Page images
PDF
EPUB

RESOLUTION No. 44/INCREASE INCOME LIMITS ON PART 3 PENSIONS AND

SOCIAL SECURITY Whereas, Mr. Sargent Shriver, who is head of the "Poverty” Commission of the Federal Government of the U.S.A., stated that anyone under $4,000 income in a year is considered in the category of “Poverty''; and

Whereas, Part 3.- Pension limitation for a married man is $2700 a year and a single man's limitation is $1400 a year and has not been changed since 1922; and

Whereas, H.R. 1927, Public Law 88–664, a married man's income cannot exceed $3000 per year and a single man's limitation is $1800 a year; and

Whereas, maximum payment of Social Security is $127 per month, allowing work up to $1200 per year additional, making a grand total of $2724 per year; and

Whereas, incomes of $2700, $3000 and $2724 per year are all under $4000 per year; now, therefore

Be it resolved, by the 66th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, that limitation on Part 3, Pension, H.R. 1927, Public Law 88-664, and Social Security be raised so as to have, at least, the same income limitations as the "Poverty Bili”.

Adopted at the 66th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of United States held at Chicago, Illinois August 13 through August 20, 1965.

OF

RESOLUTION No. 241—AMENDING P.L. 88–664 To RESCIND "CORPUS

ESTATE” FROM PRESENT LAW Whereas, the provisions of P.L, 88–664 that govern the consideration of the estate of a veteran in determining entitlement to pension are vague and ambiguous and not amenable to satisfactory interpretation; and

: Whereas, the nature of some estates may be such as may not provide current income to a veteran, or the market value may be affected if such estate were to be liquidated; and

Whereas, application of these provisions would work an inequity on many veterans; now, therefore

Be it resolved, by the 66th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, that the provisions of P.L. 88–664, insofar as they require that an estate of a veteran be a factor in determining entitlement to pension, be rescinded.

Adopted at the 66th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States held at Chicago, Illinois, August 13 through August 20, 1965.

RESOLUTION No. 104-OPPOSITION TO H.R. 221-STATE VETERANS HOMES

Whereas, legislation, namely, H.R. 221, has recently been introduced for consideration by the 89th Congress; and

Whereas, this legislation, if passed by the 89th Congress, would have an extremely damaging effect on the operation and maintenance of all homes operated by the various states for their veterans; now, therefore

Be it resolved, by the 66th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, that we take a position of strong opposition to such proposed legislation.

Adopted at the 66th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States held at Chicago, Illinois, August 13 through August 20, 1965.

RESOLUTION No. 105/OPPOSITION TO H.R. 223—PENSION PAYMENTS Whereas, legislation, H.R. 223, has been introduced in the 89th Congress which has a direct bearing on the pension payments now being made to qualified veterans; and

Whereas, this proposed legislation, if enacted, would give to the Veterans Administrator, the right to initiate action in individual veteran's cases affecting his election to receive benefits under either the "Old" or the "New" pension law; and

Whereas, recognition is given to the fact that there are some veterans who might benefit from the enactment of this proposed legislation; and that certain

protection to the involved veterans is afforded by the proposed legislation; and!

Whereas, the possible benefits derived from this proposed legislation are not sufficiently substantial to offset the fact that by the enactment of this proposed legislation the veteran would in effect lose still another right and benefit which he had been granted by Congressional action; now, therefore

Be it resolved, by the 66th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, that we go on record as being strongly opposed to the enactment of H.R. 223.

Adopted at the 66th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States held at Chicago, Illinois, August 13 through August 20, 1965.

RESOLUTION No. 264–WARTIME BENEFITS

Whereas, the President of the United States has solemnly proclaimed “this is war"; and

Whereas, our armed forces are being greatly increased in size, which has resulted in a large increase in the draft; and

Whereas, our troops in South Viet Nam are suffering death and wounds and exposure to the other hazards of war; and Whereas, . S. fighting men have been dying in Santo Domingo; and

Whereas, our fighting men in the U.S. and throughout the world are manning the ramparts of freedom against Communist aggression which is based upon a global strategy; and

Whereas, the war against Communist aggression must continue to be fought on a worldwide basis with our armed forces ready for combat wherever they may be stationed throughout the world; and

Whereas, our servicemen who are so engaged in the defense of the United States and the free world are not hesitating to make the supreme sacrifice because the United States is not technically at war with the forces of aggression; and

Whereas, it is unfair to deprive our fighting men of wartime benefits in the war they are now fighting merely because of the absence of a technical declaration of war; now, therefore

Be it resolved, by the 66th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, that we fully support full wartime veterans' rights and benefits for all members of our armed services who serve on active duty in our protracted struggle against Communist aggression.

Adopted at the 66th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States held at Chicago, Illinois, August 13 through August 20, 1965.

RESOLUTION No. 279—WORLD WAR I PENSION BILL Whereas, the veterans of World War I in many cases served in untold adverse conditions in defense of this country in time of national emergency; and

Whereas, the veterans of World War I for years have sought legislation for a separate and just pension; and

Whereas, many World War I veterans experienced severe hardship during the depression and many subsequent years due to disability and loss of earning power, thereby not having ability to afford an adequate living and opportunity to prepare for advanced age; and

Whereas, many World War I veterans have only minimum Social Security and savings; and

Whereas, these veterans served during a time when no thought of retirement plans, annuities and Social Security were considered; now, therefore

Be it resolved, by the 66th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, that we go on record seeking legislation for a separate and liberal pension for World War I veterans to consist of the following:

1. Income for pension purposes will be only that derived from veterans employment.

2. Less than full time employment will be considered to meet requirements for unemployability.

3. There shall be no corpus of estate test.

4. Income limits will be as follows: $2,400 for veterans without dependents; $3,600 for veterans with one or more dependents.

5. The amount of pension payable will not be less than $100 per month.

6. Any pension rate will be increased by 10% in the case of overseas or campaign service. Adopted at the 66th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States held at Chicago, Illinois August 13 through August 20, 1965.

Mr. ROBERTS. Thank you, Mr. Stover.
Mr. Adair, do you have any questions?

Mr. ADAIR. It is nice to see you gentlemen as always. I think you heard some of the questions that I have put to preceding witnesses, and I would like to repeat part of those to either one or both of you, whoever cares to answer.

My first question would be that, If it is not possible to get all of the aspects of the proposals which you have covered in this bill enacted into law at this time, do you have an order of priority?

Mr. STOVER. Mr. Holt and I were talking about that. Of course, none of our resolutions have a priority tag on them when they are approved by the delegates to our national convention. We do have what we call priority legislative programs, but these again are more of a general nature rather than specific proposals as contained in a bill which would be contemplated by this subcommittee.

However, I do think with a provision having the greatest impact on the greatest number, one to help the greatest number, would be given our priority support over provisions which, say, would help a lesser number or smaller group.

For example, an increase in the income limitations of $600 will help a larger number of veterans than, say, a provision not to count a certain kind of income would have. For example, social security income. And an increase in the income limitations would avoid the restriction in pension payments suffered by many veterans because of the 7-percent social security increase.

Mr. ADAIR. Francis, that is in line with what several other people have said, that they feel this question of income limitation, no matter how it reads—and as you gentlemen know, there are several different approaches proposed to it—is high priority. That does seem to be rather high on every person's priority list of things that need to be done.

How about the matter of increase in pension rates itself? If that could be accomplished, would that be rather high priority?

Mr. STOVER. That would be high on any list we would have. It would be right at the top, I am sure.

Mr. ADAIR. I noticed you made the point, which I thought was a good one, that we have arranged for increases in rates for those in military service, for civil service and legislative and judicial employees. It seems only right that our veterans should benefit on a comparable basis.

Now, if we are considering that, would you think that increases in rates bearing some relationship to the increases given to the military and the civil service people ought to be contemplated?

Mr. STOVER. I would think at least that much should be contemplated. I am not too sure of the percentage of increase that was provided, but I believe it is a cost-of-living increase in the last few years.

Mr. ADAIR. That was roughly what was sought to be done as the President determined on the basis of information available to him.

Mr. STOVER. I think at least that should be done to keep the veterans' pension program up to date with the increased costs of living which have occurred since the last increases.

Mr. Adair. Do you have any price tags on any or all parts of our proposals here today?

Mr. Srover. No, we do not have any here. We have been provided some unofficially through the Veterans' Administration, and we are hoping when they testify that they will provide the subcommittee with reports on the bills that we have sponsored and the ones we are supporting

Mr. ADAIR. If that is not done, Mr. Chairman, if the VA is not able to give us price tags on the various parts of this bill, then I would ask unanimous consent that the Veterans of Foreign Wars might be authorized to insert such information as they have on that point at this point in the hearings.

(The material requested was later furnished by Veterans' Administration.)

Mr. ROBERTS. Without objection, it is so ordered.

Mr. ADAIR. Of course, if that information is adduced by the VA witnesses, it would not be necessary.

You mentioned, Francis, relatively early in your statement, a matter which you and Cooper and others have presented to this committee a number of times before, and that is relating pension benefits to length and type of service. If that were contemplated—and I must say, parenthetically, it is not in very active contemplation at this moment—but if it were, do you see any administrative problems arising from that? Would it add to the administrative burden of the Veterans' Administration?

Mr. STOVER. The proposal that we make that 10 percent be added to the existing pension rate where a veteran served overseas would not, because I think this is readily and easily determined by looking at the discharge certificate of a veteran. Whether or not he served overseas is part of the information on the veteran's discharge or release from service. So this should not be very difficult to administer.

Mr. ADAIR. Does your mandate in that respect relate both to pension and compensation?

Mr. Srover. Ours is just for pension. We do not have a current one on compensation, but previous ones have asked for 25 percent additional for wounds and disabilities.

Mr. ADAIR. For foreign service compensation?
Mr. STOVER. Where he was wounded in combat.

Mr. ADAIR. On page 3 of your statement there are a couple of points upon which I am not entirely clear.

You speak of the Senate amendment to a House bill, and you speak favorably of that, and in the next paragraph you suggest the exclusion of 20 percent. It would seem to me that those proposals are somewhat in conflict, are they not?

Mr. STOVER. What was meant to be pointed out there was that the exclusion of an increase in social security benefits since 1965 is a part of the greater exclusion of 20 percent of any and all retirement income. In other words, presently 10 percent of all retirement income is excluded, as you know. If we were to increase the 10-percent exclusion to 20 percent, it would include this Senate amendment in part, which only addresses itself to the social security increases.

So in this sense we are supporting it because this is a smaller part of the greater.

Mr. ADAIR. What you really would recommend would be the 20 percent?

Mr. STOVER. Correct, because that would be more equitable.
Mr. ADAIR. Exclusive of the Senate proposal?
Mr. STOVER. Correct.

Mr. ADAIR. I noted with interest you spoke about the matter of spouse income. Have you had the opportunity of seeing the bill I recently introduced, H.R. 16247?

Mr. STOVER. Yes, I have.

Mr. Adair. Then you will recall we do have a section No. 6 in there which, as I understand your testimony, is exactly what you are proposing

Mr. STOVER. Absolutely.

Mr. ADAIR. Therefore, you would recommend the passage of that type of legislation?

Mr. STOVER. That will receive our fullest support, right.

Mr. ADAIR. Finally, I would invite your comment upon the proposed income rates I have in my bill. Have you read them? Are you sufficiently familiar with them to comment on them?

Mr. STOVER. I believe it is $600.
Mr. ADAIR. We start at $250.
Mr. STOVER. That is right.

Mr. Adair. If you are not prepared to comment on that at this time, I would ask unanimous consent that you could put your comment at this point in the record.

Mr. STOVER. I would appreciate it if I could because we have not made that detailed kind of a study on all bills under consideration.

Mr. ADAIR. Mr. Chairman, I would ask unanimous consent that Mr. Stover may include with his remarks at this point in the record of the hearings his comment on the tables included in my proposed legislation, that is, H.R. 16247, on pages 3 and 4. Mr. ROBERTS. Without objection, it is so ordered. Mr. ADAIR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. (The information follows:)

VIEWS OF V.F.W. WITH RESPECT To H.R. 16247 H.R. 16247, a pension bill introduced by Hon. E. Ross Adair of Indiana, will increase the pension rates payable to veterans and their widows and liberalize and make more equitable certain provisions of the pension law as they relate to the determination of entitlement to pension payments.

The V.F.W. is In full accord with the general intent and purpose of H.R. 16247, which, speaking In broad terms, will make several provisions of the present pension law more liberal and, in particular, will grant a substantial increase to veterans and widows who are in the lower income brackets.

Referring to the specific sections of the bill, the V.F.W. strongly supports Section 2, which will permit a veteran to waive the receipt of not more than 10% of any retirement annuity, including social security, which is administered by any agency of the Federal Government. The 10% of any waived retirement income shall not be considered as income in determining entitlement to a pension payment.

The V.F.W. strongly opposed the repeal of the waiver provisions of the old pension law which governed pension entitlement prior to July 1, 1960. Under the old law, which is still applicable to several hundred thousand veterans who have not elected to come under the Veterans Pension Act of 1959, certain income can be waived by the veteran which, in turn, helps that veteran to become entitled to a pension payment. The greatest advantage of the waiver provision is that it

« PreviousContinue »