VA benefits for a quarter century

When veterans who were injured in combat leave the military, they are given a lump-sum disability payment upon their separation. Between 1991 and 2016 - nearly a quarter of a century - the Department of Defense (DOD) has withheld federal taxes from payments to as many as 133,000 combat-injured veterans. Such withholding, however, is contrary to federal law: Lump sum veterans' disability payments were supposed to be tax-free.

SSDI Claimants with representation prevail three times more often

More than a million disabled workers are waiting in limbo to see if the qualify for benefits for which they have already paid. In the last two years, more than 18,000 such workers have died while waiting for a hearing to determine whether they were eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Nationally, claimants who request a hearing wait an average of 20 months before being heard. Claimants in Georgia are seeing similar wait times with some Atlanta applicants waiting even longer to determine whether they'll be able to receive benefits from a program they paid into throughout their careers.

How does a federal shutdown affect SSDI or VA benefits?

In January, the federal government shut down for a few days until Congress patched together a deal that appropriated sufficient funds to get it running again for a few weeks. The possibility of another shutdown looms on the horizon unless lawmakers come up with a more long-term solution. What does this mean for Georgians who rely on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Veterans (VA) benefits to make ends meet?

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