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Combat-disabled veterans needed ‘act of Congress’ to get millions government owed

For some veterans who were shortchanged millions by the government, it took an act of Congress to finally get the money they were owed. “It literally takes an act of Congress to try to right this historic wrong that was done to them,” said Thomas Moore, a lawyer with the nonprofit National Veterans Legal Services Program. For several decades, the government knowingly and wrongfully taxed the severance packages of these veterans who suffered service-ending combat disabilities, Moore said. “We have estimated that it’s about 14,000 veterans, and the total amount taken from these veterans we’ve estimated as about $78 million,” Moore said. [more]

Released 12/18/16 | Tags: Congressional Legislation

Gov’t Can’t Beat Nonprofit Groups’ PACER Fee Suit

A Washington, D.C., federal judge has refused to kill a proposed class action by nonprofit groups that claim PACER is too expensive, concluding Monday the users don’t have to exhaust the service’s administrative appeals because the complaint isn’t about a billing error. U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle rejected the government’s bid to toss the suit brought by the National Veterans Legal Services Program, the National Consumer Law Center and Alliance for Justice over PACER’s fees, saying the suit addresses different issues than the ones outlined by the service’s user agreement, according to Monday’s decision. [more]

Released 12/16/16 | Tags:

Some combat-wounded vets could see a windfall thanks to a congressional tax fix

Thousands of combat-wounded veterans are in line for big payouts from the Defense Department after lawmakers passed a fix to severance package problems before leaving town last weekend. And many may not know they’re owed any money. The Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2016, expected to be signed into law by the president in the coming days, mandates the department stop improperly taxing severance payouts for troops wounded in war zones, and requires Pentagon officials to identify any veterans whose benefits were improperly taxed. [more]

Released 12/15/16 | Tags:

Senate passes bill to stop the taxation of combat-injured veterans’ severance payments

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation early Saturday to ensure that veterans who suffer service-ending combat-related injuries are not taxed on the severance payment they receive from the Department of Defense (DOD). The U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation earlier in the week. Now the bill is headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law. [more]

Released 12/14/16 | Tags: Congressional Legislation

Congress passes bill to recover taxes paid by injured vets

The U.S. Senate passed a measure over the weekend that supporters say will return money to the pockets of more than 150 combat-injured veterans in Arkansas. The Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2016 directs the U.S. Department of Defense to stop taxing the severance payments of veterans who sustained service-ending combat injuries. Under federal law, those payments should not be taxed, but about $78 million in taxes have been levied due to problems with the Defense Department's automated payment system, according to the National Veterans Legal Services Program. [more]

Released 12/13/16 | Tags:

Senate approves bill to pay back wounded veterans, sends to White House

The Senate sent legislation to the White House to pay back combat-injured veterans who were improperly taxed. It directs the Defense Department to identify injured veterans who had their severance payments taxed, and find out how much they are owed. The National Veterans Legal Services Program estimates nearly 14,000 veterans lost money as a result of wrongful taxation. [more]

Released 12/13/16 | Tags:

A more just process for our veterans is a must

Compassion for veterans with less-than-fully-honorable discharges, known colloquially as “bad paper,” has never been politically popular. This fall, Congress and President Barack Obama must have the courage to ensure the Fairness for Veterans Act becomes law and to initiate reform of the review boards of the armed services. [more]

Released 11/14/16 | Tags: Congressional Legislation, Discharges

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