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GOA report highlights issue of “triple-dipping” among vets

The Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration oversee massive funds for disability benefits, so it makes sense that both agencies would routinely face scrutiny regarding their stewardship of those funds. Readers may be aware of the various criticisms against the Social Security Administration, including the problem of fraud and the increase in the number of those receiving Social Security disability benefits.

Both the Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration recently received increased scrutiny by the Government Office of Accountability. According to a recent GOA report, tens of thousands of vets have received benefits not only from the Department of Veterans Affairs, but also military retirement pay and Social Security disability benefits.Â

Not surprisingly, the report has provided impetus for further criticism about government mismanagement and overspending of public benefits. Vets who receive payments from all three sources are said to be “triple-dipping,” an obviously derogatory term.

While it is common sense that the Social Security disability fund is facing challenges in its future, it is important to also point out that those who meet the requirements of Social Security disability are entitled to receive payments. This is even, or rather especially, true for vets who qualify for these benefits.

Vets who suffer with serious disabilities can and should look into the possibility of applying for Social Security disability funds, and should not feel guilty for doing so. Though the requirements are different than those required for receipt of VA disability payments, those who are seriously disabled can and should be able to benefit from this social insurance program.

Source: fedsmith.com, “60,000 Veterans Get Triple Benefits Totaling $3.5 Billion Says GAO,” Ralph Smith, Nov. 3, 2014.Â

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