TROA
The Granite Slate
NH Counties

 
December 2002
Published peroidically for the information of NH Chapter of TROA members
P.O. Box 712, Dover, NH 03820
Volume 23, No. 5


 

 

Defense Authorization Act
Excerpt from TROA website
The Defense Authorization Act, as finally approved, provides for limited concurrent receipt.  The House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders, fearful of a veto that could kill the whole FY2003 Defense Authorization Act, convinced the Administration to accept a reduced package focused on retirees with disabilities due to combat, combat-oriented training or certain other hazard-related circumstances. Meeting with military and veterans’ association representatives, Sen. Warner acknowledged that the final agreement was much less than the Armed Services Committees had hoped to achieve. But he described it as “an essential beachhead in law” which the Committees hope to expand in the future. Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), the senior Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee used similar language in describing the deal on the House floor. 

In essence, the deal establishes a new form of “special compensation” for certain disabled retirees who have at least 20 years of active duty or a combination of active duty time and Reserve points comprising the equivalent of 20 years of full-time active duty (unfortunately, very few Reserve retirees qualify under this strict criterion). 


The amount of the special compensation will be the full amount of retired pay forfeited due to receipt of VA compensation for a qualifying disability. Unlike the special compensation already in law (which provides $50 to $300 per month for certain severely disabled retirees), the new version won’t be capped at a specific dollar amount, and will rise each year as the offset rises. Unlike the current $50 to $300 special compensation, which requires that a qualifying disability must have occurred within 4 years after retirement, eligibility for the new version will not be restricted by any time limit. Qualifying members will be eligible to receive either the “new” or the “old” special compensation amount, whichever is higher. 

The effective date for the new program will be six months from the date the President signs the Defense Authorization Act into law (so the effective date should be sometime in May or June). The six-month delay will allow the Pentagon time to determine which retirees and which disabilities qualify for the new payments (see below) and establish application procedures (the language passed by the House indicates qualifying retirees will have to apply for the new special compensation).   There will be no phase-in or ramp-up period. Qualifying payments will be paid as of the effective date. 

(Continued on page 9)


 

Chapter Officers

 

 

President LCDR Paul L. Bernard, USN (Ret) (603) 229-1334 pbernard@attbi.com
Vice President LTC John A. Graham, USA (Ret) (603) 472-4637 pjgraham@attbi.com
Secretary MAJ Patricia A. Graham, USA (Ret) (603) 472-4637 pjgraham@attbi.com
Treasurer LT Arnold C. Sayer, USAF (Ret) (603) 763-2057 acsayer@aol.com

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