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Increases in disability compensation as compared with military pay and civilian wage increases since 1952

All manufacturing workers__.

Disability compensation---

Members of uniformed services (over 2 years of service)

Civil Service.......

Production workers..

Professional and technical workers.

Clerical workers____.

Army-Air Force wage board employees__

Motortruck drivers.

42. 4

36. 6

46. 3






The percentages representing compensation and military pay increases since 1952 include those provided for compensation by Public Law 82-336 from July 1, 1952 and for military pay by Public Law 82-346 from May 1, 1952.

Change in real pay1 of selected workers between November 1963 and
November 1964

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Utility employees--


Stone, clay, and glass workers


Oil and gas field workers...


Durable goods manufacturing workers-


General construction workers____


Furniture and appliance store employees..


All chemical manufacturing workers..


Apparel workers____


General merchandise store employees__.


Printing and publishing workers---


Fabricated-metal workers__.


Telephone workers..


All contract construction workers..


Electrical manufacturing workers.


All food workers----.


Drug store employees--.


Paper workers---


Food store employees...


Heavy construction workers..


All retail trade employees__.


Aircraft workers___


Bank employees---.


Apparel store employees___


All wholesale trade employees---.


Auto and truck dealer employees--


Tobacco workers____


Canned food workers_.


Grain mill workers___.


Hotel and motel employees--


Petroleum refinery workers____



See footnotes at end of list, p. 2526.

Change in real pay1 of selected workers between November 1963 and November 1964-Continued


Soft drink workers--

Veterans on compensation_.
Ship and boat builders____.






As measured by change in average weekly earnings of a worker with three dependents after adjustment for Federal income and social security taxes and price changes between November 1963 and November 1964. October data used where November earnings data were not available. Data source: Table C-2, Employment and Earnings, December 1964, vol. 11, No. 6, U.S. Department of Labor.

2 Annual average weekly earnings used for 1963, as November 1964 data reflected effects of strike in the auto industry.

The Annual Report of the Council of Economic Advisers, which was submitted with the January 1964 Economic Report of the President to the Congress, in considering the measurement of poverty, stated: "Various studies provide support for using, as a boundary, a family whose annual income from all sources was $3,000 (before taxes and expressed in 1962 prices)."

The $3,000 income figure has become a nationally recognized standard, symbolic of the brink of poverty. A veteran who became totally disabled during a war period has a basic compensation for total disability of $250 a month which equals exactly $3,000 a year. The compensation of a veteran, similarly disabled during other than war service, is 80 percent of the war service rate, or $2,400 a year. The foregoing annual amounts may be increased if the veteran is married, i.e., $276 wartime and $216 peacetime. In addition $192 or $156 a year respectively may be paid for a child. Each additional child would increase the compensation by $144 or $120 annually.

The following report, taken from the Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1963, page 343, is adopted as a means of demonstrating the disparity between the amounts of disability compensation ("earnings") for total disability ($3,000 or $2,400 depending on type of service in which incurred), and the average annual earning of employees for the year 1962.

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The above figures, on an industry basis, are inclusive of all levels of employment, from top executive to lowest wage earner, as well as bonuses, tips, and payments in kind. It is reasonable to assume that, in the absence of the service-connected totally disabling condition, the level of achievement of these veterans in any listed industry would approximate a normal distribution pattern and the averages established. As such, the veteran's compensation is more than $2,000 a year short not only in the average for all industries, but also the average in each of the specific industries except services and the group composed of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries.

Page 343, table No. 459 of the same source provides a further basis of comparison of incomes. Listed below are the mean incomes of spending units, shown for 1961, the latest available year, by occupational groups. (A spending unit is all persons living in same dwelling and belonging to the same family. Income may be "pooled" or a spending unit may consists of only one person.)

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The comment made to reported average earnings per employee are generally also applicable to the above averages.

Comparing various incomes on a family basis, the same source, on page 337, table No. 449 provides the following status for 1961, the latest available year, in the area of "Family Personal Income Received by Each Fifth * * of Families and Unattached Individuals."

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In recent pay increases for the military services, 1963 and 1964, congressional reports emphasized the importance of maintaining comparability with salaries and wages in the civilian economy as pledged by the late President Kennedy and incumbent President Johnson. The latest military pay bill granted a 2.5percent increase to all officers, warrant officers, and enlisted personnel with over 2 years of service. An increase of 8.5 percent was approved for officers and warrant officers with less than 2 years. The concept of comparability was also responsible for the recent further pay increase for Federal executives, elected officials, and civilian personnel.

While the cost of living has increased for the totally disabled veteran to the same extent as it has for the employee in private industry or the Federal Government, and for military personnel, his compensation has remained constant since October 1, 1962.

Washington, D.C., December 29, 1964.


Staff Director, Committee on Veterans' Affairs,
House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. MEADOWS: The last time we had occasion to visit you mentioned needing some information on our service-connected totally disabled veterans for use in future legislative work. On December 1, 1964, we started a survey of those service-connected members of our organization, hoping to secure most of the information you requested.

I am enclosing a sample copy of the questionnaire and information sheet which went out to these members. I am hopeful that it covers all the information you need. Although it is quite early yet we have received close to 50 replies but expect many more.

In about 2 weeks I expect to be in your neighborhood, and with your permission will drop in to discuss this matter with you.



Executive Secretary.


Washington, D.C.

To: All service officers.

From: Harry A. Schweikert, Jr., executive secretary. Subject: Veterans' legislative questionnaire. Enclosed you will find copies of a two-page questionnaire which are to be completed by as many service-connected members as possible. Please complete them as rapidly as possible and mail them back to me as soon as they are completed. I am enclosing some self-addressed, stamped envelopes for this purpose.


We have been requested to obtain this information by the Committee on Veterans' Affairs as a basis for future legislation affecting the service-connected totally disabled. It is urgent, therefore, that we secure as much information from as many members as possible. All information is to be anonymous, so there should be no reason to deny, misrepresent or exaggerate the facts.


We have created as simple a questionnaire as possible, which would still give us all the information we need. For those questions which might arise, we hope the following will be helpful. (Refer to sections of questionnaire.) Section 1

If injury is traumatic, it is only necessary to mark off "paraplegia X" or "quadriplegia X." If source of injury is disease, please identify source and extent of disability.

Section 2

If specific dates are not remembered, months and years will do.

Section 3

Just circle the number of years. Other education should be described using back of sheet if necessary. If a member had acquired any degrees before injury, please note. Do the same for those degrees he acquired after injury. It is important to keep information on education identified as before injury and after injury.

Section 4

We are trying to determine here the number of persons dependent upon the veteran. State veterans present marital status. It is not necessary to go into past history if it is changed. For instance, if a veteran was married and divorced, you would note this under "divorced X." If he was married, divorced, and then remarried, it would be noted only as "married X." Of course, all children would be listed, regardless of age. Be careful to note which and how many children are still being supported by the veteran.

Section 5

Again, as in section 3, it is important to identify those jobs held and salaries made before injury as compared with those after injury. Specific dates are not important, but months and years should be reported as accurately as possible. Average wages is sufficient. It is essential that we know specific reason for his not being employed since his injury, the reason he left or was fired from each or any job since his injury, if he is currently employed or why he isn't.

Section 6

This section could have a lot of bearing on section 5, so complete it as accurately as possible.

Section 7

Income from all sources should be separated and identified, such as VA, social security, workmen's compensation, employment, etc. Total it all up and enter at end of paragraph where called for. (It is apparent that this information will be compared with the amount of expenditure in next section.)

Section 8

Although this section is pretty general, I am hoping more information will be noted than called for. Upkeep of home includes rent, mortgage, utilities, maintenance, etc. Maintenance of family means cost of food, clothing, etc. Medical care means the out-of-pocket expenses for medical and dental care, hospital insurance, etc., for members of the veterans family and himself. (Do not include any costs which are reimbursted by the Federal Government.) The same goes for medical supplies, prosthetics, etc. Transportation expenses by automobile or other means should be emphasized. Please note any other extraordinary expenses, such as clothing which wears quickly because of prostheses, inflated recreational expenses necessary because of your wheelchair, etc.


Most of this information may have to be collected by personal interview with members in the hospitals. Many of them could be completed by mailing them to friends and other personal contacts with a short note or a telephone call explaining what we are doing. The help of friends and chapter officers may be enlisted. But I cannot repeat too often the importance of receiving as many completed questionnaires as possible and as quickly as possible. We have been asked to submit this information to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs before the 89th Congress convenes.

Please try your best.


Executive Secretary.

P.S.-We have plenty of questionnaires on hand. If you need more, let me know and they will be in the very next mail.


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(Note: If you are not living with wife or any of

Which are dependent upon you for support? Mother


Number of children

your children, but contribute to their support, indicate in this paragraph, or use back of this sheet to explain.)

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