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Report shows Social Security Cuts will Hurt Vets
26 May 2011
A report released today shows that cutting Social Security will actually hurt Veterans and their families. (read the press release) The report, Social Security, Serving those who serve our nation, was conducted by a number of veterans groups and found, among other things:
- Social Security currently pays benefits to over 9 million veterans—about 4 in 10 veterans. The remaining six out of the ten will likely become Social Security beneficiaries in the future.
- Thirty-five percent of adult Social Security beneficiaries are veterans and their families.
- Most of the more than 4,000 children who lost a parent since the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars now receive Social Security survivors benefits.
- More than 771,000 veterans receive Social Security disability benefits.
In Pittsburgh local veterans, including John May, gathered to talk about the report.
Statement of Mr. John May, Vietnam Veteran on Social Security Disability and Mr. Samuel Dausuel, Veteran of both the Korean and the Vietnam Conflicts, who receives Social Security and V.A. Disability.
Americans honor our Veterans on Memorial Day. But what Veterans really need is to know that they will be able to afford housing and food, health care and the other basic necessities of life.
Veterans count on social security in a number of ways to protect themselves and their families.
Most Veterans serve one or more terms, and come home to work, raise a family, and live the rest of their lives as civilians. For many, Social Security is their only retirement benefit. They pay into the Social Security system and they deserve their benefits when then they retire.
Second, the families of service members who are killed in service rely on Social Security benefits for their surviving families. Veterans benefits, while critical for families, are often just not enough for families to do more than survive in poverty.
Social Security can mean the difference between a life of poverty and a secure life for the spouses and children left behind by those who paid the ultimate price. The full study has several very moving firsthand accounts of how families rely on social security.
Social Security can help disabled vets and their families by reducing their financial struggles. There are nearly 800,000 disabled veterans receiving Social Security today.
For these families, pennies count. Even a small reduction in income can mean an end to little league, less food on the table, and even hard choices between necessities.
The majority of American Veterans and their families will rely on Social Security at some point in their lifetimes. 4 in 10 veterans rely on Social Security today. We need to protect Social Security, not only for them, but for those who serve after them, our children and grandchildren.
Also, there are many current political discussions being held that cut the Medicare programs that Veterans and the VA Hospital system rely on to pay for much of their needed medical care. For instance, the Ryan Budget would have destroyed our ability to provide adequate medical care for veterans whose vouchers ran out before their care was complete. We decry these financial attacks on our Veterans and stand firmly against these attempts to balance the budget on the backs of those who serve their country.
Veterans put themselves in harm’s way to serve our country, the United States of America. They should be able to count on us in return. When they retire or become disabled, they should be able to trust that they and their families will be cared for by our country.
Political leaders need to restore fiscal discipline without going back on our promises to Veterans and their families In short, we should end the tax cuts for the wealthy and the big corporations instead of harming our veterans and our elderly buy cutting Social Security or Medicare.