Last Friday, the United States Senate voted to block changes that would cut Social Security benefits for disabled veterans. Senator Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, proposed an amendment that helped put the Senate on the record as not supporting these cuts. He noted that he did not want disabled veterans, who have already made significant sacrifices by fighting for our country, to be considered as a factor in the budget discussion.
The proposed change would begin measuring benefits based on a consumer price index, which measures an average change over time of goods in the marketplace – rather than the current method, which measures inflation. Although these may sound relatively the same, the consumer price index doesn’t account for health care costs for senior citizens. Considering the majority of veterans fall into that category, the number of people affected would be significant.
The proposed cut would affect more than 3.2 million disabled veterans receiving benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. For example, a disabled veteran receiving VA disability would have his benefits reduced by $3,231 at the age of 65, which is when these benefits are most needed. Over 55 million retirees, widows, orphans, and disabled Americans would also be affected by this change.