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Bilirakis and Ruiz Lead Legislative Push to Help Disabled Veterans

March 3, 2020
Press Release



Summer Robertson:  727-232-2921


Bilirakis and Ruiz Lead Legislative Push to Help Disabled Veterans


Washington, D.C. - Representatives Gus Bilirakis and Raul Ruiz have filed the Major Richard Star Act (H.R. 5995).  In 2004, Congress passed Concurrent Receipt legislation, which allows military retirees with a disability rating of 50% or higher to receive both military retired pay and compensation.  This had previously been prohibited by law.  Unfortunately, those who have retired from the military who did not reach the 20-year mark and were medically retired under Chapter 61 due to combat-related injuries do not receive the compensation they deserve. These retirees have their disability pay deducted from their retirement pay, which is wrong.  While Congressman Bilirakis has filed legislation each year he has been in office to rectify this injustice (H.R. 303) for retirees with 20 years or more of service, he is now simultaneously pursuing legislation that will allow more Veterans who are just as deserving to receive the benefits to which they are rightfully entitled.  H.R. 5995 repeals this unfair offset and allows combat-wounded Chapter 61 Veterans (those who were medically-retired with less than 20 years of service) to participate in the Concurrent Receipt Program, receiving their retirement pay from the Department of the Defense and their disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs. 


The brave men and women who return from serving our country should be able to receive the benefits promised to them. Military retirement pay and service-connected disability compensation are two completely different benefits. One does not diminish the merits of the other,” said Bilirakis. “While I am still committed to rectifying this injustice for all Veterans, passage of the Major Richard Star Act gets us one step closer to our goal of ensuring that Veterans receive the benefits they have earned and deserve.”


Six leading Veteran Service Organizations have all praised introduction of this important legislation, and have indicated their strong support by listing the bill as one of their top legislative priorities.  Click here  for a copy of the joint letter of support from these organizations.    


The complete text of the bill can be found here