News Releases: Sen Kerry Fights for Blinded Vets


Kerry Fights for Blinded Vets

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) today introduced legislation that will allow blinded veterans in Massachusetts to keep their entire pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA.)

Massachusetts offers a $2000 annual payment to permanently blind veterans, but the VA currently subtracts that annuity from their federal pension checks, denying blinded veterans their full and rightful benefits. Senator Kerry’s Veteran’s Pensions Protection Act will end that practice, providing veterans the full benefits they’ve earned.

“These veterans have given more for their country than most of us could ever imagine. It defies common sense and common decency to think that red tape would be allowed to deny them the benefits and care they’ve earned,” said Sen. Kerry.

“The Blinded Veterans Association’s entire membership appreciates Senator Kerry’s strong interest and leadership on many veterans’ issues, and especially his introduction of this legislation to have state annuities provided to disabled blind veterans being removed as income from veterans pensions,” said Tom Zampieri, Director of Government Relations for the Blinded Veterans Association. “Currently four states provide small annuities to blinded veterans and for years they have been counted as income, instead of gift from those states that are grateful for the sacrifice that those blinded veterans have made for their country.”

The Veterans pension is a benefit paid to wartime veterans that have limited to no income, and are either over 65, or are permanently and totally disabled. Similar annuities and pension reductions occur in New York , New Jersey , and Pennsylvania . Those states offer $1101.28, $750, and $1800 to blinded veterans, respectively.

More Veterans News

News Releases (02/14/2010 – 03/16/2010)

  • VA Launches High-Tech Computer Training Center – To strengthen the skills of its information technology workforce in one of the largest federal uses of virtual training, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki has announced the Department of Veterans Affairs has opened a national training center in Falling Waters, W.Va. (3/12/10) VA Targets $39 Million for Homeless Veterans – The Department of Veterans Affairs is allocating $39 million to fund about 2,200 new transitional housing beds through grants to local providers. (3/11/10)
  • VA Secretary Shinseki to Lead the White House Delegation to the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games – On Friday, March 12 through Sunday, March 14, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki will lead the White House delegation to the opening weekend of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia. The delegation will attend the opening ceremony, meet with U.S. athletes, attend events and meet with other dignitaries and leaders from around the world.  (3/11/10)
  • Ranks of Homeless Veterans Drop 18 Percent – The number of Veterans homeless on a typical night dropped 18 percent as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) entered the second year of its campaign to eliminate homelessness among Veterans within five years. (3/10/10)
  • VA Celebrates Women’s History Month – The Department of Veterans Affairs joins with the nation to observe Women’s History Month in March by recognizing and honoring women Veterans.  (3/10/10)
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