1000s Of Veterans Busted For Massive Benefits Fraud

1000s Of Veterans Busted For Massive Benefits Fraud (ZeroHedge, Nov 1, 2014):

When work is punished and grift is not, is it any surprise that, as The Washington Times reports, nearly 60,000 triple dipping Veterans picked up $3.5 billion in benefits (collecting their military retirement pay; and disability benefits from both the Veterans Administration and Social Security too). The arrangement is legal, but since everyone else is abusing the system, from crony banks to deadbeat dads to squatting slummers, it was only a matter of time before even veterans decided to dip, then dip again and dip some more. Sen. Tom Coburn, noted it was “hard to understand,” but perhaps the hardest thing to understand is why it took veterans so long to realize we live in a world without consequences.

As The Washington Times reports, tens of thousands of veterans collect their military retirement pay and disability benefits from the Veterans Administration and disability checks from Social Security too, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. All told, nearly 60,000 triple dippers collected $3.5 billion in benefits.

The arrangement is legal, but it raises questions about the generosity of the American safety net system at a time when disability programs are already under severe financial stress.

“This report shows that, like other government programs, there is little coordination between these overlapping benefits, which increase cost[s] to taxpayers,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, the Oklahoma Republican who requested the GAO report. “We should fulfill our promises to the men and women who serve, but we need to streamline these duplicative programs.”

For decades, up until 2004, the government clamped down on veterans taking both military retirement pay and VA disability benefits. The Pentagon docked retirement pay dollar for dollar up to the amount of their VA benefits.

But veterans groups argued that vets should be entitled to both payments, saying the retirement money was earned for years of service, while disability is compensation for service-related wounds.

Under an intense lobbying campaign, Congress changed the law so that, beginning in 2004, vets were gradually allowed to collect both checks – though there are regular rumblings proposing to undue the 2004 change.

Social Security disability, however, is different.

Most Americans aren’t able to collect Social Security disability payments if their income is at least $13,000 a year. But Social Security rules don’t treat military retirement or VA disability payments as regular income, which means veterans can collect tens of thousands of dollars from the Pentagon and VA and still get money from Social Security.

Mr. Coburn said taxpayers should find that “hard to understand.”

“With the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund set to run out of money in two years, the report raises a number of questions about whether disability benefits are getting to those whose livelihoods depend on them,” the senator said.

In an official reply to the GAO, the VA said it “generally agrees” with the report’s conclusions. Social Security officials had no comment.

Social Security’s disability trust fund is expected to run out of money in 2016, and some lawmakers believe that cracking down on double dippers could help extend the program’s life somewhat.

About 3 percent of military retirees collect all three benefits right now, GAO investigators said. Most of them have a VA disability rating of 50 percent or higher, though just 17 percent of the disabilities are combat-related.

Of the $3.5 billion spent in 2013 on the triple dippers, $1.4 billion came from the VA, $1.2 billion came from the Pentagon, and $937.4 million came from Social Security.

As for the individual veterans, the GAO identified 101 who earn more than $150,000 a year in triple-dip benefits. Another 2,200 veterans earn between $100,000 and $150,000.

Investigators pulled seven cases at different benefit levels for further study, and in all but the lowest two, the veterans were making more as retired disabled than their salaries would have been if they’d still been in the service.

A 54-year-old who retired in 1997 after 20 years in the military, who had lung disease, vascular disease and lost use of his feet, collected $122,887 in benefits in 2013 — nearly three times the $43,808 someone of his pay grade would have made in the military.

Meanwhile, a 59-year-old who retired in 2004 after 26 years, who lost his feet, is blind in one eye and has renal problems, collected $152,719 in 2013 — more than twice the $72,824 salary of someone at his final military pay grade. Most of his benefits — $85,958 — came from VA disability, while $46,396 was military retirement, and $20,365 was from Social Security.

Since everyone else is abusing the system, from crony banks to deadbeat dads to squatting slummers, it was only a matter of time before even veterans decided to dip, then dip again and dip some more. Sen. Tom Coburn, noted it was “hard to understand,” but perhaps the hardest thing to understand is why it took veterans so long to realize we live in a world without consequences.

2 thoughts on “1000s Of Veterans Busted For Massive Benefits Fraud

  1. The corruption spreads like a disease everywhere…….many Vets believe and believed that they were not appreciated for their suffering, so grabbed what they could. In an era of greed, all humanity and kindness vanishes. Without humanity, there can be no honesty or truth. Willfulness, desire and greed overrides all good & the civilization collapses.

    In this case, it isn’t just national, it is international. Greed rules everywhere. Nations like the Netherlands, where the police can go home for night and weekends are disappearing. The Netherlands are at sea level…….and the seas are rising everywhere.

    We have changes happening on all levels. Fukushima, and other nuclear waste fall outs are happening everywhere. WA states, NM, now a sinkhole in TN threatens several nuclear plants. Will they close them and clear out the destructive aspects of the plants in time?

    We have rising sea levels. Venice, a town that for a thousand years has enjoyed canals to travel in, as we use vehicles is now being over run by water. The sidewalks, long strolled up are now underwater, and people are stepping on the benches which people used to sit on to navigate the walkways. It is happening in Miami, too.

    We have over population with some crazy people with ideas on how to get rid of the excess population…….Ebenezer Scrooge had nothing on these people. There is no room for kindness or humanity.

    Thanks to the droughts and radiation, we face food shortages which speculators are already gambling on, and forcing prices up. Between speculators and the falling dollar value, Americans especially are remembering our cheap food policy as a thing of the past. Beef has gone up 400% since 2010, Chicken 300%, Fruit 300%, Vegetables 300%……bottled water, 25%.

    Jobs continue to vanish at a real rate of about 1 million a month regardless of the lies told on financial channels. The Dow is over 17,000 while 85%+ of all transactions are high frequency, skim and sell. A few individuals controlling huge funds (at least on paper) buy and sell large amounts of securities in less time than it takes to blink an eye. The people handling the funds are often given a heads up before the bell, so they know which way to play, knowledge not known by the average individual. It is illegal, and it continues.

    Only 10-15% of all transactions are made by individual investors who actually buy and keep. That tells anyone with sense the market is probably worth 10-15% of what they claim. It is so rigged that it no longer has any connection to the real market.

    20-24% of all Americans suffer with hunger at some parts of the month. It is harsh, especially affecting the elderly on fixed incomes and children, many who are homeless.

    There is no growth in the US economy, or in the Euro Zone that would explain inflation. The prices hikes we all see have to do with falling currency values, something we have never experienced before being the world reserve currency.

    Now, the Eurasian Union or BRICS has developed a sister economy with most of the remaining nations of the world, and they are making money. The US and EU are making none. The US debt level is now 100% of GDP, and all nations in the Euro Zone are suffering with multiple amounts of debt to GDP. Germany is over 200%, so is France. Greece is very high, Ireland is 1200% of debt to GDP. The UK, smart enough to keep their own currency, is well over 400%, but I have faith they will survive it, as they have so many other hardships over the years.

    The EU has a huge financial problem. Most of the nations who joined; 28 members, 18 active voters. All lied about their true debt situations, and now that the market is going south (regardless of the stock markets), the bitter truth is coming out. At first, Germany thought they could buy power and become the EU leader by bailing them out, but soon came to realize the debt levels are way too high. Now, they suffer the same problem having tried with Greece and Cyprus.

    The US floated on their status as the world reserve currency. In January, 2010, 100% of all nations completed international deals in dollars, making the dollar a desirable thing to have. Russia and China established their first mutual trade agreement in November of 2010, trading with each other using their own currencies, leaving the dollar out. An electronic currency translated the value of each nation’s currency, making the need for any world reserve currency obsolete.
    As more nations joined, need for the dollar started falling.

    By November of 2014, Russia, China, India, most emerging nations in Africa, including South Africa, Brazil, most countries in South and Central America, Switzerland, Japan, Iran, Turkey, other middle eastern nations, and other nations I cannot recall all had joined BRICS or the Eurasian Union, using their own currencies to trade with each other, leaving the dollar out. Today, 33% of nations use the dollar, 67% do not. Australia and New Zealand dumped the dollar over two years ago, but I don’t know where or how they trade.

    As a result of Putin’s brilliant establishment of the new, 21st century economy, for good or ill, the US has been beaten without the use of a single bullet or bomb. The US pounds the table looking for a world war, much as the Russian leader of the 1950s pounded the table with his shoe when arguing with Richard Nixon in a “modern kitchen” model in 1958. I remember when he did it, and thought how foolish he looked. But, he said Russia would rule the world…….and about 70 years later………..??????

    Over two years ago, Germany requested the US return half the gold it had been holding in trust for them since the end of WW2. The US made excuses, made up all kinds of reasons, but no gold materialized. Finally, in total contempt, Germany told them to forget it.

    Not paying them their gold was the biggest political and economic blunder of this century. It showed the world what was suspected, but not proven, that the US was broke……without being the world reserve currency, it has nothing………and the US has no way to pay the gold. It also proved the gold was gone, it had been stolen years ago. The other nations could never look at the US as the world leader it had been……. ever again.

    Meanwhile, back at the White House, Obama wildly tries to get allies to fight with him against……….you fill in the blank………anything to get the world’s mind off of what had transpired……….with no success. Nobody will join with a rogue nation that is also a bankrupt. US debt is 100% of GDP. Every cent that comes in is owed elsewhere.

    Instead of trying to rebuild the US economy, Obama continues the perpetual war policy along with the Bush Doctrine, attacking other nations who have done nothing to warrant it. Madness, insanity, fill in the blanks……..but nobody will join with him.

    So, he does it alone against a US created enemy ISIS in Iraq where there are already 50,000 mercenaries occupying the huge US embassy just outside of Baghdad. ISIS is the new “Al Kaida gonna git ya” boogeyman……they even used original footage from 2003 until they realized everyone remembered it, the name change wasn’t good enough. So, they cleaned up the resolution of the old footage, and now has other nations who are paid enough, to yell and scream about them. Pathetic, and sure to fail, to keep the wars going, regardless there is no money to pay for them.

    At what point will enough be enough?

  2. Not the Bush Doctrine, it is the Orwell main principle which GHWB poached to support his now very obvious NWO.

    Perpetual War…..but we see through it.

    Let’s hope the awakening continues. The realisation all is not right is spreading like wildfire.

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