WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The budget plan recently announced by the leadership of the House of Representatives seeks to place all the responsibility for deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility on the backs of low-income Americans, seniors and people with disabilities—many of whom have served this nation honorably in uniform and deserve better from their elected leaders.
The House budget once again endorses privatizing Medicare with a premium support plan that will leave millions of beneficiaries with higher costs and diminished access to health care services. It continues linking the urgent need for a temporary, clean reallocation of the payroll tax in order to prevent a 20% cut in Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in 2016 with unnecessary Social Security benefit cuts or tax increases. Furthermore, the budget proposes a commission to bring forth fast-track legislative proposals for addressing Social Security's “structural deficiencies” when the system has $2.8 trillion in its trust fund and has never failed to pay benefits. Finally, the House plan would prohibit receipt of disability insurance and unemployment compensation, imposing a serious work disincentive on people with disabilities who have attempted work but lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
“As a veteran who suffered a severe in-service disability and later benefited from trial work options, I find this disheartening,” said Sherman Gillums, deputy executive director of Paralyzed Veterans of America. “Had I not been allowed to test the waters after I completed rehabilitation, I might've never become a fully employed, tax-paying member of society after leaving service.”
One million veterans rely on Social Security Disability Insurance and millions more veterans rely on the Medicare and Social Security retirement programs. On behalf of these veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America calls on Congress to reject this assault on our country’s social insurance safety net.
“Our legislators have an opportunity to ensure that our country meets its obligation to the those who either paid into the system or served our country and now simply want what they were promised,” Gillums concluded.
Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. For nearly 70 years, we have ensured that veterans have received the benefits earned through their service to our nation; monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis.
As a partner for life, Paralyzed Veterans also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation and advocates for veterans and all people with disabilities. With more than 70 offices and 34 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans serves veterans, their families and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. (www.pva.org)